Have you ever rewatched a movie that you saw as a kid but haven't seen since?
This weekend I treated Billy to his first viewing of Dumbo. What's not to love? It's got the circus, elephants and a train. This is going to be awesome!
Well, while I remembered the story, I remembered it from a child's point of view. I associated with Dumbo, the "baby" in the story. I found the pink elephants terrifying. And the other elephants I recalled as being completely mean.
Then we watched it this weekend. And now I have a mother's perspective. This is a heart-wrenching movie. Tear your guts out heart wrenching. The poor Mrs. Jumbo who's wanted a baby more than anything finally has her little baby boy. He may be a little different, but she loves him. And in an act to protect her baby from the mean kids, the circus locks her up away from her baby.
The scene where she can't even see her child, but holds him in her trunk anyway is perhaps the saddest moment, even if this is a triumphant story.
Unfortunately, while Disney does such a fabulous job of making timeless tales, this one really falls down and I couldn't help admonishing myself for judging it against today's standards.
For one, new mothers and their babies aren't put on display where the viewers can actually touch the animals. Not any more, at least. Mother's instincts are to protect their young. Keepers wouldn't expose the public to that danger, nor the animals to that stress. But that's modern thinking.
Okay, okay. I'll stop judging an old film. It may be a classic, but I don't think this one will make it into the regular circuit at our house. Not without some perspective.