Of all the Disney Animated classics, Dumbo has the most ‘Song of the South’ moments. The crows and a drunk elephant are not what I would call ‘classic Disney’. And yet, they do make for two of the most powerful moments of the film. The most powerful, of course, is “Baby Mine”, which was nominated for an academy award. So why would Disney be revisiting Dumbo? Perhaps for a new musical heading to Broadway.
The concept was brought to Disney by Stephen Daldry, the Tony Award-wining director of “Billy Elliot: The Musical.” Previously it had been rumored that Disney said no. But now a NY Times article has Disney Theatrical admitting it’s in the works.
What’s good about re-imagining Dumbo into a musical is that they can tackle some of those sensitive issues. But keep in mind that Dumbo doesn’t talk in the movie and he flies. I can’t wait to see what they do about that.
Disney Theatrical only has two shows open on Broadway right now, “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins”. So they have room for one or two more. Fans will be happy to hear that one of the other projects in production is “Newsies”, which gave Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) his start with Disney. If they’re looking for another, why not bring back “Beauty and the Beast.” I think it might be time for a ‘special encore’ performance.