Producer of Dumbo & # 39; about how Tim Burton's reimagining differs from other Disney live renovations



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PARTNERS – In Dumbo's live Disney reprise, old-fashioned columnist Colette Marchant is paired with a flying elephant named Dumbo in a new act at a next-generation amusement park called Dreamland. Starring Eva Green as Colette, "Dumbo" debuts in theaters on March 29, 2019 … & copy; 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Last weekend, Disney released its real-action remake of 1941 Dumbo, the poignant story about a fallen-eared elephant that discovers he has the unique ability to fly. Of course, Tim Burton (Beetle juice, Alice in Wonderland) was the natural choice to drive, given the film's fantastic premise and the settings of the circus / amusement park.

Exciting, the project brought the filmmaker together with his two greatest collaborators, Danny DeVito (It's always sunny in Philadelphia) and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming), who faced each other in 1992 Batman Returns & nbsp;like The Penguin and Bruce Wayne. & nbsp;Dumbo It reveals this unique dynamic, however, making DeVito (the small circus owner, Max Medici) the cool guy, and Keaton (implacable entertainment mogul & nbsp;V. A. Vandevere) & nbsp;the villain.

In addition, for these big names, Burton was also able to arrest Colin Farrell (The lobster), Eva Green (Miss Peregrine's House for Quirky Children) and even Alan Arkin (The Kominsky method) for the rest of the cast. Since the titular character is a flying pachyderm (a race impossible to find currently), Dumbo had to be brought to life through the latest CGI technology, but that did not mean he had to be a lifeless tennis ball on top of a wooden stick on set (more on that later, though).

The live-action DumboThe biggest change over the original feature involves the introduction of non-original humans, especially the Farrier family (led by Farrell's Holt), who are suffering from the effects of World War I and the Spanish influenza pandemic end of the 1910s. Just as Milly and Joe Farrier (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, respectively) lost their mother to the devastating flu, so Dumbo lost his own mother to the man's cruelty. The fate of these characters intertwines when Dumbo learns to rise (in an effort to see his mother again), while Holt (a wounded veteran of the Great War) reconnects with his children.

What follows is a touching (and sometimes moving) story about the importance of family, the pitfalls of greed and, in essence, being kind to animals. That just scratches the surface of what Burton sought in this film, which looks like his most pure and wonderful effort in years. To better understand what sets this film apart from its source material – and also what sets it apart from other Disney live-action remakes – we talked to longtime Burton producer Derek Frey.

Josh Weiss: You've been producing Tim Burton's movies for some time. What have you learned about your cinema and / or visual style after so many years working together?

Derek Frey: This is a good question. Tim is obviously known for his visual style and a certain kind of motive. We have heard the word many times, "Burton-esque." I would say that it occupies a … specific, unique space and I feel it is something that is harder to find these days. He is one of the latter authors in a way, where he has a very distinct style and appearance – he is still the best at representing it. I know you'll see movies from time to time that look like they're trying to do what he does, but I kinda feel that unless it's commanding a project, it's going to lack something special about it.

It's been a great journey, I've worked with him for a long time and it's still inspiring to see him work and the energy and enthusiasm and passion he brings to a project. The attention to detail is always a real wonder to watch and it continued Dumbo, probably to some extent I had never seen before. I think he increased some points [this movie], where every nuance of the character of Dumbo, every aspect visually of the film, he had a participation. If you have not seen the movie yet, when you do, I think people will realize that there is something really special about the movie. look and especially Dumbo, the character himself.

Director Tim Burton in the circus of his "Dumbo" remake.

Disney

Josh Weiss: When you found out you'd be working on DumboWhat was Tim's kind of proposal for the way he wanted to reimagine the original film?

Derek Frey: Disney sent us a rough draft of the screenplay of Ehren Kruger and Ehren kind of set the scene for the studio as you tell the story that the original movie did to some extent. And where the original movie ends, that's where we get. It's almost like the point where the world learns that there is an elephant that can fly, and now what happens?

The script had all things in place that I think appealed to Tim and certainly I think one of the biggest draws is that Dumbo, the character, is a stranger and is one of Disney's original animal characters. Tim was always a champion for these types of characters and Dumbo seemed to fit very well in that realm. Then add the amazing settings that [the film is] Time, and this kind of grand dream destination, the Coney Island scene is something that when I read the script I could not visualize it, but I could tell that Tim would definitely be able to ride with and do something really incredible.

