Directed by Tim Burton, the film will be released in March 29, 2019 and is a remake of the classic 1941 cartoon. The story concerns a baby circus elephant with unusually large ears, who is named “Jumbo Jr.” but generally called “Dumbo.” Teased by the other animals, his main friend is Timothy Mouse, though he is later aided by a mischievous gang of crows who help him learn how to fly, using his large ears like wings.
The emphasis is pretty much all on the animals, who, in typical cartoon fashion, can talk, with the exception of Dumbo himself (presumably because he’s too young). In this film, however, it looks like the animals will be portrayed more realistically, and that most of the story will be centered on the humans of the circus, who barely fit into the 1941 version.
Colin Farrell plays Holt Farrier, a one-armed veteran/former circus star who is instructed to care for Dumbo by his boss, Max Medici (Danny DeVito); he befriends the elephant along with his children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins). Eventually, V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) acquires Dumbo to work at his new entertainment venture, called Dreamland, while Holt comes to realize that something fishy is afoot.
From what we see, it looks as if they have collectively taken the place of Timothy Mouse, while we see Milly take the crows’ job of giving Dumbo the “magic feather” that supposedly lets him fly. (Verisimilitude aside, the crows are also controversial these days for being
caricatures of black people.)
The most famous fact about Dumbo is that he is able to fly; if you haven’t seen the original movie, however, you might be surprised to learn that this concept comes up in the third act, and Dumbo only actually succeeds in the last few seconds of the movie, giving him a triumphant ending. The trailer likewise saves the flying for the end, though it is likely that it will be a more important part of the plot, such as why Dumbo goes to work at Dreamland.
It is not completely clear yet if the animals are all mute, but so far it does seem to a more human-centric take on a fairly different plot.