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September 13, 2012
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Advocate Disney: Dumbo by NostalgicChills Advocate Disney: Dumbo by NostalgicChills
A start of a new series called 'Advocate Disney.'

*The following analysis is my opinionated viewpoint, not fact.*

One thing i've always admired about the very early Disney classics (apart from the impressive animation and inspiring storytelling) is that they've always been big on Animal Rights. You may notice that a few of their films, mainly the ones that feature animal characters, base the film around a certain animal commodity that they feel they need to spread awareness about. And they do so by reaching out to kids. Dumbo was the first, but not the last Disney film to do this. I won't list the other films just yet (but some of you may be able to guess some of them, there are currently seven that i know of).

Released in 1941, Dumbo was Disney's 4th animated feature. I trust that most of you know this story, so i won't bother explaining the plot. The very basic moral of this story is obviously 'believe in yourself' and that what you think is a huge flaw may in fact be a gift etc. But this film also explores the plight of circus elephants. And personally, i believe they portrayed the issue very well. Particularly when Dumbo's mother is chained in solitary confinement, after being condemned as dangerous because of an angry rampage after people made fun of her baby's big ears. The scene that followed became one of Disney's saddest moments in their history. The scene known as 'Baby Mine' where Dumbo is cradled by his captive mother through the bars of her prison, with tears running down his face (and the face of everyone else who watches this scene).

On a side note, i always wondered why Dumbo and his mother were the only characters that couldn't speak (except for Mrs. Jumbo's one line at the beginning). But i think i may have figured that out. This is just my opinion, but i think it's because they were trying to convey the message that animals suffer in silence, so Disney decided to mute the two characters that suffer the most in this film. I don't know, it's a thought. Let me know what you think about it.
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VioletWhirlwind Featured By Owner Edited 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh gosh..."Baby Mine."  I'm tearing up just thinking about it.  That has to be one of THE. Saddest. Disney scenes/songs. Ever.  Moreso even than Mufasa's death.  I LOVE it for that.  (I am strange that way.)
Nakuru-Nebelung Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
In fact as you say Dumbo's mum is not a mute character, she speaks at the beginning, and the song is kinda sung by her. I think she really doesn't need to speak anymore: her actions speak louder than her words.
Dumbo can't speak, yes, but ... he's a baby. I think they thought the plot was cuter and most innocent portraying him this way. But hey, those are just my thoughts!
boomheart900 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Student General Artist
will you continue the series?
HallowpointPaws Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
CocoChipooRocks Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student General Artist
I love this piece and I agree with you when you talked about the possible message of how animals suffer in silence. 
I seriously detest animal circuses, and for that reason I've actually never liked this movie because it always upsets me ^^;
Hebigami-Okami-77 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Student General Artist
To be honest, the silence of Dumbo and this mother I think was to show two things:

1. Their helplessness in the situation: no voice to back up or speak against those with louder voices who insist on reigning down on them.  It's to continuously feel empathy for them, and also because there are times when we ourselves are spoken over and shunned for not having that proper voice.  And,
2. Actions speak louder than words.  Some of the best scenes are invoked with little to no dialogue E.g. 3-Iron: it was a highly successful Korean movie about a travelling loner and a woman he rescued from domestic violence.  Though the woman is capable of talking, they have no dialogue exchanged between the both of them (save for the very end where she says one line).  Also, Timothy the mouse, though he spoke a lot, didn't just tell the other elephants to leave Dumbo alone, he ran in there and purposely made them feel frightened and scared as a sort of carrying out the threat of, "Mess with my friend, and you're gonna get it - I'm not joking." Dumbo's own learning to fly was a huge action that caused a big slap to the face - the elephant can't talk the talk, but he walks the walk.
Angel-Kazekage Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
"Bongo...the bear in the guild-ed cage."
Starlioness Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
talk I mean
Starlioness Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
more empathy for the characters if they were silent? and yeah, that is heartbreaking..:(... 

but Dumbo is a baby.. he could when he's older.. 
Flameshadow117 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMFG. You know how moving the "Baby Mine" scene is? I have not seen Dumbo in probably 10 years, and just *mentioning* that scene got me crying :XD:. Ugggggg with her trunk reaching through the bars, and the injustice of it all..... aaaaaahhhhhhhhh. 

They really did do awful stuff to elephants back then. I've even heard once case where disobedient elephants were executed in front of all the other elephants who were lined up and made to watch. O.o WTF?
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