Following in the steps of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, 1941 Disney classic Dumbo has had the live-action remake treatment – by none other than the inimitable Tim Burton. It’s not his first foray into Disney remakes, after reimaging Alice in Wonderland in 2010, but the renowned director of such weird and wonderful gems as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Batman perhaps injects less of his dark undertones into the material this time for a family-centric tale that does return to his love of the outsider.
Mesmerising visuals created from an epic set and hundreds of extras mean animated graphics sit alongside the analogue in an explosion of colour and activity. An all-star cast is led by Colin Farrell and Eva Green with Danny Devito and Michael Keaton reunited along with Burton after Batman Returns – though this time the good and bad guy roles are reversed.
We were there to meet the cast and creatives behind the film at Dumbo’s European premiere at the Curzon Mayfair.
The stunning Eva Green, in a sequined green dress no less, told us about how she admired Tim Burton as a visionary director and her experience of working with him.
Colin Farrell, who plays Holt Farrier, hired to care for the baby elephant Dumbo, spoke about the film’s themes of being an outsider and what attracted him to the role.
An animated Tim Burton told us how he and his cast are a weird kind of family.
DeObia Oparei told us about his character Rongo the Strongo and why he wanted to be involved with the movie and its relevance to today.
Joseph Gatt spoke to us about playing Neils Skellig and the allure of being a Disney villain.
Sharon Rooney, who plays Miss Atlantis, said the opportunity to work with Tim Burton and be a mermaid was impossible to say no to.
Young Finley Hobbins told us about playing Joe Farrier, Holt’s son, and how the opportunity to be in such a big film with an incredible director and cast was a dream come true.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published The Upcoming on 22nd March 2019.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
Dumbo is released nationwide on 29th March 2019.
Watch the trailer for Dumbo here: