The original animated Dumbo is a Disney classic to many. Is the new live-action Dumbo kid friendly? I recently saw it with all 5 of my girls ages 14 to 6. Here are the details on the profanity, violence, and sexual content in Dumbo. Also is Dumbo ok for small kids or is it too much Tim Burton?
Is Dumbo Kid Friendly?
I had heard mixed reviews going into the live-action Dumbo, but I’m glad I saw it. My youngest daughter had a lot of questions during the movie, and a lot of them stemmed from the animated Dumbo. Overall, there were a few bad words and some moderate violence and tense scenes for little ones.
Profanity in Dumbo
In Dumbo, there were 3 uses of the word “hell,” and not referring to the location. There was also once instance where Colin Farrell’s character started to utter the word “sh–,” but his kids stopped him before he finished.
I know kids hear worse in school, but Disney, enough with the unnecessary words in PG movies. None of them added anything to the story.
Violence in Dumbo
There is some fighting in Dumbo, with one character getting punched. Also, there are tense situations and themes like death of characters, mothers, fires, and mistreatment of animals. Some of this may be too much for young children, especially if they are sensitive to scary situations. My 6-year-old grabbed on to me a few times during the movie.
Sexual Content in Dumbo
There are maybe two quick kisses between different characters, but nothing more than that.
Is Dumbo Appropriate for Kids Under 8?
Overall, the response from my children was the live-action Dumbo was better than expected. Could this have been due to low expectations? Perhaps, but I don’t know that the trailers did the movie justice.
I would recommend Dumbo for ages 8 and up. My 6-year-old was fine, but like I mentioned earlier, she grabbed onto me a few times and hid her eyes. However, she did like the scenes with Dumbo, especially when he was flying and playing with a feather. The light-hearted scenes made her smile. She also liked when Dumbo and his mama were together.
There are scenes when kids and adults make fun of Dumbo, and that can be hard for young children. At 1 hour and 40 minutes, Dumbo isn’t extremely long, but it borders on being too much for small kids. My 6-year-old was antsy, but the others were engaged.
Is there too much Tim Burton in Dumbo?
I’m not a huge fan of Tim Burton’s work, but I can see the appeal for others. I liked Nightmare Before Christmas, but my kids think it’s weird. If you’re a fan of the live action Alice in Wonderland movies, then I think you’ll really like Dumbo.
When saying, “Dumbo was better than expected,” I don’t want to give the impression that it’s a bad movie, because it’s not. Overall, I found it to be entertaining; however I don’t think it’s for everyone. I appreciated the little nods to the original with Casey Jr., pink elephants, and a brief look at a mouse dressed like Timothy.
However, don’t go into this looking for a replica of the original animated Dumbo. What Tim Burton does well is beautiful cinematography. There are heart-warming relationships, lessons to be learned, and heroes to cheer on.
The story was overcomplicated, especially with the addition of Dreamland. And Michael Keaton’s character was very Tim Burton-y, and frankly, unnecessary. Part of the appeal of the animated Dumbo were the other animals and songs. You do get a bit of “Baby Mine,” and I admit I got a little choked up when Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo were separated.
Overall, is Dumbo worth a watch? For Disney fans, I say yes, but I might wait until $5 Tuesdays.