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Parent reviews for Dumbo

Common Sense says

Visually impressive remake is sweet but sometimes dark.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 52 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 29 reviews
Adult Written byAllykayyy April 9, 2019

Straight up depressing. (Classic Tim Burton.)

Like someone else said, it has a happy ending but the overall tone of the movie is NOT for kids. It's basically a Series of Unfortunate events but with an elephant. I didn't realize when we went in that it was a Tim Burton film but slowly started to realize it seemed like one of his as the movie went on. HOWEVER. I'm usually a fan of his work, so I thought that was great! But honestly he really dropped the ball on this one. Really dramatic scenes of Dumbo losing his mom were enough to trigger some girl in my theatre of only 10 moviegoers into crying and walking out to recollect. I can't imagine how many reactions there would be if it had been more crowded. Every scene after that was basically just toned down animal abuse. My 8 year old whined "I don't like this movie" throughout 75% of it, til the 'happy ending' came into view. Idk. It was a good movie with a lot of hard work into it but overall they really missed the mark.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bymovieman48 April 1, 2019

An Elephantine Flop

The early cartoon version of Dumbo had simplicity, charm, humour and at least one cracking good song. Tim Burton's pedestrian remake has none of these qualities. Weighed down with a cumbersome and humourless elephantine script - it comes in at twice the length of the cartoon - it really takes itself too seriously. Come on - this is a one-joke movie about a flying elephant not a treatise on animal rights! The only decent thing about it is the amazing CGI when the elephant does fly. If you've seen it in the trailer, then don't bother with the rest! Burton - surely the most over-rated director in Hollywood - makes as big a mess of this as he did of Alice in Wonderland.I noticed one of the kids near me had gone to sleep by the end. Hopeless!
Adult Written byGoodWriter April 6, 2019

Dumbo is a Creepy Film With Creepy Characters

What a colossal disappointment! The film presents a creepy backdrop of scary circus characters, replete with cross-dressed robots, horrific clowns, and a dystopian version of California's Disneyland -- a subtle swipe at Disney itself, hidden in the forest of Artificial Intelligence (remember the AI film?) -like CGI structures and beings. What was Disney thinking when it hired Tim Burton to produce a family film! Unless you want your kids waking up to nightmares, avoid the film until they reach adulthood; and then, avoid the film entirely to save precious time tweeting, reading, surfing the net, and engaging in other, more valuable exploits. The film's trailer is all one needs to see to get the idea.
Adult Written byChristel Swasey April 1, 2019

Too Sad and Dark

My son was sobbing through a lot of it. The last minute happy ending did not solve the drawn out sadness of the movie. It was a downer, and definitely not for young kids. Only the graphics were good. The story was not.
Adult Written byNeon 999 April 5, 2019
Adult Written byKeegiebear April 6, 2019

Ok but concerns

Great movie but. Language is what i am disappoints me, i should recommend this movie for 11 of 12 years and up!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byABeeBee March 30, 2019


In reference to the reviewer who wrote that having the mother die in the influenza epidemic at the end of WW1 was "ridiculous and brain washing", please do your research as millions of people did die in this epidemic that swept the globe, particularly in Europe and US and Australia. It was a cruel blow to many families after the tragedy and losses of the war. I for one appreciated the period detail and accuracy of the film. I do agree that it is only suitable for older children. I think a lot of parents don't take the time to read up on films before they go and just assume that 'it's for kids' so any age child will be ok. My son's first film 20 years ago when he was 5 was Thomas the Tank Engine and he even found that scary in places!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byReza Odimus March 29, 2019

Don’t pay attention to Critical Reviews

Bottom line is that this is an excellent family movie that has all the feels and some really good messages regarding what should matters most when it comes to family. I will not mention those as they would be spoilers.
I dare say that as far as Disney animated movies and characters go, Dumbo was not one of my favorites growing up as I thought it was a little silly albeit sad in the beginning but, Tim Burton’s Dumbo really warmed my heart, to my surprise.

If you are a parent of a 5 year old or under who is sensitive to stories or fears about kids being separated from close loved ones, I do recommend you talk to them about it beforehand or just be prepared to comfort them when those moments occur in the movie.
Not much negative I can truly say about the film. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Hopefully, you will enjoy it as much as my family and I did.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byCassiethatsme June 17, 2019

Turned it off half an hour in...

