Tim Burton’s live action Dumbo Blu-ray review

Jun 22, 2019- Permalink

Depending on your point of view, Disney is either looking for ways to revisit its animated classics with live action remakes or plundering its past to try and make new money off of old and tested material. With Dumbo, Disney heads back to the 1941 tale of a baby circus elephant who can fly. This time the ringmaster is Tim Burton, who brings his trademark style to the visuals in this story. You can now take it home. We had the chance to check out the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo set. A 4K version is also available.

The AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is in the theatrical release’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Shot digitally, the video presentation is full of crisp, sharp details. The period costumes look amazing, from the textures of the textiles, to the detail of the stitching. The environmental details also look great, whether it be the hay on the ground to the circus tent soaring above the action. The faces of the actors are equally sharp and detailed, as are the elephants and other CGI-created effects. The circus is reflected in the colour pallete with strong hues and the black level is deep. Low light level scenes still hold detail. There is some digital noise throughout the film, especially in lower light scenes.

On the audio side, your ears have the choice of an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack or Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. Like many recent Disney releases the soundtrack is a bit on the quiet side at standard reference levels, but cranking up the volume a bit fixes that issue. Dialogue is clear and well centred, and the music is clear and dynamic. While the surrounds do a great job of putting you in the centre of the action, the soundtrack is hampered by an underwhelming amount of bass. With elephants around you’d expect a little more low frequency action to give their movements some oomph.

A DVD copy and a digital code start off the list of extras. We have a look at the cast, their performances and some of the circus training that was undertaken. There’s a behind the scenes on the creation of our title character. There’s also a music video from Arcade Fire, deleted scenes, Easter eggs and a gag reel.

The Dumbo disc provides an excellent video presentation, a slightly hampered audio presentation and a sufficient amount of extras. Tim Burton fans and Disney aficionados will want to add this to their libraries.