clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The new trailer for Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo is just heartbreaking

The beloved elephant comes to life like never before — also Danny DeVito is here

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

The live-action Dumbo — helmed by none other than Tim Burton — brings the wondrous elephant to life, with a Burton-esque touch. If there’s one thing the Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands director is good at, it’s creating richly eerie atmospheres. Dumbo’s failing circus of the 1940s, brought to life in the first full trailer, definitely fits his style.

There’s more story in this trailer, following Colin Farrell’s Holt Farrier as he’s tasked with carrying for the misfit baby elephant with enormous ears. We see circus owner Max Medici (Danny Devito), spellbinding aerial artist Colette Marchant (Eva Green) and charismatic entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who’s bent on taking the failing circus and turning into something great.

That means selling Dumbo’s mother, in the devastating separation scene that haunted us as children. There’s something particularly depressing about seeing the Momma Elephant’s trunk stick out of the bars to wrap around poor little Dumbo, as the chilling tones of Norwegian singer Aurora’s “Baby Mine” waft over them.

Dumbo is one of many live-action reboots of classic Disney animated films that will be coming to theaters in 2019. Right after Dumbo premiers in March, the live-action Aladdin is on its heels in May, followed by July’s The Lion King. There’s also a Lady and the Tramp announced for Disney Plus, a Mulan film coming in 2020, as well as live-action rebuffs of The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, and the villain of 101 Dalmatians Cruella De Vil.

The large-eared elephant flies into theaters on March 29, 2019. Along with the trailer, Disney released this new poster, which is slightly less soul-crushing than the trailer.

Dumbo movie poster Walt Disney Pictures