For Tim, he was taking the script and making the story of himself, developing the design and appearance of the Dumbo. This was something that, from the shift, Tim hugged [asking] "How are we going to adapt this character into a new movie, in a live action environment?" Obviously, the visual effects were [advanced enough] where we could create a realistic-looking elephant and then it was really Tim that brought the nuance to the character. For a character who does not say anything, he has a lot of personality and a lot of personality came from Tim's direction on how to cheer him up.

FLYING HIGH – In Disney's new live adventure, "Dumbo," a newborn elephant with giant ears discovers that it can fly and is destined to be a star, which may or may not be a good thing. Directed by Tim Burton, "Dumbo" hits theaters on March 29, 2019.

Disney

Josh Weiss: The project brings together Burton with some of his most famous collaborators, notably Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito. It took some time for them to recapture their bat Man repartee or did you just click back into place after all those years?

Derek Frey: It was instantaneous. One of the first days at the beginning of & nbsp;[production] we had one of the scenes in the sky boxes in Dreamland and it was Alan Arkin and Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito all together in one scene. I think everyone was absorbing energy that day … We worked a lot with Danny, this is the fourth film that Tim directed Danny; they have collaborated on several different things throughout their careers. This I knew would be instantaneous.

Michael, Tim had not seen for a long time and from the moment they met when Michael came to town and they were going through fancy tests, they just clicked. There's a shorthand there. I think the people with whom Tim collaborates often, this shorthand is already kind of present, but having those guys working together in the same scenes was something really magical to watch.

Since the beginning of this film, [Tim] He expressed that if he could fill and merge many of these characters with people with whom he worked in the past, people he thought were suitable for roles, but people who are kind of like his family of movies, this was something that would excite Tim and Make a better movie. I do not think Tim has followed this path to make the fans and audience enthusiastic, but it's really great to see that people are looking back and [that] they are excited to see this meeting and I do not think they will be disappointed. It's very exciting to see them all together again, and it's not like they're redoing something or retreading or redoing something. They are turning into a new territory and creating really strong new characters.

Josh Weiss: In addition to DeVito and Keaton, you also have Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Alan Arkin. Was it a challenge to juggle so many talented actors and a flying CGI elephant?

Derek Frey: Not really. Once again, really good people gravitate to work with Tim and this cast, they all understand Tim's process. I think Colin and the kids were the only major roles where these actors have not worked with Tim before and with Colin, it seemed he was part of this family. It fits well – the shorthand was right there, and I'm looking forward to Tim and Colin working together again because I think they fit in very well.

For kids, this was their first movie, so I think it was great for kids to get into this great world; They have felt very comfortable because the people who work with Tim obviously are very familiar with it, it is a really comfortable environment. It's a circus environment, so inherently there is a lot of fun and there is a lot of movement of people juggling. There is never a moment of boredom, so I think they have managed to get into this world and feel very comfortable. They are very confident and competent actors in themselves.

MAKING A STAR – In the new live action movie from Disney, "Dumbo," the persuasive businessman V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) convinces circus fighter Max Medici (Danny DeVito) to make a flying elephant star of Medici. Directed by Tim Burton, "Dumbo" flies to theaters on March 29, 2019. & copy; 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: I'm glad you mentioned that. Do some fun moments / set anecdotes stand out? Maybe the actors reacting to an elephant that was not there?

Derek Frey: & nbsp;When the time came Dumbo, it was the only thing that was not really present on the set, at least in terms of its final appearance. We had a Dumbo actor named Edd Osmond who wore a kind of very peculiar green cloth clothing, which doubled for Dumbo in terms of line and eye movement and contact with the actors.

As ridiculous as his costume might look, "he coined" The ant-man costume " – he allowed the actors to have something to play … One of the things that really impress me is how real the contact and the movement and interaction between the actors and Dumbo [is]- it really works well and a lot of it has to do with having someone present for those scenes.

Nico [Parker] and Finley [Hobbins], who play the children, they had the best stories because they spent a lot of time with Edd … They had a real relationship with him. It was a really interesting kind of relationship between the three … But I can not speak of anything really specific; it was just the general absurdity of everyday life and how quickly we adjusted to the ridicule that Dumbo's double suit looked like.

A lot of it had to do with Edd's performance because he brought a lot of feeling into it. The first couple of days on set was like "How do we get a true, sincere and sincere reaction from the actors having to play this character?" But then your performance was so real and pure, that you went with it, you really felt on the set and also in the final picture.

BATHTIME – In the live reprise of Disney's "Dumbo," Milly Farrier – daughter of a former circus star in charge of caring for a newborn elephant – quickly embraces the newest member of her circus family. With Nico Parker as Milly, "Dumbo" debuts in US theaters on March 29, 2019 … & copy; 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: In the original, the relationship between Dumbo and his mother and the bad treatment of his mother is one of the saddest things in film history. How does that transfer to the remake?

