- April 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm #98915
I totally agree with you Ryan. I have a hard time understanding all the criticism. The movie reflects many of the usual Burton thematics. It is also very faithful to the original Disney film. It’s very moving, and in my opinion, Elfman’s score is absolutely perfect on screen. It’s definitely Elfman’s best work for more than a decade, when you hear it with the images. It fits so well, it’s almost like magic.
I started to work on adapting the main themes into a piano suite, and I realize how complex the different themes are. Even Dumbo’s theme. Every time it appears, it’s slightly different. The melody changes depending on when it’s played. The ending of the theme is almost different every time. And even the harmonies change. So subtle. Very clever.April 8, 2019 at 9:00 pm #98916
The Dumbo stuff is great (bar the Baby Mine scene which took place too soon/would’ve been more effective without the song). It’s the human stuff that bogs it down. Thandie Newton’s daughter is a robot and, as much as I love him, Keaton’s performance is so off. I loved Eva Green’s character though; she does so much with so little.
I did like it more the second time, but this really could’ve been something special if they’d just kept the focus on the elephants.April 8, 2019 at 11:43 pm #98917
Again, this is part of the Burton’s classic themes. Humans being boring. And minorities being full of life. Remember Corpse Bride. The living are boring.
Same with Beetlejuice. They’re all off. That’s the whole point. The daughter in Dumbo reminds me of Christina Ricci in Sleepy Hollow. That innocent face that’s just there. But you don’t see much personality.
Even in Miss Peregrine. The girl (who does look like the daughter in Dumbo by the way) doesn’t say much. It’s just typical of Burton.April 9, 2019 at 6:39 am #98918
I indeed like that, like his main Charlie & The Chocolate Factory theme, the Dumbo’s theme seem to never end the same way; it’s a very versatile melody that can go in any direction and that’s where you see how a better composer he has become with years.
I don’t plan to see the film in theatres though, I’ll wait for the blu-ray release. It’s bombing quite hard in the US, Burton can’t really pull off a hit since Alice…April 9, 2019 at 5:56 pm #98919
The family in Beetlejuice are the heart of that movie, though. It’s their story – despite the title of the movie. Charlie’s home life is ‘normal’ and what have you in CatCF, but, again, that’s what the movie is about – the good child is the one who pulls through (it helped that, unlike with Dumbo, Highmore was/is a talented actor).
The Corpse Bride comparison works – but I’d hold that against that movie too. When Corpse Bride is about Victoria, it really works. But that’s only when it really works.
You’re right that Burton’s leads have often been ‘normal’ in contrast to the wacky goings on. But Keaton’s Bruce Wayne was always interesting and had wonderful interactions with the other characters. Highmore’s Charlie was sweet and earnest and a much-needed contrast to the other kids. Alice’s story is the part of AiW that works best.
Victor in Frankenweenie, Jake in Miss Peregrine and Millie in Dumbo? Just dull characters I don’t want to spend time with – not least when there’s an adorable elephant that I’m 100% invested in.April 9, 2019 at 8:35 pm #98920
*Emily, not Victoria. My bad.April 19, 2019 at 11:36 am #98926July 16, 2019 at 6:56 pm #98987
Nominated for a Saturn Award.
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