Monday, October 25, 2010

Mommy Movie Review: Dumbo

This is the second installment of the Mommy Movie Review.  This week we are visiting the movies Dumbo (here) and Mary Poppins (on Kristi's blog).  As always, these are our opinions and you are free to take them or leave them. 

Dumbo

I remember seeing the movie Dumbo as a little girl and just thinking it was a cute movie about a baby elephant, but after watching it again as an adult a mother, I saw this movie in a completely different light.  I saw a mother who loved her baby despite what "society" thought- that her baby was not "normal".  I saw a mother who didn't care about the consequences to herself, she was going to do whatever was necessary to protect her baby from the cruelty of others.  And at the end, I cried (totally serious here!) as I saw this mother sit in a private train car as her now star baby flew above her, no longer despised and looked down on, but esteemed and given celebrity status.

Suzette's Positives
  • This movie shows the unconditional love of a mother for her child.
  • Although it is not accurate, I like how the stork is used to show the arrival of the babies. Children really do not need to know the facts about child birth as young as preschool... but that is a topic for another day.
  • The value of a true friend who will stand beside you when everyone else turns away is a major thread throughout the story. Timothy (small as he is) stands beside Dumbo and is always a voice of encouragement. 
  • I really cannot stand malicious gossips!  So I am so totally thrilled that at the end the gossipy elephants are pelted with peanuts!  I know, God is still working on me in that area.....
  • The movie is only about an hour long.  It makes for a nice short movie time.
Suzette's Negatives
  • After one of the circus performances, the clowns celebrate with champagne.  One of the bottles falls into a bucket of water that Dumbo takes a drink from (completely unaware that the water has been mixed with champagne).  Because of this, Dumbo gets drunk and has an hallucination (which is how he flies up into a tree).  As children get older, we can use this part to teach them that drunkenness hurts our bodies, can lead us to do things that we are unaware of until after the fact, and makes us see things that are not really there.  (Use everything as a learning lesson.)
  • When the mother elephant goes on her rampage to protect Dumbo, Addie got a bit confused and started saying that she was a bad elephant.  It took a while to explain to her that the mommy was only trying to protect her baby, she was not being bad.  I'm still not sure she totally understands.  Children are very black and white (which is a good thing!).  She saw the elephant throwing a tantrum and called it bad (after all, it is bad when she tries to throw one) not understanding that the mother was only responding to the bad boys who were picking on Dumbo.
Rating: 9!  I think it is a sweet movie, and there are many teachable moments held within this movie. 

Because we have only viewed Dumbo through our library rental, I decided to go ahead and order a copy for Addie for Christmas.  But, shhh, don't tell her! 

Mary Poppins is another Disney classic about a nanny and the lessons she teaches her two young charges.  It has been a while since I have seen it, but the songs are still in my memory. Be sure to check out Kristi's post on her views of this movie, and remember, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down..."

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