Derek Frey: Disney movies, especially the early animated ones, there are many scenes of loss and tragedy. There are real-life lessons that have been told in these stories, and I think that's one reason they resonate so strongly in people. It was something that, in this rereading, we felt was really the heart of the story.

The heart of the story is an elephant baby trying to reunite with his mother, and that's the kind of takeaway people have of the original. I have found that many people remember how they felt by watching the original, but they may not remember every beat of the story, and I think that's mainly because it's something people watched when they were very young and we knew this story had to keep that pulse . The original is a 63-minute long film.

Obviously for a live feature film we had to provide something a bit more extensive and Ehren Kruger … in addition to expanding the story once the world finds out there is a flying elephant, he also felt it would be nice to introduce human characters with a family history that sort of parallels the situation of Dumbo. That's when the Farrier family comes on the scene. So I think it plays very well; there is a real and touching parallel story of these children and their father trying to connect and deal with the deceased mother. I think this is a very interesting update of the original story.

When [people] Watch, they will get enough of the original and how they felt watching the original and there is enough nod to the original that they will feel like they are doing it justice. But it also takes you to a new kingdom and they will not feel like this is a bad way. I think they go with that.

CIRCUS FAMILY – On Disney's brand-new live adventure, "Dumbo," circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) and circus performer Rongo the Strongo (Deobia Oparai) – and the rest of the team – receive a newborn elephant large ears to your family together. Directed by Tim Burton, "Dumbo" flies to theaters on March 29, 2019. & copy; 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: Based on the trailers alone, the sets sound breathtaking. Can you talk a little bit about their design and construction?

Derek Frey: One term that Tim used from the beginning was "great intimacy" and its meaning behind it was in the original animated film, you are steadily following Dumbo and his mother and the circus history. There is a certain scale and color scheme that is really bold and memorable and in this movie it is a great movie but Tim never wanted to lose focus on the tale of this family and Dumbo. As long as you have this great world where everything is set, you never get lost in it. At least I think in many bigger budget films, sometimes you get lost on the scale of the world … about the substance of the characters and the story. Tim wanted to make sure we kept a certain intimacy of the story and the characters.

That being said, we made films like Alice in Wonderland, where it is completely set within a CGI world and most of the footage took place on green screens. As Dumbo is one of the film's biggest visual effects, Tim felt it was important to build [practical sets] as much as possible in terms of scenery. For each scene, our characters, the initial world, the immediate world we are following, are all in real scenarios. Although it has been very well, it is difficult to say at times the horizons, the world beyond, the horizon … these are the elements that we add later. But the initial world of the Circus Medici by Danny DeVito, the dusty circus, and Michael Keaton's Vandevere Dreamland, were practically built.

This creates a certain aspect of design that is really strong because you feel like you are in a real world and it allows us to believe in the elephant [is real] in a way, because the visual effects team was able to effectively create this Dumbo elephant in a real world. I think when you have two layers of the unreal, such as an unreal configuration and an unrealistic character, it's a bit harder for your brain to process and stick with it. Every time I see the movie finalized now, I'm really surprised at how Dumbo plays in these environments.

DREAMING BIG – In Tim Burton's brand-new re-imagined live action from "Dumbo," the persuasive businessman V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) decides that a young elephant from a troubled circus belongs to his newest entertainment venture, Dreamland. Directed by Burton and produced by Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer, "Dumbo" hits theaters on March 29, 2019. & copy; 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: How is this different from all the live-action remakes that Disney has launched or are planning to release in the coming months?

Derek Frey: I'm not familiar with the trajectory of stories to Lion King or Aladdin. From what I've seen, it looks like they're definitely looking at the original movies. Those original cartoons [from the] late 80's, early 90's, they're a little bit new in people's minds. You have a generation of people who grew up with these images and now they have their own children and these movies mean something really fundamental to them. Although I'm sure there will be some changes, I suspect they want to stay true to a bit more than these original movies were.

We had a little more freedom with Dumbobecause it came out in 1941 – it's a 63-minute film. We had a little more flexibility to expand the story and maybe people were not so fond of it. Again, I'm not sure what they're doing to those [other] movies, but I think Tim was able to exercise his incredible creativity to the fullest and I think it's something that people will embrace and really enjoy.

