Tuesday, June 25, 2019


family movie night
Thanks Walt Disney Studios for providing us DUMBO for free to review
Da da dada dada da da da … we imagined our house transformed into a circus for a family movie night watching DUMBO. Tim Burton's live-action adaption of the classic Walt Disney Studios animated film is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital to add to your home entertainment video library. My kids spent an evening clowning around as we played carnival games, took circus themed photo booth pictures and watched DUMBO on our television while snacking on cotton candy.

For some pre-movie watching activities I set up some carnival inspired games. Hang up Balloon Dart Stick-On Game on a wall to add some circus atmosphere to a space while also providing a fun activity. Have a friendly family competition in the ball toss.  Give out a prize to whoever can fish out the most ducks in the shortest amount of time in the Fishing With Ducks game. Juggling, ring toss and corn hole are some other fun activities for a circus themed night of family fun to help get you in a festive mood.

Goofing around we also played a game inspired by DUMBO where everyone took turns blowing a feather up into the air. The person who can keep the feather airborne the longest without touching it wins. My son dominated the rest of us in this game. I guess that make sense as he often seems to be full of hot air.

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With a circus backdrop we had a good time taking some photo booth style pictures with cardboard cut outs and stick props. Taking funny pictures is an easy thing to do together as a family that is sure to get everyone laughing and enjoying themselves. They make nice mementos of spending family time together that can be printed out for a photo album to look back later on when your children have grown up; especially if you want to embarrass them in front of their own kids some day.

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Now it was time to get to see an elephant actually fly around the inside of a circus tent. We pretended to enter the big top of Medici Brothers Circus to see this spectacle. Hoisting bags of cotton candy we jumped on the living room couch to watch DUMBO soar across the television screen.

Walt Disney Studios

The movie begins with famed horse stunt rider Holt Farrier coming back to the circus he performed in before being drafted to fight in World War I. Shell shocked and missing a limb, Farrier returns to find Medici Brothers Circus has fallen on hard times and with his disability is relegated to a job no one else wants … caring for the elephants.

When the circus owner purchases a pregnant elephant, he hopes the adorable baby will be the circus' saving grace. But when the baby is born with oversized ears it is instead harassed and jeered by audiences. Mocked with the name Dumbo things aren't looking good for the elephant or the circus it was supposed to help turnaround.

But then Farrier's children discover a secret! Dumbo can fly! Dumbo becomes the main attraction bringing in huge crowds and revitalizing the circus. He also attracts the attention of an entertainment mogul who wants to feature the flying elephant at a larger-than-life amusement park called Dream Land.

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What can go wrong with that? You will have to watch the movie yourself to find out! Just say Burton's direction of the film inserts some of his trademark gloominess into the story leaving you wondering if DUMBO will have a happy ending.

That being said this is a very family-friendly movie that all ages can enjoy watching together.  While the villain of the story is deplorable there really isn't any obscenity, sex or violence for parents to be concerned about. The movie is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for character peril, thematic elements and brief mild language. I'd say the movie probably could have been rated G except for it shows a carnie being abusive to animals and killed off-screen in a circus accident related to his behavior; Dumbo is in a suspenseful scene where young viewers might be scared of him being in real danger; and one of the characters references working as a stripper in her past. So with that in mind parental guidance is recommended by the MPAA.

While the circus audiences mocked Dumbo before they knew he could fly for his appearance, I actually thought the elephant looked cute even with big ears. The movie does a nice job with special effects so that while watching the show, you forget Dumbo is a cgi creation. You feel for Dumbo as a character on par with the real life actors and actresses around the baby elephant. That for me is what makes DUMBO special and demonstrates the magic of movies!

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We had a great DUMBO family movie night!  Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for sending us a Blu-ray+DVD+Digital combo pack of DUMBO before the official home entertainment release of the movie. Also thanks to Wholesale Party Supplies for providing us with the props to make our family movie night extra fun.  If you are looking for decorations for any occasion they have a great selection priced to be agreeable with family budgets.

family movie night

For more information about the home entertainment release of DUMBO and where to purchase it, head over to movies.disney.com/dumbo-2019

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