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Was Dumbo that bad...

Ogmore

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157
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when we were little? I ask because I took my niece and nephew to the cinema to catch the late, cheapie film and it was horrific. I can't imagine that many parents thinking it was such a cozy film or young kids. I vaguely recall bits of the cartoon, mainly that he was a young elephant who was teased for having big ears. I don't recall the harsh abuse of circus animals being so front and center. Maybe I'm just misremembering the events in an old film I watched at home as a child, or maybe I was just too young to appreciate what it meant to be a circus elephant, but surely mum would have turned it off if it was disturbing. I teared up the cinema when Dumbo's Mum started rocking him and signing to him. The whole thing was just dreadful. Was Dumbo always that bad?
 
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DandyMandy

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110
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Yes, it really was that bad, you're just getting sucked in with the nostalgia or you're just forgetting how sad it was. I saw the cartoon as an adult and was horrified, even though I didn't notice how sad it was as a kid. By the way, the mom sings Dumbo that same song in the cartoon version. It was heartbreaking!

Lots of Disney's movies are really pretty terrible when you think about it. When I saw Aladdin as a kid, I didn't recognize that Aladdin was a poor teen from the streets who was stealing to survive, or how he might have bonded so closely with Genie because he was a bit of a father figure and wishes could be a means to escape poverty. I also didn't consider that Aladdin might have been so close to Abu because the poor guy just had no one in his corner to care about him.

Cinderella is another doozy. Her father sits back and allows her stepmother and stepsisters to abuse his only daughter. She talks and sings to the mice and birds because she's got to be lonely and never hears a kind word. The ending shows us that her only way of escaping domestic abuse and servitude is through marriage.
 

Ogmore

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157
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Well, I like to boast that I was a young binge-watching prodigy before Netflix even became a thing - it impresses the birds - but now you've got me rethinking my whole childhood. Maybe all those Disney films were really meant to psychologically prepare me for the cold, cruel world where a stepmother can poison her kiddo with an apple simply because she's too lovely. I believe I've seen that play out on BBC News and in Snow White.
 

headrush

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Messages
107
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Children's stories can get so grim but still stay enjoyable and definitely memorable. Charlotte's Web is really heartbreaking. There's also the dark, un-Disneylike twist in the original The Little Mermaid.
 

jack25

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156
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18
Well, now that you mentioned it, I find Dumbo to be controversial in more than one ways. The intended message that we should celebrate rather than mock each other’s differences, seems not to come out clearly.
 
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