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  • Anvilicious: Animals being trained to perform in circuses is technically animal cruelty and circuses should get rid of all their animal-based acts. Made even worse since nobody who watched the original movie really saw a problem with it featuring animals in circuses, since they are well-aware that it was Fair for Its Day.
  • Awesome Moments: The circus troop banding together to save Dumbo and his mother. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • Arcade Fire's surprisingly touching end credits cover of "Baby Mine".
    • Danny Elfman's rendition of the classic Dumbo songs "Pink Elephants on Parade" and "Casey Jr" are great to hear, being a mix of their classic versions but with the Elfman touch.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Not that the original was incredibly relevant to the plot either, but the pink elephants here are simply a regular act in the circus, and clearly appears for the sole reason that it's a Signature Scene of the original.
  • Cliché Storm: One of the chief criticisms of the remake is its totally by-the-numbers script and story structure. When it isn't rehashing elements of the original film, the new human-focused story elements basically fill them in with lots of cliches from other family and fantasy films. The one dimensional personalities of the lead characters and the sluggish pacing only helped call further attention to the film's all around uninspired nature.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Disney puts out a movie about the evils of corporate mergers... just days after concluding a massive deal to buy out Fox. This was not lost on professional critics and had an effect on the film's critical reception, as those critics who most enjoyed the film mainly did so because of its political and social commentary.
  • Narm:
    • The Pink Elephants on Parade sequence, which is actually quite cool, is punctuated by Dumbo nodding along to the music. About six times.
    • Millie’s interest in science never once has any effect on the plot (aside from her making the link between Dumbo's flying and the Magic Feather, which rather predictably turns out to be a False Cause anyway), making it extremely obvious that it only exists for cheap feminist points without actually putting any work in.
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  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Due to an hours worth of Adaptation Expansion, the film has a rather sluggishly paced first act that the lion's share of the original films elements are crammed into before the film veers off into newer territory when the protagonists wind up working at Dreamland.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Critical reception of the film has been mixed, with many saying that while its not a bad or badly made film, it's far from Tim Burton's best work, has an all around paint-by-numbers feeling to its story and direction with only hints of Burton's signature style, and ultimately falls far short of the original animated movie. Many critics, such as Leonard Maltin, have called it a servicable but totally unnecessary retelling since it adds so little of anything new or fresh to the tale. In short, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who truly loves or hates this film.
    Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: Dumbo is held partly aloft by Tim Burton's visual flair, but a crowded canvas and overstretched story leave this live-action remake more workmanlike than wondrous.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The trailers are clearly making an effort to hide the fact that Holt is missing an arm, which has a lot of people simply wondering why.
    • There's also the Uncanny Valley look of the title character to contend with and the fact that this is definitely a Human-Focused Adaptation — one that's 112 minutes long versus the original's 64 and appears to be condensing most of the original's events into its first act.
    • Watching the trailer while keeping in mind that "Dumbo" is actually an insult and his real name is Jumbo Jr. really makes the kids look like jerks. In the film proper, Milly decides to call him Dumbo because she thinks calling him “Jumbo Jr.” would make him miss his mother too much.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The film being a Human-Focused Adaptation in the vein of the 1996 101 Dalmatians remake (and even that at least had an iconic human villain to work with instead), putting less focus on Dumbo and leaving Timothy Q. Mouse out of the picture.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A common criticism with the film's human-centric approach is that Dumbo is relegated to a supporting role in his own movie. The most poignant moments in Dumbo's life are undercut by the inclusion of needless subplots and uninteresting human characters, several of whom don't even add to Dumbo's story.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Dumbo's face with his huge blue eyes looks unsettling, more human-like than a baby elephant's.
    • The curved grill on Casey Junior's "face" gives him the appearance of a creepy grin, almost a Slasher Smile. Worse, he was originally going to just have a curved bar as a nod to his animated counterpart, which makes one wonder why they thought this was better.
  • Values Dissonance: As decades went by, a lot of people noticed and complained about the original 1941 film's insulting portrayal of the black roustabouts and especially the minstrel show-esque crows. While this human focused adaptation removes Jim Crow and the like entirely, there remain issues regarding animal welfare: Many animal lovers, especially from the American continent, have called out the film for "nostalgically glamorizing" the circuses of old, even though public awareness has grown about the miserable plight of circus elephants that were caged, separated from their families and beaten with bullhooks to make them comply. The film actually makes it a point to portray said circuses of old as horrific, and to stress that the spirit of the circus can survive just fine without wild animals.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Or in this case, Directing Agency. While some are under the assumption that this choice was made because of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from the original, plenty of people are baffled as to why Tim Burton of all people was chosen to direct the film.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • In the climatic scene, where Vandervere, frantic to stop a plot to help Jumbo escape the circus, overloads Dreamland’s electrical system (after Dumbo and Collette had cut power to most of the park to allow Medici’s troupe to carry out their plan), starting a huge fire that destroys much of Dreamland. Had he just calmed down, taken a deep breath and listened to his control booth technicians, he would have properly restarted the electrical system.
    • Dumbo's mother having to be sent away from the circus again because her cries were distracting Dumbo from his performances. You expect for Vandervere to all the more keep her to incentivise Dumbo into staying and while putting the family back together. Instead he tries to send her away, resulting in the third act.

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