Disney Plans Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ Remake with ‘Transformers’ Writer [UPDATED]

Disney is developing a live-action feature based on the 1941 animated film Dumbo. Ehren Kruger, who has written or co-written three of the four Michael Bay Transformers films, will write the script. Kruger’s story will add a “unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s story,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Disney developed an animated Dumbo 2 in the mid-2000s through their DisneyToons branch. The project was cancelled after the Disney/Pixar merger in 2006, at the urging of John Lasseter, who considers the original his favorite animated feature of all-time. Lasseter once told the NY Times:

Hands down. Dumbo is my favorite film for many reasons. It’s very tight storytelling. It’s amazing to have a main character not speak at all through the whole movie. It is the most cartoony of all the Walt Disney features, and I love the style of it. The music, the characters, it’s just fantastic. It’s just over 60 minutes long. It’s a very well told story. And it’s so emotional too, especially for parents. It’s really amazing.

Something tells me he won’t have the same luck stopping this latest attempt to recycle Dumbo.

UPDATE: Last March, illustrator Larry T. Quach made an illustraton for his own amusement that explored the concept of a more realistic Dumbo. Little did he know…


  • James VanDam

    Hope full optimism….

  • Grant Beaudette

    I’m sure the crows will be tastefully and expertly portrayed in the hands of the writer of Transformers 2.

    • cetrata

      Did anyone at disney actually watch his work?

    • Inkan1969

      I’m sure they’ll be the same as the sidekick birds in the “Rio” movies. Tracey Morgan could play a crow once he recovers.

  • DangerMaus

    Whoever came up with this fucking terrible idea should be staked to a hill of fire ants. I’m sick and tired of the unstated idea that animated films have no legitimacy as an art form until they are turned into shitty, awful live-action films. You know that every connection to Disney’s past animation as an art form has been severed when these three-piece suited bean counters pull down their pants and take a dump on the classics with these moronic ideas.

    • Pedro Nakama

      I second that!

    • Miki-Li Coh

      Completely agree. At the most, I would even say that they should just trade design for design and not go with an ultimately creepy realistic look and just make it all cg, but to be honest, 2D characters, as far as what I’ve seen, does NOT translate well into 3D.

  • Alatriste

    Can’t wait for Dumbo to reign fire on the circus owners and mean elephants as he flies away with tons of explosions in the background.

    • Lou Romano

      In this particular case, there is no hopeful optimism, Sir. There is only…Oh Dear.
      (Sadness).

      Also, does this mean that my wages will be low-balled? Oh, Flinkety-Flonk!

      Zinkety-Zonk!!

      • Alatriste

        I know, just by the title it seems like a terrible post-modern-three times-regurgitated-cynical joke…But hey, they can never take away our feelings towards Dumbo, the one and only.

  • Jesse

    I kind of feel that if “Jungle Book” turns out to be a bomb this will be cancelled.

    Either way, I’m gonna pray for this to follow the same route Fincher’s 20,000 leagues remake….

  • sidney

    Unfortunately when this turd gets made enough folks will pay to see it and keep the trend going forever. I suppose if worst comes to worst it could be Shia Labouf’s comeback vehicle, or something…

    • Alatriste

      It’s rumored that The Rock is playing Timothy Mouse

  • Steele

    Geez….they can’t come up with original content anymore? Or how about rebooting some of their older stuff like Gummi Bears or Gargoyles? I would prefer a live action Gargolyes and not Dumbo. Sheesh. :-/

  • Max W

    Finally they can update Dumbo’s dated skin texture!

    • Ryoku240

      I’m just thinking of the behind shots…another reason to hate todays demands for realism.

  • http://mattdeanart.com Matt Dean

    There’s no doubt that this and the condom ad directed Chip ‘n Dale movie will go together hand in hand…assuming they aren’t both murdered in pre-production.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Dumbo’s face on the article preview pretty much sums up my reaction to this.

  • http://www.geloyellow.com/ Gerard Lopez

    What’s funny is that Angelina Jolie at a Maleficent press conference in the UK joked about making a dark version of Dumbo if ever Disney plans to make another live-action version of their classic animated films.

  • DBenson

    There’s an ancient line somewhere to the effect that it’s the promising failures that should be remade. How about the live-action Popeye? Or “Condorman”, as a tighter sendup of the comics industry at the peak of collector mania? Or even “The Black Hole” without dueling screenplays?

  • Pencils

    Oh no.

  • Michael Barker

    This sounds like a cruel joke

  • Guest

    The Transformers films had writers?
    (ba-doom-ching!

  • Pedro Nakama

    There was a writer on the “Transformer” movies?

  • SarahJesness

    Why? What’s the point? The original movie was great. Furthermore, why have a family story to parallel Dumbo’s story? Why do remakes and adaptations of things that aren’t about humans need to have some new human characters shoehorned in? Elephants are highly social creatures with strong family bonds, so it’s not like some humans are needed for believable emotional investment.

