Disney

100 Facts About Dumbo

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

This week, we get to talk about one of my favourite Disney movies ever; Dumbo. This movie is adorable, funny, heartbreaking and just overall, wonderful. It can be enjoyed by Disney fans of all ages. I enjoyed this movie as a child and I continue to love it as an adult!

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  1. Dumbo was Walt Disney’s fourth animated feature.
  2. Dumbo was based off the story, Dumbo the Flying Elephant by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl.
  3. This was created for the Roll-A-Book which was a prototype toy.
  4. In the book, Dumbo’ sidekick was Red Robin and not Timothy Q. Mouse like in the film.
  5. Timothy was used as an in-joke as it is said that elephants are afraid of mice.
  6. Due to the war efforts, the studio was told to keep this film as inexpensive as possible.
  7. Backgrounds in Dumbo are noticeably less detailed than other Disney films.
  8. Watercolours were used to create backgrounds as it cost less money.
  9. Characters are also much simpler than in other Disney movies.
  10. The simplicity of freed the animators from being overly concerned with detail.
  11. It allowed the animators to focus on the most important element of character animation: acting.
  12. Bill Tytla’s animation of Dumbo is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in American animation.
  13. Dumbo cost just $950,000 to make.
  14. This was half the cost of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  15. It was also less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio.
  16. This made Dumbo the least expensive Disney film to make.
  17. Dumbo was to be on the cover of TIME magazine as ‘Mammal of the Year’, however, Pearl Habour had just happened and the magazine went with a more serious cover.
  18. A heated animators strike was parodied in the film during the scene where the clowns talk about asking the big boss for a raise.
  19. Dumbo is only 64 minutes long.
  20. This makes it the shortest feature length Disney movie.
  21. Dumbo held a special place in Walt Disney’s heart.
  22. Dumbo is also John Lasseter’s favourite movie of all time.
  23. He cancelled any plans for a Dumbo II when he became Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios in 2006.
  24. A live action remake of Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, is in the works.
  25. Dumbo movie cels are some of the most valuable of any Disney movie.
  26. Artists used cels to skate down the hallways of the Animation studios.
  27. Also, the earth tones used for Dumbo were prone to flaking.
  28. ‘Baby Mine’ was nominated for an Academy Award.
  29. It lost to ‘the Last Time I Saw Paris’ from the film ‘Lady Be Good’.
  30. Dumbo won an Oscar for Best Score.
  31. Dumbo has an octopus breed named after him.
  32. The Pink Elephants on Parade segment is sometimes replaced with a scene of Dumbo dreaming of flying due to its controversial nature.
  33. A song called ‘Sing a Song of Cheese’ was cut from the film.
  34. Dumbo is the only lead character in a Disney movie to never speak
  35. Mrs Jumbo also only ever speaks once in the movie and it’s to say Dumbo’s original name.
  36. Dumbo is the first and one of the few Disney movies to be set in America.
  37. Dumbos mother was originally called Mother Ella but her name was changed to Mrs Jumbo to honour the famous Barnum and Bailey circus pachyderm.
  38. Dumbo was Disney’s first home video release.
  39. Dumbo was released in 1981 for rental only.
  40. In 1982, Dumbo was put on sale.
  41. When Dumbo takes a bath, you can see a hidden mickey in the bubbles.
  42. When Timothy drunkenly slides down the staircase bubble, his laugh is Mickey Mouse’s.
  43. Also, when Timothy coughs on Jim Crow, the cough is also Mickey’s.
  44. Originally, Walt Disney was uninterested in making this movie.
  45. Joe Grant and Dick Huemer wrote up the film in segments which they left on Walt’s desk every morning.
  46. Dumbo grossed over $2.5 million in its original release.
  47. Dumbo was the first Disney movie for Sterling Holloway and Verna Felton.
  48. The line ‘Lots of people with big ears are famous’ said by Timothy is a reference to Clark Gable.
  49. Dumbo is portrayed as the saddest Disney film in history.
  50. Dumbo is one of Leonard Maltins favourite films.
  51. The scene where Casey Jr. is trying to get up the hill is a reference to ‘The Little Engine That Could’.
  52. The circus is called WDP Circus which stands for Walt Disney Productions.
  53. RKO Radio Pictures originally had qualms about releasing Dumbo as a major motion picture.
  54. Mrs Jumbo picks up Dumbo with her trunk yet in reality, elephants will push their babies because they grow too heavy.
  55. During the song ‘Look Out For Mister Stork’ the lyrics say ‘Remember those quintuplets and the woman in the shoe’.
