The legacy of Disney’s DUMBO continues to last for generations beyond its original 1941 release. Visionary Filmmaker Tim Burton takes the reins in the upcoming 2019 live-action remake of the animated classic. In-town for a rare visit to promote its release was Golden Globe and EMMY Award-winning Actor, Author, Producer and Filmmaker, Danny Devito. Known for a large expansive body of work despite his diminutive frame, Devito has starred in several classics like Big Fish, Tin Men, Throw Momma from the Train, Matlida, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, Romancing the Stone, Twins and Batman Returns.
We hear Devito endured quite the wait arriving in the City the other night, which we had a chance to ask him about. There was a reported fire at Toronto Pearson International Airport, but being the true professional he is, he was ready to go bright and early for a day of Press, starting with an exclusive at CITY’s Breakfast Television.
Devito stars as Max Medici, whose circus is revived when he learns that his baby elephant born with oversized ears can actually fly. V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) is a flashy entrepreneur with big plans, expressing interest in incorporating Dumbo into his new grand venture, Dreamland propelling the baby elephant to stardom and potential riches. That is until, it is learned Dreamland actually harbours some unsettling, dark secrets. It is up to amputee war veteran Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) along with his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to protect Dumbo’s best interests after he is separated from his mother, Jumbo.
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There were jugglers, popcorn, cotton candy, face-painters and a even a man on stilts at the festive affair. A Snapchat filter even was deployed for the occasion. Walking the Red Carpet at the Film’s Canadian Premiere at Scotiabank Theatre were the likes of Alexandra Porat (The Launch), Kyla Young (The Marijuana Chronicles), Luke Bilyk (The Marijuana Chronicles), Dalmar Abuzeid (Anne with an E), Cindy Sampson (Private Eyes), Scott McGillivray (Income Property), Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Danielle Graham (eTalk).
We ask these notable Canadians what the legacy of Dumbo means to them:
The Mississauga native featured on CTV‘s The Launch recently, attended the Premiere and tells us, “I think there’s a beauty in these Remakes. I’m a huge fan of something animated coming into live-action.”.
“And I think it’s also important for children to be introduced this kind of storyline. Sometimes it’s harder to watch older films. When they see the live-action, it might inspire them to watch the original. I think they’re both going to be very different and special in their own ways.”.
The Toronto Actor known best for his work on Degrassi, just wrapped on locally-filmed The Marijuna Chronicles, based on a true story of a group of women who partook in an outlandish experiment where they were tested rigorously after marijuana use. He says, “I think one of the greatest things about these live-action Remakes of all these classics is that people born in 2001 didn’t get to experience the cartoon itself and everything it meant to us. The young kid who’s nine or ten years old getting to watch The Lion King or Dumbo and real people get to see real actors.”.
“Not only does it spark imagination, but for little actors out there, young people who wanna start getting into this industry. They see it’s not a cartoon, you can really see that that magic can be real in real life.”.
Young also stars in The Marijuana Chronicles and reveals, “I saw Dumbo for the first time when I was eight and I was so sad. I’m a crier and I was a crier when I was eight.”.
“I think it’s so awesome that someone like Tim Burton who has such a unique and twisted mind can bring this fantasy to life again in hopefully a totally new and different way.”.
The Private Eyes Actress who stars alongside Jason Priestley, tells us “I was obsessed with Disney movies as a kid, I loved them obviously. I’ve cried over this Movie over a hundred times already and I’m kinda hoping that I’ll make it through as an adult – strong.”.
This Anne with an E star is a fan of remaking stories. He tells us, “Well, I think there’s always something to be learned from re-telling stories especially because there’s new angles and perspectives, new things to consider when you’re telling a story.” .
“I’m part of a show, Anne with an E, re-telling a story that’s been around a really long time. There’s something about people we recognize, figures and characters we’re familiar with, because then we’re more likely to wanna listen and take something away from their story that we’re so familiar with.”.
The Real Estate guru arrived at the Premiere with his family. He states, “With everything going on in the world, it’s a very relevant topic about inclusion, people’s differences and all the things the Circus represented in the Movie.”.
“I think it’s appropriate and fun and maybe something for the kids and all of us to learn.”.
The Actress who has been hard at work on The Handmaid’s Tale and promoting the Made Nous campaign in advance of Canadian Screen Week, arrived also with her family. “Dumbo resonated with so many children. It was devastating to watch as a child. As a mother of two beautiful young boys, I love the story. I love how it goes into the relationship between a mother and son.”.
“Also, I like the idea to embrace who you are and what you are and the special qualities that seem odd and translate that into your real life and make it work for you.”.
The icon dishes on his troubled landing in Toronto Sunday night. He says, “We were stuck in the airport for three hours last night because of a grease fire in a restaurant that was in the International Arrivals terminal of the airport. It was a comfortable and nice time, everyone was really nice. There was no alcohol. When you park at the gate, you can’t have any alcohol. I slept a bit, I read, I went on my phone and went on Twitter. I love Twitter, I love Social Media.”.
“The thing is in the original 1941 movie, there were so many great values. Talking about the others, Xenophobia, acceptance and the thing inside you that you can contribute to the world and yourself. We kept all those things. The Animal Rights thing, we made sure to address that because we feel animals should not be imprisoned”, he adds.
We ask him also about reuniting with Tim Burton and Michael Keaton once again. “They’re like our family. Tim and I have done five movies together. Michael and I have done three. It’s really good to work with your friends.”.
See our Chats:
See some more Snaps from the Red Carpet:
Scott McGillivray + Family
Luke Bilyk x Kyla Young
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release DUMBOFriday, March 29, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/David Baldwin/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)