5 Disney Movies You Didn’t Realize Were Secretly Horrifying
By Darrin Jones / December 31

3. Dumbo

But what about a movie about a baby elephant? Surely there can’t be anything more then a fun family romp that everyone can enjoy. Dumbo is the classic Disney film about a baby elephant that was dropped off at a circus by a stork--because that’s how baby’s work!--to be loved and cared for by his momma elephant, Mrs. Jumbo. The other elephants are thrilled for the new addition until they find out that the baby elephant has over-sized ears and proceed to mock him for the majority of the movie.

How can you make fun of that adorable face! He’s wittle face is so adowable.

Eventually Dumbo uses his unusual ears to learn how to fly and becomes a nationwide icon. Dumbo becomes an overnight celebrity, and he and his mother live happily ever after. Except for everything that’s horrible about it!

There are so many problems with this story it’s hard to know where to start. Of course we should get the elephant out of the room first. (Eh, see what I did there?) As most people that saw Dumbo during the political correctness age are well aware of, Disney had some bizarre depictions of minority characters.

“Can you guess what non-caucasian race I represent?”

But let’s look at the most glaring problem with the movie Dumbo, the fact that the baby elephant’s name is, in fact, NOT DUMO! That’s right, ‘Dumbo’s’ name is suppose to be Jumbo Jr. as decided by Mrs. Jumbo, you know, the elephant’s mother. Really, it’s just as bad as changing the title of Roots to Tobey. ‘Dumbo’ is the cruel name that everyone made up to make fun of Jumbo Jr.’s over-sized ears and now it’s the only name he’s known by.

And I didn’t make that Roots comparison just to seem edgy. I know I’m edgy, you know I’m edgy, ‘nough said. But if you take a step back you’ll see that elephants are treated like seconded class citizens. Actually it’s worse, they’re treated like circus animals! But as we can see the elephants are obviously intelligent and sensitive but they are forced to preform dangerous stunts and be tossed around in the back of train carts slamming into walls whenever the train grinds to a halt. It’s during a circus performance when Jumbo Jr. is being tormented by a rascally audience child, seen here:

Kids, always whispering sweet nothings to elephants.

...that Mrs. Jumbo steps in and gives the kid a spanking standing up for her child and elephants everywhere. Of course this act of bravery gets her relocated to her own personal trailer separated from the other elephants with plenty of time to just relax and-

Oh...uh, honestly kids, elephants LOVE confined spaces.

Seriously, it’s only after Jumbo Jr. becomes a circus star that his mother is let out of her circus grade solitary confinement. Even then, she’s still circus property like the rest of the elephants. See while ‘Dumbo’ himself is treated with high regard and given preferential treatment, every single day he watches his fellow elephants being pushed into cages, shouted at by crowds, and forced to do circus tricks until they finally die. How bad are these circus stunts? Well before Jumbo Jr. knew how to fly, this is what the circus thought would be a great trick!

Yeah, those are real flames and he is jumping out of a prop building suppose to be at least 100 ft high.

But maybe you’re thinking that ‘Dumbo’ started some kind of elephant Civil Right’s movement. Maybe a wave of change washed over the citizens and elephants were treated with more respect. I’ll grant that Disney might’ve intended for the world to have been changed in their opinions of animals in general by this film. But then there’s always the other odd quirk of the film. There’s a freaking flying elephant! That’s extremely dangerous! The world isn’t designed to support anything as big as an elephant that can fly. Think I’m overreacting?

Oh look, he’s on telephone-pole wires. What’s the worse that could happen there?

Seriously, for anyone that’s had a bird crap on their car just after they sent it through the wash, now there’s also elephant-sized brown-bombs raining from the sky. But what happens when ‘Dumbo’ grows up? I mean sure he’s ears are over-sized now but that’s because he’s a baby elephant. Eventually his body is going to catch up and the world’s only flying elephant will no longer be able to get airborne. The crowds will forget about him, the world’s view of elephants will return to normal and poor poor Jumbo Jr. will live the rest of his life in a circus cart remembering the days when he was free to fly anywhere. It’s okay buddy, Superman II knows exactly what you’re going through.

Jump to: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

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