I'll start off by saying that movies that include harming animals or abuse to animals, I can't watch, they effect me too deeply, i'm still traumatized by Water for Elephants. I knew what I was getting myself into before I turned on Dumbo as I obviously know the original story, but being a Disney movie, I thought they'd find a way to tone down the circus abuse and make this remake a magical family movie. Unfortunately they did none of that, within the first half an hour it was one depressing event after another, I couldn't take it anymore to put myself out of my misery and shut it off. There's no way I would let my 4 year old watch this, I wouldn't recommend ot for under 10 just based on what I saw in the first half an hour. Epic Fail in my books!!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byTaz2311 March 31, 2019

Brilliant tribute to the original with Tim Burton style

BRILLIANT MOVIE! Totally fine for kids! As a guide- my daughter is 5 and loves The Greatest Showman and Tim Burton’s Alice in wonderland, so she already understands the themes of discrimination and family values. The only “scary themes” (as mentioned in the online reviews) were Nightmare Island at the theme park (animals behind bars dressed up as a werewolf, a croc-dinosaur thing, etc.) and a nasty trainer who gets crushed by a pole when the tent falls on him. You don’t actually see anything graphic- you just know he’s dead. Brilliant tribute to the Pink Elephants scene - no dumbo doesn’t get drunk. Also a wonderful Tim Burton style tribute to Michael Keaton’s beetlejuice role through his wardrobe. Much more modern take on animal cruelty and welfare and a fantastic ending. Very impressed.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byUrpiana March 29, 2019

Very disappointed. When the principal caracter comes back from the war finds a horrible panorama: Influenza killed tons of people! I found this to be ridiculous and brain washing. Then, it was little scary for little kids. Too much fire. My 5 years old start crying in the middle of the movie and said she didnt wanted to look at it anymore or she would have nightmares.

Adult Written byJIJ1087 July 5, 2019

Boring, Dark, Depressing, & nip slip

I am a huge Tim Burton fan but I was so disappointed in this movie. I found it very boring, dark, and lame. My husband, three sons ages 7-10, and I all fell asleep on and off watching this. There was also a very clear nipple shot of the mermaid character that should’ve definitely not been there.
Adult Written bySummercyprus1980 May 5, 2019


I watched with my 7 year old son. He was not at all impressed with the movie. Not that it wasnt full of fantastic effects but what bothered me was the darkness it made me want to leavw the theatre and made the movie even more depressing. At moments of happiness I expected it to be bright and colourful but it just wouldnt happen. It remained dark through the. This made me hate it as in reality its a movie for kids more than adults so i couldn’t understand why it had to be made so dramatic and i loved the original as a child. Good but wouldnt ever handle watching it again
Adult Written byCRColbrun March 31, 2019

too stupid for even small children

even little children can figure out that these big ears will not override the laws of physics and gravity to lift a small elephant. If Tinkerbell and Peter Pan needed pixie dust, then this catastrophe needs a Titan Rocket to get off the ground.
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byEmellbee March 31, 2019

Lovely family film

Great film, visually beautiful and perfect for family viewing . I really don’t agree with the reviews which say the movie is very dark . There were a couple of sad or tense moments which may upset younger children. My 7 year old absolutely loved - as did we.

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Positive Messages
Adult Written byWonderWise March 30, 2019

Good but not a children’s movie

There is significant bullying and explotation of baby Dumbo and his mother. I found it disturbing as an adult and would only recommend the movie for children 8 plus as long as they are more mature. I was struck by the dark nature of this movie. There is some advanced thinking here with the young daughter being the brains of the family. Also, there are many who work together to reunite Dumbo with his mom. I cried several times during the show. One common theme of the movie is meanness.
Adult Written byBanthony72 February 15, 2020

Wasted Opportunity

This was the perfect story to choose for a live action update. It’s familiar to so many and still topical. It’s a story that lends itself to the current CG abilities. The cast was wonderful. Tim Burton was NOT the right choice for director. He turned the Story of Dumbo into a sinister dark uncomfortable wreck. It could have been amazing.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byVanvalkenburghm December 15, 2019

How did Disney not notice this?!?!

I was watching this late at night and I come upon the mermaid scene, everything seems normal and stuff just a dramatic rescue scene when, right there you see it, in the scene you can see the mermaids nipple uncovered from her dress, I mean how can you rate this Pg when there is nudity! My guess is Disney did not catch this and so therefore did not fix it.

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Positive role models
Parent of a 4, 7, and 8-year-old Written byjin80 October 8, 2019

Sad and dark and scary at times

Too scary and dark for 3yo and 6yo. And honestly as a parent it was pretty sad and violent and appalling at times. There were some scary clowns too (more scary than usual). No one in our family enjoyed this.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byRarityfan2019 September 19, 2019

Hey Dumbo, let's be positive

I waited in 4 years for the Dumbo remake and that was worth it. I hope for some Oscars runners up this Winter.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
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