New on DVD: 'Dumbo' flops; 'Cinderella' remains belle of the ball

Rick Bentley, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

A major miscue and a magnificent accomplishment from Disney are among this week's list of new DVD and Blu-ray offerings.

"Dumbo"; 1.5 stars: The original 1941 animated Disney classic film showed how the little elephant with floppy ears came to realize he was not a misfit through the support of his family and a close friend. The story was written decades ago but remains just as legitimate in today's era of so much bullying.

Instead of embracing that story, director Tim Burton opted to transform "Dumbo" into a live-action over-the-top examination of greed through what comes across as a demented version of Disneyland. So many story threads exist that nothing emerges as the central core.

At the top of the list of the monumental mistakes Burton and screenwriter Ehren Kruger ("Ghost in the Shell") make is changing the film from one where the animals speak to focusing on the human characters. They should have taken a look at the wonderful job Jon Favreau did with making a live-action version of "The Jungle Book." The animation to create Dumbo is done so well that all the circus animals could have been created via computers to make a far more interesting film.

"Cinderella"; 4 stars: If you are looking for a superb film from Disney, the animated tale is being rereleased to mark the 70th anniversary. The production is so important in story and dazzling in design it was recently added to the National Film Registry.

At the heart is Cinderella, a young woman whose heart remains pure despite being treated like a servant by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. That all changes when Cinderella gets to attend a royal ball with the help from her Fairy Godmother. With a wave of her wand and the words "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," an ordinary pumpkin become a magnificent coach and Cinderella's rags turn into a gorgeous gown. The question is whether Cinderella's real magic last past midnight.


This is a masterpiece of film animation that should be in every collection.


"Poison Rose": Hard-drinking Los Angeles detective (John Travolta) must face a dangerous crime boss (Morgan Freeman) while looking for a missing woman.

"Manhunt": Martin Clunes stars in this three-part drama based on the memoirs of former London Metropolitan police detective DCI Colin Sutton.


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