Movie review: Is Dumbo Tim Burton's best?
The key word here is re-imagining.
Those who love the 1941 cartoon may not take to Tim Burton's version, as there are neither many adorable animals nor a three-hanky story.
Instead of talking creatures as per director Jon Favreau's live-action remakes of Disney favourites The Jungle Book and the upcoming The Lion King, the human actors do the heavy lifting here, which also comes with a brand new tale.
The story revolves around Colin Farrell's war veteran Holt Farrier and how he tries to be a single father to his precocious kids Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins).
Once a star performer in the travelling circus run by Max Medici (Danny DeVito), Farrier now has to clean up after Dumbo and train the baby elephant to be a clown.
Once Dumbo's special talents make headlines, smooth-talking businessman Vandevere (Michael Keaton) offers to make Medici's struggling circus a fixture in his big-city amusement park Dreamland.
The myriad of colourful characters and the underdog theme make for a good albeit formulaic story.
Farrell and Burton regulars like DeVito, Eva Green and the hilarious Keaton give their best, but they are too thinly-written to make you want to care about them.
Some US critics have hailed Dumbo as the best Burton film in a long time. While I'm not a Burton aficionado, Dumbo is definitely more appealing than Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and loads better than Alice Through The Looking Glass, which he produced.
What really amazes here is the CGI. The production values are also top-notch.
But the star attraction is indeed Dumbo, who looks so real, with eyes so full of emotion. The one scene that is seen through his point of view is so magical, but we don't get many of such moments as Burton seems content to merely move the plot along.
Still, Dumbo should - and will - steal the show.
STARRING: Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Nico Parker
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
THE SKINNY: This re-imagining of the classic 1941 Disney animation follows a family of circus performers who band together to reunite the titular baby elephant with oversized ears with his mother.