Meeting the Cast and Crew of Disney’s Dumbo Live Action Film

Dumbo has always been a beloved movie by a lot of people. Disney is releasing a new live action version on March 29th. We have been invited to attend both the screening and the press conference. The screening was held on March 9th and the press conference was held the next day, March 10th. We are sharing with you some moments from the press conference.

It was presented in two parts. The moderator for this event is Grae Drake who is an entertainment journalist, host and film critic.

Derek Frey (Producer), Katterli Frauenfelderv(Producer), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer), Colleen Atwood (Costume Designer), Danny Elfman (Music by), Ehren Kruger (Screenplay by & Producer), Justin Springer (Producer) were present for the first part of the press conference.

They each shared their contribution to the movie and how they brought Dumbo to life.

Rick Heinrichs, who has known Tim Burton for 40 years, was asked to talk about the look of creating a Tim Burton film. He said, “The exciting thing about working with Tim is, in many respects, is you dig deep into the history and the period and all of the things one normally does to bring all the toys with to play with on the table and Tim sweeps all that aside and, um, you sort of put it back together as a Tim Burton film and it’s always a blank canvass you start with. Uh, it feels dangerous, exciting and challenging and Dumbo is certainly no different from any other time.”

Derek Frey, one of the producers, was asked by Grae, “why right now is the perfect time for this kind of reimagining?” Derek said, “it’s a simple story, it’s a beautiful story and, uh I think a lot of the themes, the story that Ehren created, you know, they’re universal things. It’s about family, it’s about believing in yourself, it’s about, uh overcoming uh, judgment and people, you know, looking at you in a certain way like Dumbo’s kind of a bullied character. I know that’s something like we’re dealing with socially right now. To place it back in a time period and place this heightened reality, I think, we can learn a lot now by looking back.”

Danny Elfman was asked, “When Dumbo flies the theme is triumphant and you’re no stranger to doing triumphant themes for movies. How did you hear that particular theme and compare it in contrast with other triumphant scores that you’ve done?” Danny’s reply was. “Um, I don’t really know, I mean, when I wrote Dumbo’s theme, I wrote it as a very sweet, sad thing, you know, cause that’s always what makes me excited. And the sadder it is writing it the happier I get as a composer. So, but I do try to put my themed though bit of an acid test which uh, means I have the melody I like – can I make it triumphant, can I make it quirky, can I make it silly. It’s like I gotta put it through each of these things. Whenever it’s gonna be asked to do, I need to know that it’ll do that. I don’t wanna find out when I get there that, oh my God, this music just doesn’t wanna get big or triumphant. So, that’s part of my process. Like put it through all those things, and I learned, you know, ok, when it gets big, it’s gonna go this way. It’s gonna do this and, um, I didn’t at that point there’d be quite as much triumph. Very early on, Tim was like, I like that. And whenever Dumbo’s in the air, he’s like, do that thing!”

They discussed a lot of other things that was done in creating the movie including costumes.

We moved on to the second part of the press conference which includes Tim Burton (Director and Executive Producer), Colin Farrell (Holt Farrier), Nico Parker (Milly Farrier), Finley Hobbins (Joe Farrier), Eva Green (Coletter Marchant), Dany DeVito (Mac Medici) and Michael Keaton (V.A. Vandevere)

Grae started this part by asking everyone which performer in the circus do they identify the most. Tim, who was first to answer the question, said, “None of it. I mean, it’s funny I’ve made some circus movies but never liked the circus. But I like the idea of it.” Colin’s answer was, “No. I’ve never seen the circus. Never. Except in the world of Tim Burton coming to a cinema near you.” Nico then replied, “I think, probably, the contortionist. Like when they climb on top of each other. It was like, it’s just cause I can never do any of that – I just thought all of it was incredible.” Finley, who played Joe Farrier, said, “Um, for me the jugglers, because uh, you have an excuse if you, like, go wrong you can throw stuff at people’s faces.” Eva replied to the question with, “Me, I would have to say trapeze people, aerialist. I was always been petrified of heights, like a real phobia. And thanks to Mr. Tim Burton, I’ve overcome my fear.” Danny DeVito was next and said, “I really love the aerialist, the high wire tight rope walker. They really astound me. It’s balance, and grace, and daring all the things that I lack.” Last one to give his answer was Michael Keaton who replied, “I’m with him (Danny) the aerialist and Eva. Um, first of all, the most anything I wanna do is fly – that would be it for me. I have those flying dreams. Uh, and I say that like everyone has a flying dream. But the aerialist do knock me out. Um and all that stuff and trapeze artists.”

There’s a lot of other exciting things that they talked about. I’m not going to go into details, so as not to spoil anything for you guys.

After the press conference, we were led to another room for snacks and some photo ops which I really enjoyed.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars to see Dumbo soaring on March 29th. It’s a great movie for the entire family. I’m already planning on seeing it again. Stay tuned to my official review.

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