MILAN – Tomorrow the film directed by Tim Burton dedicated to the most beloved elephant of all time will be released in cinemas: Dumbo . The cast is excellent: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Alan Arkin star in a story that has a different plot from the Disney one to which the elephant owes its success and fame. But where does Dumbo’s fairy tale come from?
Was it a Disney invention or it already existed before
Let’s retrace the story that led Dumbo to be the icon we all know.
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Dumbo was born in 1939 from the imagination of Helen Aberson, the English writer who wrote the story of this big-eared elephant in collaboration with the illustrator Harold Pearl to create an original toy: a roll-a-book . The roll-a-book consisted of a small box in which an illustrated roll was inserted: a short story of images and words. Instead of leafing through the pages, to enjoy the story you had to turn the knob on the side of the box so that the reel could be set in motion and the narration began. The story included only eight drawings and a few lines of text; moreover, Dumbo’s friend was called Red Robin and not Timoteo, as in the Disney version. Dumbo, a hit for Disney
At the end of 1939 Disney fell in love with the roll a book thanks to Kay Kamen, the entrepreneur who favors the diffusion of the company’s merchandising. Walt Disney decided to make a film adaptation of it: initially the idea was to make a short film , but soon the project changed because if the intention was to do justice to the creation of Aberson and Pearl, it was necessary to animate a feature film. .
The economic situation of Disney at the time was not very prosperous due to the Second World War: in fact the previous cartoons Pinocchio and Fantasia were not very successful. Dumbo, the flying elephantit was meant to be a low-budget film designed to heal the studio’s finances. Writers Dick Huemer and Joe Grant first developed the plot: they wrote the script in chapters, as if it were a book. An original way to write a script.
Due to the low budget, the animation drawings were simpler than the previous Pinocchio and Fantasia cartoons and the backgrounds were also less complex and detailed. Despite this, real elephants and other animals were brought into the studios to study their movements.
In World War II , Dumbo, the flying elephant was Disney’s biggest income in 1940. Dumbo by Tim Burton
Tim Burton directs the live action remake of the Disney animated film with the effect of creating a story far from the classic version: in fact, new characters are introduced, such as Halt Fannier, the former circus star who, returning from the war and finding his life turned upside down, he is hired in a circus to look after a newborn elephant with giant ears, precisely Dumbo.
Tonight Tim Burton will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the evening of the David di Donatello, in which he will also present his reboot on Dumbo.

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