    And if there’s not a lot of animal on human violence (elephants are intelligent, emotional animals, and the abuse they often face in circuses can make ‘em snap) it’s going to be even worse. Missed opportunity.

  • insert name here

    So are they just determining their future projects using Mad-Libs now?

  • top_cat_james

    Well, I seen a cock block;
    I heard a tramp stamp;
    I even saw someone spin a muffin top.
    But I done seen ’bout everything,
    when I see a box-office flop.

    • tt

      Every other Disney reboots r highly successful, so it can’t flop.

  • Pissed Off!

    can’t wait to see the live action opening of “the song of the rousetabouts”

  • nicho

    they just want to make a trilogy using the Elephants on Parade trippin’ sequence

  • Jay

    Seriously….what the f**k

  • George Comerci

    This is going to be horrible!

  • jhalpernkitcat

    Please don’t–Pink Elephants on Parade was terrifying enough as it is–I don’t want to see a CGI/live action version of it!

  • James

    Not quite sure what everyone’s getting upset about. This is obviously going to be up there with the Godfather.

  • Jonathan Wilson

    To be fair, they have been trying to do a sequel (& prequel) to “Roger Rabbit” since the films release. The live action “Little Mermaid” is already happening (not by Disney…), along with “Beauty & the Beast”:

    http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/sofia-coppola-to-helm-the-little-mermaid/

    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/bill-condon-beauty-and-the-beast-disney-1201151834/

  • TDA

    supposedly there’s a Rescue Rangers live action script floating around. it’s starting.

  • bob

    Fuck off Disney

  • AnimationGuy

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen CB comments in unanimous agreement.

  • bob

    Y’know what made the Disney classics so great?? They were NEW. They loved depicting LIFE as they saw it using classic stories as their vehicles, to push themselves creatively and discover new techniques. I’d rather cozy up to a living breathing human being on the couch than a dug-up rotting corpse of someone I once loved.

  • Toonio

    This happens when mediocre pieces of cinema like Malificent succed at the box office. Thanks mindless Disney fans! (You too as well Satan).

  • Ryoku240

    If this had the special effects from Transformers I’d have no complaints, but Transformers writing?

    Maybe they’re taking the Spy Kids route, lending the job of writing to a kid for a film kids will enjoy, right?

  • Ryoku240

    You’d lose your suspension of disbelief otherwise!

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      I suppose, but I simply don’t need to know.

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      I suppose, but I simply don’t need to know.

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      I’d rather do, seriously.

  • Harrison

    This is beyond ridiculous. They already screwed Sleeping Beauty hard enough already with Maleficent, now they’re seriously going after Dumbo? Walt Disney is rolling and crying in his grave just from seeing what has become of his legacy.

  • Richard Huemer

    This makes me especially sad because my Dad and Joe Grant worked on the Dumbo story when I was 6 years old, and Dad tried out some of the story’s situations on me (including stuff that didn’t end up in the film). “Dumbo” exemplifies the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The story is complete and near-perfect in itself, and can only be diminished by embellishment. The Dumbo we love never grows up heavy as a jetliner, grounded until he dies of old age. He lives entirely and perpetually in that sliver of time encapsulated in the movie, where we can visit him whenever we feel the need to, like something we once dreamed.

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      Preach on!

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      Preach on!

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    This is a VERY bad idea.

  • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

    One’s coming out? Oh well, I’m sure that’ll feed the fire.

  • Jessica

    Sure it is, by Hollywood’s standards. It’s primarily a live action film with some CG. The CG isn’t going to be done by Disney’s animation studio, which is under Lasseter’s direction. It’ll probably be handled by the same studios that did the CG for Maleficent and their previous awful live action remakes.

  • Dusky

    Walt Disney is rolling over in his grave.. Or cryogenic chamber or whatever. Wasn’t he all about innovation and NEW things? I’m not sure what’s more depressing, the concept of this live action re-make or the kids that will be raised on it. And don’t get me started on how weird the merchandise might be. Now if it was done Roger Rabbit style that might be a fun watch. Oh, who am I kidding. :/

  • James Stanley

    Good point. Makes sense to do Dumbo as it was born during Disney golden age back when it first made it’s scores on the industry. Still, makes you wonder what Walt would have thought of this?

  • Terri

    I cringed when the words “Remake” and “Tranformers Writer” popped up. However despite all that I’ll wait until a trailer comes out.

  • http://www.doodlesinanimation.blogspot.com Annie T.

    And WHO thought this was a good idea? Maybeeee it could work… but not with the writer they have on it right now. Praying to St. Jude that this ends up in the pit of forgotten film concepts. (For you non-Catholics, St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes.)