Tim Burton and the ‘Dumbo’ Cast on Telling Fables with Flying Elephants and a ‘Batman Returns’ Reunion

Collider | 3/25/2019 | Christina Radish
Click For Photo: http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/dumbo-live-action-image-600x338.jpg

From visionary director Tim Burton, the live-action telling of the beloved classic Dumbo celebrates differences while also exploring the importance of family, both by blood and by circumstance. When circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) appoints former horse-riding star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children (Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins) as the caretakers for the newborn elephant with the oversized ears, he has no idea that what initially makes him a laughingstock to audiences will also change their lives forever.

During a conference at the film’s Los Angeles press junket, co-stars Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton (who plays entertainment entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere), along with filmmaker Tim Burton, talked about telling a simple story with real emotions, expanding on the original 60-minute story, being a part of Burton’s Island of Misfit Toys, how Dumbo was represented on set, their favorite performers in the circus, and what they hope audiences get from the film.

Question - Tim - Dumbo - Story - Dumbo

Question: Tim, why Dumbo? What do you love about the story of Dumbo?

TIM BURTON: I just liked the idea of a flying elephant that doesn’t quite fit into the world, and how somebody with a disadvantage makes it an advantage. It just felt very close to the way I felt about things. It was just a very pure, simple image. Like all of the old Disney fables, it has that simple symbolism for real emotions.

Things - Film

What were the specific things in the 60-minute original film that you wanted to expand on?

BURTON: I just like the fact that it’s obviously a very simple fable and story. At its heart, it’s about family. What I liked about it was the human parallel story. This character comes back from war, and he doesn’t have an arm, he doesn’t have a wife, and he doesn’t have a job. He’s trying to find his...
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