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“Dumbo, the 9th wonder of the universe! The world's only flying elephant!”
―Timothy Q. Mouse
Dumbo is the protagonist of Disney's 1941film of the same name. He is a young elephant and the son of Mrs. Jumbo. Dumbo is most famous for his giant floppy ears, which give him the ability to glide in the air. As an infant, he was bullied and harassed for his abnormal ears. While defending Dumbo from such bullies, Mrs. Jumbo was thrown into solitary confinement. To rescue his mother, Dumbo devotes himself to becoming a star, with Timothy Q. Mouse as his mentor and protector.
Dumbo has the personality of a small child. He is playful, innocent, and very fun. He loves being around his mother and hates being alone. He is somewhat naïve, as he did not realize Smitty and his gang were taunting him or that the "magic feather" was simply a way of thinking. Dumbo is also very easily scared, evidenced by his encounters with the clowns, the pink elephants, and, like all elephants, Timothy Mouse. However, he is also very open-hearted, such as with Timothy and Jim Crow and his brothers, and never seemed to express any true anger or resentment toward those who tease him.
As he is only a baby in his first appearance, he does not talk during the film, save for some quick squeaks. However, in Dumbo's Circus, he does talk when he's a teenager.
Dumbo is a small Asian elephant. His skin is gray, his eyes are blue, and his tail is very small. His ears are very large (which the other elephants don't like), but he uses them to fly. He has a small proboscis with two large nostrils at the end of it. Dumbo wears a small yellow conical hat, which Timothy uses as a seat to ride the elephant standing inside the brim, and a frilled orange clown collar with a central yellow stripe.
In his debut, after being delivered by a stork, he is named "Jumbo, Jr." by his mother Mrs. Jumbo, and all the other female elephants remark on his cute looks. The baby elephant then sneezes after the Elephant Matriarch tickles him on his trunk and reveals that his ears are much larger than average. As soon as his big ears are revealed, he is teased by the other female elephants, who call him "Dumbo". After Dumbo's mother closes the door to their stalls, she wraps up Dumbo in his own ears and they rest peacefully. Dumbo later takes part in setting up the circus tent with his mother and the other elephants and circus animals at night as they arrive at their destination.
The next day, Dumbo takes part in the opening parade for the circus with his mother and the other elephants, but accidentally trips on his ears and falls in a mud puddle, thus, causing everyone to laugh at him. A few moments later, Dumbo is given a bath by his mother and they spent time playing with one another. Once people come into the circus for a tour to see the circus animals, Dumbo gets laughed at by some boy bullies and his ears are pulled by a boy who wanted to tease him, thus, considered a laughingstock to them. When his mother tries to protect him, she is believed to be mad, and is captured and imprisoned by the Ringmaster and his guards. Dumbo is left by himself feeling sad, while the other elephants laugh at him and regard him a disgrace. When Dumbo tries to have a hay meal with the other female elephants, they give him the cold shoulder and he walks away without a friend in the world until he meets his soon-to-be best friend, Timothy, whom he was afraid of at first when Timothy scared all the elephants for picking on Dumbo, but then, Dumbo and Timothy become friends when Timothy offers to help him get his mother out of the clink.
Timothy, having overheard the teasing Dumbo endures earlier, decides to help Dumbo become a circus star. The first attempt ends in failure, as Dumbo once again accidentally trips on his ears while attempting to jump to the top of a "Pyramid of Pachyderms" as the climax resulting collapsing the big top and all of the elephants injured, he then emerges his trunk through a hole on the big top swinging his flag, but it break in half due to the collapse of the big top leaving him swinging what's left of his flag. The failure results in the circus making Dumbo into a clown, which depresses him and makes him a real laughingstock to the circus, the people, the clowns, and the other elephants. To cheer him up, Timothy takes Dumbo to visit his mother, but the visit ends too soon.
Later, Dumbo and Timothy accidentally become drunk when they drink water that has been accidentally mixed with champagne due to the clowns' clumsiness. Dumbo uses his trunk to blow bubbles for Timothy to play with, but shortly after, they both begin hallucinating; seeing Pink Elephants. When they awaken, they somehow end up in a tree after meeting some crows, who are amused by an elephant being in a tree and tell them about their situation. After getting back down to the ground while falling from the tree, Timothy wonders if Dumbo either jumped or climbed up to the tree until he finally comes to believe that Dumbo flew (due to one of the crows' ironic suggestion), thus, amusing the crows and making them sing "When I See an Elephant Fly". But after Timothy tells them Dumbo's sad story, they feel sad and bad about their earlier action and decide to help Dumbo use his ears as wings to fly and to use the "magic feather" as a token to encourage and increase Dumbo's confidence. Dumbo is finally seen flying in the air, much to Timothy and the crows' amazement and delight.
At the circus' next stop, during the act, Dumbo is able to fly without the help of the magic feather after accidentally losing it and after Timothy begs him to open his ears, therefore, impressing the crowd and allowing Dumbo to get some payback on those who teased him by taking off a clown's mask resembling Dumbo's mother, throwing it on the Ringmaster's buttocks who ends up getting his head dunked into a bucket of water, causing the clowns to accidentally burn themselves on their buttocks, then he decides to vacuum up some peanuts with his proboscis from a peanut seller's stand, and spray those peanuts on his rude aunts and Mrs. Jumbo's "sisters". Dumbo becomes the greatest star in America with Timothy as his manager.
At the end of the film, it is shown that Dumbo's mother has been released and the two share their own private coach, they then wave goodbye to the crows who are standing in an electric pole.