  56. The first part is referencing the Dionne Quintuplets from Canada who were the first complete set of Quintuplets to survive birth.
  57. The latter half is referencing ‘the Old Women In The Shoe’.
  58. Dumbo’s mothers’ eyes are blue but when she gets angry after the kids attack Dumbo, they turn blood-red.
  59. The film was originally planned as a 30 minute featurette.
  60. The vocals for ‘Baby Mine’ were performed by Betty Noyes.
  61. The ‘Casey Junior’ segment was originally several minutes long.
  62. This is the first Disney animated feature to be set in the present time of its release.
  63. There is controversy about the crows in the film that are meant to represent African Americans.
  64. Most of the crows were portrayed by African American actors in an era which there was limited casting potential for them.
  65. Many however see the crows as free spirits who bow to no one and characters who are sympathetic to Dumbo’s situation.
  66. Dumbo was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.
  67. Jim Crows name derives from a minstrel show character of the same name.
  68. The character also shared a name with the system de facto and de jure segregation that arose throughout the South after the American Civil War.
  69. This is the only known voice acting role for Edward Brophy who plays Timothy Q. Mouse.
  70. ‘Baby Mine’ has become one of Disney’s best remembered and regarded songs.
  71. The American Film Institute included it in a list of the 100 best film songs.
  72. The Casey Jr. Circus Train is an attraction found in two Disney parks across the world.
  73. ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ has received several covers by artists.
  74. Dumbo was only the second Disney film to turn over a profit.
  75. This was the last Disney animated feature before the United States entered WWII.
  76. Dumbo’s real name is Jumbo Jr, which means his unseen and unheard of father was probably called Jumbo.
  77. Dumbo was included in a list of 1001 movies to see before you die.
  78. The plot of the film was mostly developed by Dick Huemer and Joe Grant.
  79. Dumbo and his supporting cast were adapted to the Disney comics in 1941.
  80. Dumbo won the Best Animation Deign award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1947.
  81. A Dumbo toy can be seen in the Disney film ‘the Great Mouse Detective.
  82. The Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride can be found at five Disney parks.
  83. Dumbo is the first protagonist to have blue eyes.
  84. A few clips of Dumbo were used in Steven Spielbergs movie, 1941.
  85. Casey Junior makes his first appearance in The Reluctant Dragon when Robert Benchley is touring the sound effects department.
  86. In the beginning of the film there is a scene where faceless black men are helping set up the circus tent; this was later seen as highly racist and insensitive.
  87. The song they sing also includes the word ‘Roustabout’ which means unskilled labourer; a stereotype of black people in the 1940s.
  88. None of the voice actors for Dumbo received screen credit.
  89. Cliff Edwards, who provided the voice of Jiminy Cricket, plays Jim Crow.
  90. Dumbo was the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s.
  91. Dumbo was re-released into theatres in 1949, 1959, 1972 and 1976.
  92. Dumbo was the first Disney animated films to be broadcast on television.
  93. Dumbo was the first Disney animated movie to be released on home video.
  94. Casey Junior stars in the Main Street Electrical Parade, pulling a drum with the parade logo on.
  95. Sound for Dumbo was recorded using the RCA system.
  96. Timothy Q. Mouse is never named in the movie but his signature can be read in a photograph in a newspaper in the final sequence.
  97. Casey Junior has a 2-4-0 wheel arrangement, a small four-wheeled tender at the back, a big fall tunnel, a little lamp hat, a short stumpy boiler, a short stumpy dome with a whistle on the top and a small cowcatcher at his front.
  98. The script for Dumbo was written in chapters, which is an unusual and unheard of way of writing a film script.
  99. Although the film is more ‘cartoony’ then previous Disney movies, animators still brought elephants and other animals into the studio for references.
  100. John McLeish, who is best known for narrating the Goofy ‘How To’ cartoons, was the voice of the narrator who opened the film.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below

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9 thoughts on “100 Facts About Dumbo

  1. I love these posts you do so much, I always learn so much! I had no idea that they had to scale back the production and spend less because of the war effort at the time, and now you mention it, you’re right, the backgrounds are less detailed, but this is one of my favourite Disney films too, so they still managed to make it amazing with half the costs! Loved this post. – Tasha

    Liked by 1 person

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