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  • Cecily North

I Have Questions - Dumbo

I would like to acknowledge that I will not be reviewing the history of animation or the technology associated. I am going to do my best to focus on the story and its components. I am relying on the original short story of Dumbo written by Helen Aberson-Meyer.

As we fly over Florida, the questions begin ...

  • Was there a change in staffing between "Dumbo" and "Bambi"? Were there more female employees because of the war? I found this to be a really interesting read.

  • What was the growth of the company over time? The late 1930's into the 40's was hard on the Disney company.

  • Was there a fascination with the circus in the 1930's? The interest had been dwindling. With the depression quickly spreading across the country, it was harder to get visitors to the circus.

  • Was PT Barnum based in Florida? I wonder if this was inspired by Barnum and Bailey's circus. The Ringling Brothers brought the circus to Florida in 1927, and that became the winter headquarters.

  • How many cubs can a tiger have? Is 5 normal? Apparently tigers can have up to 7 cubs, but 3 or 4 is average.

  • How soon can giraffes walk after they are born? Giraffes can walk in less than an hour after birth!

  • What came in the typical circus train? You can find all the circus train facts here!

  • "At the Circus" is another circus movie. Was there a circus popularity at the time? There are a lot of circus movies. I was going to be upset if "At the Circus" didn't make it.

  • Was there a nostalgia for the circus? From my reading, I gather the circus was still a big memory for most adults and there may have been some nostalgia as circuses dwindled in the late 1930's.

  • How often did Disney face issues for book rights to make movies (like "Saving Mr Banks")? From what I could find, P.L. Travers was the only one to put up a fight.

  • WDP Circus, does this stand for Walt Disney productions? Yes, yes it does.

  • Did Disney already have his eye on Orlando at this time, 14 years before Disneyland opened? From what I read he hadn't been eyeing Florida. I believe it was more based on the winter homes for circuses at the time.

  • When were singing telegrams created? 1933. And you can still order them!

  • Did they have the rights to sing Happy Birthday? Or because they screwed up the middle part that they didn't have to? The rights to "Happy Birthday" has been a long standing controversy until 2015.

  • The female elephants are so mean to Dumbo. I feel like they wouldn't do that in real life. And I'm right. Elephants will babysit!

  • Are elephants afraid of mice? According to the "Mythbusters" they are!

  • Are elephants afraid of hay? Do they eat hay? What do elephants eat? I don't believe they are afraid of hay, and they theoretically eat hay and lots of other things.

  • Do they like peanuts as much as they say they do? No, elephants do not like peanuts.

  • Do they eat the whole peanut or do they shell it? Since elephants don't eat peanuts we don't have to worry about it. But also, don't eat peanut shells.

  • Did someone ever do the math to know proportionately how big his ears are? Yes, yes they did.

  • How many people are employed by the circus at any given time? The average would be over 300.

  • When was the height of the circus? The 1850's seems to be the heyday of the circus.

  • How easy is it to suggest things in someone's sleep? It depends on how suggestive the person is, but it seems that suggestions in someone's sleep is not really effective.

  • How do they train elephants? I am not going down the rabbit hole of animal abuse but I did find an article about positive training.

  • What are the crazy things they train elephants to do? See previous answer.

  • Ice on the head? That's like only in the movies? Ice is useful but probably not in a giant block.

  • How beneficial is using an ice block on the head? Ice is beneficial in the right situation.

  • Include something about circus clowns ... here's some history about clowns.

  • Do peanuts have vitamins in them? They have several benefits.

  • Is peanut butter good for you? As long as you are not allergic, it is pretty healthy.

  • Do hippos sleep under water? Yes, they can even float to the surface and back down without waking up.

  • How long can hippos stay under water? 5 minutes or even a little longer.

  • Can animals get drunk? Some can.

  • Do elephants cry? They can produce tears.

  • How do you get rid of hiccups? Here are 26 things to try.

  • Can mice get drunk? What do they get drunk on? The same as elephants? Mice can get drunk, probably on the same fruit that other animals would. And from the earlier article, elephants are too big to get drunk.

  • Can you blow a square bubble? You sure can!

  • Is there a list of idioms somewhere? This is my new favorite website. Also, "Archer".

The questions that are left unanswered...

  • Why are the elephants all dressed? Do they always travel in costumes? It seems silly.

  • Where is the circus going to? They travel across Florida in like 2 seconds.

