Dumbo (1941)

Screenplay Genre: Animation / Family / Musical

Movie Time: 64 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

After waiting anxiously for Mr. Stork (Sterling Holloway), Mrs. Jumbo (Verna Felton), an elephant in the circus, receives a special delivery—the adorable baby elephant, Jumbo Jr. Mrs. Jumbo loves him all the same, but when the other elephants see how big his ears are, they tease him for being different. (00:10:08)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Some kids visiting the circus start harassing Jumbo Jr., or “Dumbo,” for having such huge ears and Mrs. Jumbo can’t keep them away from him. She goes on a rampage, attacking anyone who comes near and is imprisoned as a “mad elephant” for her troubles. Dumbo is now all alone. (00:18:18)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Dumbo is befriended by Timothy Q. Mouse (Edward Brophy), who helps him get the climactic role of the pachyderm pyramid. If Dumbo is the star of the show, he can get his mother out of jail. But Dumbo, on the night of his big debut, messes everything up by tripping on his ears. (00:30:18)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After being relegated to the clowns, because that’s all he’s good for, Dumbo and Timothy get stinking drunk and wind up in a tree. The only way he could have gotten up there was to fly himself up with of course… his big ears. (00:51:40)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Timothy and the Crows helped Dumbo learn to fly by giving him a “magic” feather, but when he loses his grasp of the feather mid-fall during the clown act, Timothy lets him know it was just a gag to get his confidence up—he could fly all along. Dumbo realizes this and flies around the big top. (00:58:50)


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