- Digitally Remastered & Restored
- Audio Commentary
- Original Walt Disney TV Introduction
- Celebrating "Dumbo" Featurette on the Origins and History of Dumbo
- Sound Design - Creating the voice of Casey Jr
- Animated Shorts: "Elmer Elephant" & "The Flying Mouse"
- Storybook Read-Along - A New Adventure About Dumbo
- Sing-Alongs: "Look out for Mr. Stork," "Casey Jr."
- Art Gallery
- Michael Crawford Music Video, "Baby Mine"
- Dumbo II Sneak Peek
- DVD-ROM Content
60th Anniversary Edition
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The Dumbo 60th Anniversary Edition was the beneficiary of an electronic film restoration process where every frame of film was scanned into a high resolution computer system, then painstakingly examined and repaired frame by frame to eliminate negative and positive dirt, film scratches and the like. A high definition transfer was done and color correction was supervised by Disney Feature Animation to ensure faithful reproduction of the colors as they were originally intended.
Only 64 minutes long, Dumbo remains one of most charming and heartfelt films in the Disney canon. This DVD marks the 60th anniversary of its release: the attack on Pearl Harbor knocked Dumbo off the cover of Time. The clear, digitally restored print highlights the imaginative use of color in the film, especially in the dramatic sequence of the roustabouts raising the big top and the brilliantly surreal "Pink Elephants on Parade." In the "Celebrating Dumbo" featurette, young studio artists talk about loving the film but provide little information about its creation. The artists aren't identified in the small galleries of preproduction drawings and publicity stills. Animation historian John Canemaker provides a knowledgeable audio commentary, but the viewer longs for more of Joe Grant, the 93-year-old cowriter of Dumbo who continues to work at the Disney Studio. --Charles Solomon
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This movie has much to recommend it. It's only an hour long, which means it won't bore kids beyond their attention span. Its message of treating those with differences or handicaps fairly and kindly is important for everyone to hear.
Best of all, it has some wonderful musical numbers. "Baby Mine" still brings tears to my eyes all these years later, and "When I See an Elephant Fly" is hysterically funny to those old enough to understand the word play. But "Pink Elephants" has got to be one of the most inventive and clever numbers ever devised. The constantly morphing elephants of this sequence were all hand-drawn -- no computers used at all!
Caution: This movie was made in the 1950's, and there is some ethnic stereotyping that can be offensive. For instance, the ringmaster, who has a thick Italian accent, is somewhat of a buffoon. Also, the musical number "When I See an Elephant Fly" is sung by crows that are clearly meant to be African Americans. They use some poor grammar and in other ways conform to common stereotypes of the times. However, I believe that little children won't understand the stereotype, or it can be dealt with by explaining that the crows don't go to school, so they don't talk correctly. Adults will know better and will be able to enjoy the clever word play in the song.
Another caution is that the stork delivers the circus animal babies. That might take some explaining!