Elephants on parade!


Today is Elephant Appreciation Day! And though I won't try to outdo our friends at YesButNo with spectacular elephant linkage (there's a trunk joke in there somewhere), I will take this opportunity to provide some trivia, courtesy of IMDB, about the most precious pachyderm in human history. I speak, of course, of Dumbo:

  • It's the only Disney animated feature film that has a title character who doesn't speak. Also, Mrs. Jumbo (Dumbo's mother) only speaks once when she says Dumbo's original name, Jumbo Jr.
  • In December 1941, Time magazine planned to have Dumbo on its cover to commemorate its success, but it was dropped due to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Initially Walt Disney was uninterested in making this movie. To get him interested, Joe Grant and Dick Huemer wrote installments which they left on Walt's desk every morning. Finally, he ran into the story department saying, "This is great! What happens next?"
  • During production there was a long and bitter animators strike, in which half of the studio's staff walked out. Some of the strikers are caricatured as the clowns who go to "hit the big boss for a raise."
  • While trying to comfort Dumbo, Timothy says: "Lots of people with big ears are famous!" That's a joke with Walt Disney himself, who did have big ears. The line also refers to Clark Gable, renowned for his charming looks and large ears.
  • Cels for Dumbo are the rarest in the industry. The animators, after the scene was safely "in the can," would strew the used cels in the corridors and go sliding on them.

Despite all this, Dumbo still isn't my favorite animated feature about elephants -- this is.