During the launch of the Disney Channel in 1983, Dumbo's Circus premiered. It is a live-action/full-body puppet show that aired the same time as Welcome to Pooh Corner. Dumbo, now a teenager, is able to talk. Dumbo also has new friends, such as Lionel the Sideshow Lion (and his Chief Lieutenant), Q.T. the Calliope-Playing Orangutan, Fair Dinkum the Ringmaster Koala (and his sergeant), Sebastian the Ventriloquist Alley Cat, Lilli the Detective/High-Wire Cat, Barnaby the Magician/Clown Dog, and others as well.
He also appears in Mickey's House of Villains and along with the other guests locked in the club's kitchen and held captive as the villains take over.
In the 1950s, Dumbo and Timothy made an appearance in the animated opening of the Mickey Mouse Club.
In The Great Mouse Detective, Dumbo made a brief cameo as a bubble blowing toy when Basil, Dawson, and Olivia were investigating a toy shop.
Dumbo makes two brief cameos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His first cameo is at the beginning of the film, where he flies in front of R.K. Maroon's office, much to Eddie Valiant's shock. Mr. Maroon mentions that he has rented Dumbo from Disney along with half the cast of Fantasia, and the best part of it is that they work for peanuts (literally in Dumbo's case as Maroon gave him some before he flew off). His second cameo is at the end of the film, during the final scene where he is seen shaking Eddie's hand as he flies back to Toontown along with the rest of the Toons.
Dumbo made a brief cameo appearance in Bonkers, episode "Of Mice and Menace", which introduced the villain Flaps the Elephant. He is shown crying at the police station because Flaps had stolen his flag.
Dumbo appears as the titular character of the live-action remake of the animated film. Unlike in the animated version, Mrs. Jumbo gives birth to an elephant calf named Baby Jumbo instead of receiving him from a stork, since Mr. Stork is absent in the remake. Max Medici then orders Holt Farrier to hide his ears so that they do not hurt the circus' reputation even further. During a performance in the circus, Baby Jumbo is presented in front of a crowd (with his ears hidden) as he ends up inhaling a feather from an audience member's hat, causing him to sneeze and reveal his enormous ears. Meanwhile, when the audience witnesses the broken "Dear Baby Jumbo" sign, which now reads "Ear Baby Dumbo", everyone begins making fun of the calf, calling him "Dumbo" as the audience throws peanuts and other objects at him. This prompts Mrs. Jumbo's abusive handler Rufus to begin taunting her about the mistreatment of her son, causing her to storm into the ring in a fit of rage. She ends up accidentally bringing down the big top, killing Rufus in the process.
After the circus tent collapses and Mrs. Jumbo becomes locked up in confinement, Dumbo is comforted by his mother while Miss Atlantis sings "Baby Mine" with Holt's children Milly and Joe comforting him. They then learn that Dumbo will only fly if he has inhaled a feather through his trunk. The next day, Medici sells Mrs. Jumbo back to her original owner so that the circus does not run into a public relations disaster. Wanting to "salvage something", Medici puts Dumbo in the clowns' firefighter act in which Dumbo is the act's primary gag, being lifted up to the top of a burning building to save a monkey dressed as a woman. However, Dumbo ends up trapped on the top platform, leading Milly to climb the broken ladder to give him a feather to help him fly. The platform then collapses, prompting Dumbo to fly, impressing Max Medici and the audience.
When the circus moves to an amusement park called "Dreamland", the park owner V.A. Vandervere makes a demand during a circus act where Dumbo should fly with trapeze artist Colette Marchant. During an act with Marchant, Dumbo hears his mother calling for him as he escapes the circus to find his mother locked up in the attraction "Nightmare Island", located elsewhere in Dreamland. However, the audience becomes unhappy when the act with Dumbo and Colette goes wrong as they leave the circus in anger. Dumbo then reunites with his mother, but the guards take her away as Vandervere fears that Mrs. Jumbo may become a distraction to Dumbo. Vandevere then reveals to his employees his intentions to have her executed, causing one of them to resign and inform the Medici troupe. Realizing that Dumbo's mother is in trouble, the Medici Brothers' Circus troupe and Holt plan to rescue Dumbo and his mother and release them into the wild. The circus performers plan to get Mrs. Jumbo out of her enclosure in Nightmare Island while Holt and Colette guide Dumbo to escape the circus. Vandevere tries to stop them by shutting off the park's power, but accidentally starts a fire that burns down the park as police arrive.
Holt, Colette, Milly, Joe, and the circus troupe manage to bring Dumbo, his mother, and all the circus' elephants to the harbor and load them onto a ship bound for India. Dumbo and his mother eventually end up in a secluded elephant sanctuary where they are able to roam freely and live among dozens of other elephants.
In the game, Disney villains have taken control over their stories and altered the endings so that they can have the "happy endings". For Dumbo, the Ringmaster made it so Dumbo must endlessly perform humiliating stunts at his circus, as his slave. Fortunately, the player, as well as Jiminy Cricket, are able to save the briefly fallen heroes.
In Kingdom Hearts, he was apparently the sole survivor of the destruction of his world. Like several other Summon characters, Dumbo's spirit survived in the form of the Watergleam Gem, which Sora discovered while trapped inside Monstro. Upon giving it to the Fairy Godmother, she restores Dumbo's spirit and Dumbo becomes a summon companion for Sora.
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Dumbo is recreated from Sora's memories, in Castle Oblivion, and returns as a summon.
In the 1955 opening of Disneyland, Dumbo was a character that met guests. Over the years, Dumbo was seen in pictures, ads, and merchandise only. He notably has his own attraction known as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, one of the most popular attractions in the parks.
Dumbo was one of the original characters and this marks one of his few live appearances in the parade. Dumbo has since been removed, but in the Tokyo Disneyland version, Dumbo is present as a part of the parade float.