Joe is the rambunctious young son of Holy who heartily embraces the circus life. He'd love nothing more than to have his own act — but his acrobatic abilities, juggling talent, and just about every other imaginable circus skill are not quite up to standards. When Dumbo is born, however, his enthusiasm and pure heart seem to meet their match.
Behind the scenes
Finley Hobbins makes his feature film debut as Joe. "For my first audio on, I had to perform a scene with a fake Dumbo, which was actually casting director Susie Figgis' dog, because we didn't actually have a model of Dumbo," he says. "Every few seconds the dog would jiggle around and we'd have a laugh. I had to do the scene where Dumbo is just siting around, feeling quite sad and lonely, so me and Nico go to comfort him."
Hobbins says he's enjoyed being among the circus performers. "I like the clowns, who are quite freaky and funny," he says. "And the contortionists are amazing. I just think to myself, 'Wow, what if I could do that?'"
Role in the film
As Joe and Milly are happy to see Holt back, they find out that he didn't see them for a long time. During a conversation with Max Medici, he explains to Holt that he wouldn't want to be a show-off in the circus if only Milly would do the trade to which she decides she would do scientific discoveries while Joe explains that he can do handstands for ten seconds, just as Max explains that the circus will be bankrupt by July.
The next day, Joe and Milly wake up Holt, explaining that the elephants need them just as they approach an animal handler named Rufus Sorghum to which doing a conversation between him and Holt is interrupted when Joe and Milly notice what is wrong with Mrs. Jumbo. They later find out that she gave birth to a calf named Jumbo Junior as everyone reacts upon discovering him just as Max gives Holt a deadline to take care of him by two weeks. Later, Joe and Milly tell him that he is part of the circus family just as they take care of him. During a conversation with Max, they tell about the tricks they taught him to do. He tells them to leave him alone.
During a circus act, Joe and Milly gaze upon Holt trying to protect Dumbo, as he is now called, from the audience just as he tries to calm Mrs. Jumbo down. As she goes on a rampage across the tent, Holt, Joe, and Milly retreat from her. They notice her being taken away from the circus for being a mad elephant the night before, separating Dumbo from her just as Holt, Joe, Milly, and the performers react to them being separated. That night, Joe and Milly comfort a lonely Dumbo in shelter just as they notice him flapping his ears due to the feathers he inhaled. They react to this and decide to add him to the next act in which he is made into a clown during a clown act so the circus can earn more money.
During the act, Holt, Joe, and Milly react in shock when Dumbo is about to fall off the collapsing platform. As Joe tells him to fly, Milly tells him that he can't do so without a feather, so Joe gets one from a dove's cage and gives it to Milly who then gives it to Dumbo so he can fly. The act, however, is a success as he flies across the tent and everyone reacts in awe.
The next day as the circus is traveling to Arkansas, Holt cleans Dumbo's pen while Max tells businessman V.A. Vandevere that it was Joe and Milly who taught Dumbo how to fly and that he is taking his circus to an amusement park called Dreamland. Holt, Joe, Milly, and the performers travel there as part of Vandervere's plan. Arriving there, Colette Marchant tells Joe and Milly to know how to make Dumbo fly, to which it is explained that he needs a feather in order to do so. During a conversation between Vandevere and Colette, he tells her that Milly will show how her act with Dumbo works with help from Joe. He and Milly then watch it which turns out to be a failure because Dumbo flew out of the arena. Joe and Milly arrive at the spot where Mrs. Jumbo (billed as "Kali the Destroyer") is displayed at, much to Vandevere and Neils Skellig's chagrin and Holt's empty protests. As Holt, Joe, and Milly arrive at Vandevere Enterprises, Joe and Milly explain about Dumbo wanting Mrs. Jumbo back but Vandevere refuses much to his plan.
With the whole troupe fired, Holt, Joe, Milly, and the performers plan to rescue Dumbo by releasing him alongside Mrs. Jumbo. As Max, Neils, and Vandevere arrive at the backstage area, they spot Joe and Milly who are planning to escape while Holt manages to rip open part of the tent to rescue Dumbo, much to Vandevere doing his evil plans to arrest Joe and Milly. Later while they are surrounded by Neils in the tent as the fire blocks the exit, Holt comes to the rescue on his horse and captures him. Furthermore, Dumbo manages to rescue Joe and Milly and extinguish the fire. Holt, Joe, and Milly manage to escape from the tent as Dumbo escapes from Dreamland.
Flying across the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan (alluding to one of the newspaper articles from the end of the original film), Holt, Joe, Milly, and the performers arrive at the port to bid Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo farewell before they're released into the wild.
When the circus is re-established as the Medici Family Circus with a new policy to not include wild animals, a facility known as "Milly Farrier's World of Wonders" is built while Joe rides a bronco made of acrobats and Holt and Colette perform by riding on his horse where Max describes him as a future cowboy.