I’m skipping ahead a couple films in the Disney Movie Marathon just because I watched Dumbo for the first time in years and years and years over the weekend, and well…there’s a lot to talk about. Dumbo was never my favorite movie as a child. In fact, I can’t remember if I ever even watched it the entire way through. What I do remember is the fact that I would play those Disney Sing-Along Songs videos over and over until little me knew the words to every Disney song by heart and didn’t even have to look at the screen anymore. Do you remember those? They were the shit, my friends. Basically, for thirty minutes at a time, you were immersed in the wonderful world of Disney music, where this owl from “Fun with Music” and sometimes Ludwig von Drake (who is one of my favorites) would go through songs from Disney movies according to theme, karaoke style. Oh lord, did I play the shit out of those tapes. Well, anyway, every single song from Dumbo was featured on one volume or another, so even though I didn’t really know the plot, I could sure sing along to the Casey Jr. song or be extremely immersed into the psychedelic universe that had pink elephants.
So, over the weekend, I got this odd desire to watch whatever Disney movie had the Heffalumps and Woozles song in it, and I couldn’t remember if it was Dumbo or Winnie the Pooh. It turns out, what I really wanted to hear was “Pink Elephants on Parade,” but for some reason, kept interjecting it with the “Heffalumps and Woozles” lyrics…yeah, so much for my great memory. But Netflix Instant had Dumbo and not the Winnie I wanted to see, so I guess I chose correctly. Now, for those of you like me who can’t remember shit about this movie other than a flying elephant, let me recap it for you.
Every mommy in the circus decides to have babies on the same day, and all the storks are super busy dropping off cute little animals into their new homes. However, one elephant in particular, Mrs. Jumbo, doesn’t get her precious bundle of joy, so she pouts awhile. Luckily, one stork was just lost as hell, so he drops off her package the next morning, and little Jumbo Jr. was born. Yes, Jumbo Jr. Anyway, all her elephant friends are talking smack and want to see the baby, but when one particularly witchy elephant tickles him, he sneezes, and out pop these gigantic ears. Of course, everyone decides to make fun of him, and the baby is nicknamed Dumbo, instead of his given name. What a bunch of animals. Literally.
Mrs. Jumbo loves her baby so much, she doesn’t give a shit about his ears, but oh, when people make fun of him, especially these bratty kids who are somehow allowed to touch a baby elephant and yank on his tail and shit, Mrs. Jumbo goes postal, her eyes turn red, and she spanks one of the kids with her trunk before raging in an attempt to bring down the circus tent. You go girl. This leads her to be quarantined in solitary confinement for the rest of the movie, so she can’t see her kid. Now, the rest of the elephants start talking more crap ABOUT A NEWBORN BABY ELEPHANT, what the shit, and Timothy the Mouse goes and scares the shit out of them to get them to shut the fuck up. He then befriends Dumbo and helps him see his mommy, as well as tries to plot a way for him to become the star of the circus so everyone will stop making fun of him.
A couple of failed attempts happen, enough to where Dumbo is demoted from being an elephant to being a clown. Yes, you heard me. An elephant is demoted from being an elephant. The fuck. And did I mention Dumbo doesn’t say a word throughout the entire movie? While all the other animals, and even the freaking circus train, can talk and sing, Dumbo just makes little elephant noises. God, give this kid some way to defend himself, geez. Anyway, the clowns think that Dumbo jumping off a “burning” building into a washtub of water is such a great act that they all get drunk and try to go to the ringmaster to get him to make the building even taller and ask for raises. At this time, Dumbo and his little mouse friend start inhaling the beer bubbles and enter this blackout drunk fantasy sequence where they imagine pink elephants going around everywhere in their freaking parade. Yes. You heard me correctly. Disney characters get wasted. They get so wasted, Dumbo wakes up in a tree the next morning. I bet you even Ke$ha hasn’t even gotten so fucked up that she ended up in a forest at the top of a redwood. Way to go, Disney, way to go.
So, now that my faith has been restored in that everyone wants me to go drink around the world and get wine flights in every World Showcase pavilion in Epcot when I go there in October, Timothy and Dumbo wake up in the tree with these massive hangovers and this gang of crows makes fun of them. However, they’re just reading like the queens on Rupaul’s Drag Race, and it’s all in good fun. But, how the hell did Dumbo get up there in the first place? These smart crows come to the conclusion that he must have flown up there. Seriously? Well…I guess I’ll buy it because it’s Disney. They, of course, want to see if Dumbo can do it again, so they give him a “magic” feather and push him off a cliff. No joke. But, hooray! Dumbo really can fly! And even though he loses his magic feather, he realizes he can still fly, and he becomes the star of the circus, Mrs. Jumbo gets her own private train car, the mouse makes millions of dollars, THE END.
I think I was better off just singing along to “Baby Mine” from my VHS tape.
Do I really need to say anything else here? Dumbo is barely an hour long, and if I had remembered watching this the whole way through when I was a kid, I probably would have been traumatized. WHY DID THE MOUSE GET DRUNK? I can’t get over this. I’m totally all for Disney not censoring things (can we talk about how they took the cigarette out of Pecos Bill’s mouth? because really, I wasn’t about to light up just because a cowboy did it on tv) because of moments like these alone. In the 21st century, where everything has to be so cotton candy fluff for our little babies because they aren’t allowed to live in the real world until they’re 12 and having sex and going on Maury to find out who the father of their illegitimate child is, let’s just go back to the 1940s and revel in the fact that cartoon characters could get blackout drunk and have crazy trip-outs. Time to go party with a flying elephant. Too bad you can’t bring beer on the ride, even if it is in the spirit of this classic movie.
Featured image from tumblr.