Milly is the curious and confident daughter of Holt Farrier, a wounded war veteran and former circus star who is struggling to adjust to life after the war. More interested in science than the circus, she can't help but adore the newest member of their circus family — a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a misfit. When her newfound friend takes flight, her natural curiosity soars right along with him.
Behind the scenes
Nico Parker was cast to make her big-screen debut as Milly. Although her character isn’t into the circus, she found that she was. “The Medici Circus is amazing,” she says. “There are some incredibly talented people: contortionists and knife-throwers and jugglers—people who have balls on their heads and just dance around. There’s such a vast palette of talents throughout the whole circus, and it really is incredible to see how they do everything.”
Milly and her brother form a serious bond with Dumbo, stepping in, in many ways, as Timothy Q. Mouse from Disney’s animated classic. “Milly and Joe show him that they’re always there for him, even when he doesn’t believe in himself,” says Parker. “They’re so immensely proud of him. Even when he isn’t proud of himself, they make sure he knows he’s incredible. Also, they know what it’s like to lose a mother, so they constantly sympathize with what he’s going through.”
According to producer Derek Frey, while both Nico and Finley Hobbins, who plays Joe, are truly talented, it’s the combination on that makes magic. “When we got Finley and Nico together, it was very clear that the two of them could create the emotional core of the story, which really revolves around the two of them and their relationship to Dumbo.”
As Milly and her brother Joe hurry towards the train station to reunite with their father Holt to which as the children are happy to see their father back, the two found out that Holt never saw his children 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 Milly 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, Milly and Joe wake up Holt, explaining that the elephants need them just as Holt and his children approach an animal handler named Rufus Sorghum to which doing a conversation, the conversation between Holt and Rufus is interrupted when Milly and Joe notice what is wrong with Mrs. Jumbo. Milly and Joe later find out that Mrs. Jumbo gave birth to a baby elephant named "Jumbo Junior" as everyone reacts upon discovering the newborn elephant just as Max gives Holt a deadline to take care of the baby elephant by two weeks. Later, Milly and Joe introduce themselves Jumbo Junior that he is part of the circus family just as the two take care of him. During a conversation with Medici, Milly and Joe hurry towards him about Jumbo Junior's tricks the two did, telling the children to leave him alone.
During a circus performance, Milly and Joe gaze upon Holt trying to protect the baby elephant Dumbo from the audience just as Holt tries to calm Mrs. Jumbo. As Mrs. Jumbo goes on a rampage across the circus, Holt and his children retreat from the mad elephant. Holt and his children notice Mrs. Jumbo being taken away from the circus for being a mad elephant last night, separating Dumbo from his mother just as Holt, his children, and the circus performers react to Dumbo being separated. That night, Milly and Joe comfort over a lonely Dumbo all alone in shelter just as the children notice Dumbo flapping his ears due to the feathers he inhaled just as the children react to this, deciding to add him during the next circus act where he is made into a clown during a clown act so the circus can earn more money.
During the circus act, Holt and his children react in shock when Dumbo is about to fall off the collapsing platform. As Joe tells Dumbo to fly, Milly tells him that he cannot fly without a feather, so Joe gets a feather from a dove's cage and gives it to Milly who then gives it to Dumbo so he can fly. The circus act, however, was a success as Dumbo flies across the circus, as everyone reacts in awe, making the show a success.
The next day as the circus is moving to Arkansas, just Holt cleans Dumbo's pen where Max tells businessman V.A. Vandevere that it is Holt's children who taught Dumbo how to fly, telling him that he is taking his circus to Dreamland at Arkansas. Holt, his children, and the rest of the circus acts travel to the Dreamland amusement park in Arkansas as part of Vandevere's plan. Arriving at Dreamland, Colette tells the children to know how to make Dumbo fly, to which it is explained that Dumbo needs a feather in order to fly. During a conversation between Vandervere and Colette, Vandevere tells Colette that Milly will show her how Colette's act with Dumbo works with help from Joe. Holt's family then watches Dumbo and Colette's act but the act was a failure because Dumbo flew out of the arena. Milly and Joe arrive at the spot where Mrs. Jumbo (dubbed as "Kali the Destroyer") is displayed at, much to Vandevere and Neils' chagrin and Holt's empty protests. As Holt and his children arrive at Vandevere Enterprises, Milly and Joe explain to Dumbo wanting his mother back but Vandevere refuses much to his plan.
With the whole troupe fired, Holt, his children, and the circus performers plan to rescue Dumbo by releasing him alongside his mother. As Max, Neils, and Vandervere arrive at the backstage area, the three spot the children who are planning to escape while their father Holt manages to rip open part of the tent to rescue Dumbo, much to Vandevere doing his evil plans to arrest Holt's children. Later when Dreamland is being destroyed, Holt rides on one of his horses and rescues his children. Later while surrounded by Neils inside the tent as the fire blocks the exit, Holt riding on his horse comes to the rescue and captures Neils. Furthermore, Dumbo by himself manages to rescue Holt's family and manages to extinguish the fire blocking the exit. Holt and his family manage to escape the circus caught on fire 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), Milly, Joe, and Dumbo arrive towards the port bidding Dumbo and his mother a farewell as Holt's children reunite back to their father, bidding their final moments to Dumbo before Dumbo and his mother leave to the jungle just as Holt, his children, and the circus performers gaze upon their final moments.
When the circus is re-established as Medici Family Circus with a new policy to not include wild animals performing, a building known as "Milly Farrier's World of Wonders" is built while Joe rides on a bronco made of circus acrobats while Holt and Colette perform in the re-established circus riding on the horse where Max Medici describes Holt as a future cowboy.