  • All the elephants are still in their costumes setting up the circus. Is that how that works?

  • Where are they? Are they in Georgia?

  • All these animals have giant advertisements in the parade? The Library of Congress has some great circus posters.

  • Why is Timothy wearing a ring leader outfit?

  • You can see through the ringmasters tent? And you can see through his shirt. That’s some pretty thin material.

  • I don't understand why you can see through everyone's clothes when they're in their tents? And see through the clown wigs?

  • How did they write "Pink Elephants on Parade"? Were they drunk?

  • Did they learn a lot from "Fantasia"? The dancing is like the sprites and such from Fantasia

  • How does Dumbo end up in the tree?

  • I'm completely fine with him knowing how to fly, but how did he get there?

  • I have questions about the magic feather?

  • Why does he need it? He already flew once, why does he need it again?

  • Why does he sound like an airplane?

Other thoughts:

  • I always assumed "Lambert, the Sheepish Lion" was connected to "Dumbo" because of the stork and because they aired on 'World of Disney' together.

  • I have never liked this movie, I don't like the treatment of the animals, "Baby Mine" is the saddest scene ever, more scary scenes (like the thunderstorm and setting up the circus)

  • The storks head to Florida, what seems to be the Miami area.

  • The delivery of the animals is super easy on the moms.

  • Mrs. Jumbo is so sad when her baby doesn't arrive.

  • "Dumbo" is mentioned in "The Reluctant Dragon".

  • There's a sign for the circus!

  • They never say what the name of the circus is. I assume it goes by WDP Circus at any given time.

  • Florida is very hilly in this movie.

  • I have always enjoyed the Stork in this movie.

  • I really don't like the other elephants in this movie, they're all catty and bitchy.

  • Mrs. Jumbo is a new first-time mom, they should be easy on her.

  • Since Mrs. Jumbo has to sign for her package, elephant art.

  • The train station that the stork gets pulled to, looks a lot like the train station in Toon Town.

  • Dumbo is pretty cute, the Dumbo baby plush they sell in the parks is pretty cute

  • Most women aren't going to tell you to your face that your baby is ugly. They'll talk about you behind your back.

  • Every single one of the catty elephants gets what they deserve.

  • I do like that the train silhouette still shows the giraffes sticking their heads out.

  • Thunderstorm! (I'm telling you, every movie so far!)

  • I think it's funny that the Gorilla rips the bar out of their cage and puts it back. Not really realistic.

  • Another organ!

  • Clown Band.

  • Clowns and circuses freak me out!

  • Clowns are never fun!

  • They keep walking by the opera and I want to know what they're playing.

  • I hate the kid taunting Dumbo. It upsets me. I think he deserved the elephant attack.

  • You shouldn't tease animals, especially wild animals.

  • Then Mrs. Jumbo gets put in chains and is considered a "mad elephant". The poor animal treatment upsets me.

  • The other elephants are so elitist and judging the single mom.

  • Why doesn't Timothy have other mice friends? Where are the other mice?

  • It is nice that Timothy befriends Dumbo.

  • I feel like elephants don't have beautiful tails, and I see a lot of tails.

  • I feel like the clowns have absolutely no safety backup or protection.

  • Sad part!

  • One of the cross-stitch books from 1980 has a pattern for Dumbo in his yellow hat and collar.

  • I don't know why but "Baby Mine" reminds me of the episode of "I Love Lucy" when Lucy is pregnant.

  • "Pink Elephants on Parade" is one of my favorite Disney songs, especially the samba part or whatever that part is called.

  • Dumbo gets his magic feather, and then he immediately loses it.

  • He makes it into the news!

  • There's a date on one of the newspapers at the end - March 12, 1941.

  • War component at the end of the movie - the newspapers and such.

  • The bitchy elephants are all nice at the end ...

  • It's nice that Mrs. Jumbo gets her own car at the end of the movie.


Fun links:





Colorado Historic Newspapers article about "Dumbo"

Play Disney Parks


My Dumbo Brooch

*Funko Pop Disney: Dumbo

*Disney Tsum Tsum Dumbo

*Dumbo in a Blanket plush animal

*Sally Hansen Base Coat

*Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Let's Meet

*Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Earl Gray

Stripe Rite Nail Art Polish in Yellow

Fing'rs Nail Polish Ombre Set in Red

*Seche Vite Top Coat


Pictures from my Collection


Pictures from the Parks

*Remember: This project is just for fun. Your experience may vary.

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