It looks like Disney is never going to stop making the live-action versions of its animated classics until there’s none of them left. Before Disney announced its plan to develop a live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast“, it was reported that the studio was already planning to develop a live-action version of “Dumbo”. Ehren Kruger, the “Transformers” franchise writer is set to pen the script while “Oblivion” producer Justin Springers will produce alongside Kruger.

Months after the announcement, Wall Street Journal broke the news that a director is now officially attached to helm the project and he is none other than Tim Burton.

Tim Burton
Source: Hollywood Take

Having previously directed Disney’s live-action reinvention of “Alice in Wonderland”, Walt Disney Pictures president of production Sean Bailey announced that the “Big Eyes” director is returning to the studio for the live-action remake of “Dumbo”.


Released in 1941, “Dumbo” is the 4th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Despite being one of Disney’s shortest animated features (64 minutes), it was the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s. The film is based on the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl in a scroll-like item called a “Roll-A-Book”.

Though none of the “Roll-A-Book”s have ever surfaced, the story fit the bill when Disney was looking for a simple little story to be turned into an animated feature. It chronicles the journey of a baby circus elephant who is ridiculed for its big ears and nicknamed “Dumbo”. After his mother was locked up for trying to protect him, a mouse named Timothy stepped in to become his mentor and protector. The story parodied the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants through the relationship between Timothy and Dumbo.


The movie is notable for several classic songs including “When I See an Elephant Fly”, Oscar-nominated “Baby Mine”, and “Pink Elephants on Parade”. It is unclear whether these songs will be included in the film, but similar to “Alice in Wonderland”, the film is expected to be a mixture of CGI and live actors. Bailey described that the studio will “add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey”, indicating that the live-action film is not going to be as short as the original animated film.

The new “Dumbo” film does not have a release date yet.

Following the release of 2014’s “Maleficent” and 2015’s “Cinderella”, the studio is also currently working on the live-action adaptations of “The Jungle Book”, “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass”, and “Beauty and the Beast”.

Burton is best known for his peculiar films such as  “Beetlejuice”, “Edward Scissorhands”, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. His future projects include “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass”, and “Beetlejuice 2”.

(Source: WSJ / Featured image)

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