TRUE LOVE – When former circus star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) is in charge of caring for a newborn elephant whose huge ears make him a circus target, he is amazed at how quickly his sons (Finley Hobbins and Nico Parker) fall for the peculiar pachyderm. Directed by Tim Burton and produced by Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer, Disney's brand new re-imagined live from "Dumbo" hits theaters on March 29, 2019. & copy; 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

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PARTNERS – In Dumbo's live Disney reprise, old-fashioned columnist Colette Marchant is paired with a flying elephant named Dumbo in a new act at a next-generation amusement park called Dreamland. Starring Eva Green as Colette, "Dumbo" debuts in theaters on March 29, 2019 … © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Last weekend, Disney released its real-action remake of 1941 Dumbo, the poignant story about an elephant with drooping ears that discovers he has the unique ability to fly. Of course, Tim Burton (Beetle juice, Alice in Wonderland) was the natural choice to drive, given the film's fantastic premise and the settings of the circus / amusement park.

Exciting, the project brought the filmmaker together with his two greatest collaborators, Danny DeVito (It's always sunny in Philadelphia) and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming), who faced each other in 1992 Batman Returns like the penguin and Bruce Wayne. Dumbo But this unique dynamic makes DeVito (the small circus owner Max Medici) the cool guy and Keaton (implacable entertainment mogul). V. A. Vandevere) the villain.

In addition to these big names, Burton also managed to catch Colin Farrell (The lobster), Eva Green (Miss Peregrine's House for Quirky Children) and even Alan Arkin (The Kominsky method) for the rest of the cast. Since the titular character is a flying pachyderm (a race impossible to find currently), Dumbo had to be brought to life through the latest CGI technology, but that did not mean he had to be a lifeless tennis ball on top of a wooden stick on set (more on that later, though).

The live-action DumboThe biggest change over the original feature involves the introduction of non-original humans, especially the Farrier family (led by Farrell's Holt), who are suffering from the effects of World War I and the Spanish influenza pandemic end of the 1910s. Just as Milly and Joe Farrier (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, respectively) lost their mother to the devastating flu, so Dumbo lost his own mother to the man's cruelty. The fate of these characters intertwines when Dumbo learns to rise (in an effort to see his mother again), while Holt (a wounded veteran of the Great War) reconnects with his children.

What follows is a touching (and sometimes moving) story about the importance of family, the pitfalls of greed and, in essence, being kind to animals. That just scratches the surface of what Burton sought in this film, which looks like his most pure and wonderful effort in years. To better understand what sets this film apart from its source material – and also what sets it apart from other Disney live-action remakes – we talked to longtime Burton producer Derek Frey.

Josh Weiss: You've been producing Tim Burton's movies for some time. What have you learned about your cinema and / or visual style after so many years working together?

Derek Frey: This is a good question. Tim is obviously known for his visual style and a certain kind of motive. We have heard the word many times, "Burton-esque." I will say that it occupies a specific … unique space and I feel it is something that is harder to find these days. He is one of the latter authors in a way, where he has a very distinct style and appearance – he is still the best at representing it. I know you'll see movies from time to time that look like they're trying to do what he does, but I kinda feel that unless it's commanding a project, it's going to lack something special about it.

It's been a great journey, I've worked with him for a long time and it's still inspiring to see him work and the energy and enthusiasm and passion he brings to a project. The attention to detail is always a real wonder to watch and it continued Dumbo, probably to some extent I had never seen before. I think he increased some points [this movie], Where every nuance of Dumbo's character, every aspect visually of the film, he had a participation. If you have not seen the movie yet, when you do, I think people will realize that there is something really special about the look and especially Dumbo, the character himself.

Director Tim Burton in the circus of his remake "Dumbo".

Disney

Josh Weiss: When you found out you'd be working on DumboWhat was Tim's kind of proposal for the way he wanted to reimagine the original film?

Derek Frey: Disney sent us a rough draft of the screenplay of Ehren Kruger and Ehren kind of set the scene for the studio as you tell the story that the original movie did to some extent. And where the original movie ends, that's where we get. It's almost like the point where the world learns that there is an elephant that can fly, and now what happens?

The script had all things in place that I think appealed to Tim and certainly I think one of the biggest draws is that Dumbo, the character, is a stranger and is one of Disney's original animal characters. Tim was always a champion for these types of characters and Dumbo seemed to fit very well in that realm. Then add the amazing settings that [the film is] Time, and this kind of grand dream destination, the Coney Island scene is something that when I read the script I could not visualize it, but I could tell that Tim would definitely be able to ride with and do something really incredible.

For Tim, he was taking the script and making the story of himself, developing the design and appearance of the Dumbo. This was something that, from the shift, Tim hugged [asking] "How are we going to adapt this character into a new movie, in a live action environment?" Obviously, the visual effects were [advanced enough] where we could create a realistic-looking elephant and then it was really Tim that brought the nuance to the character. For a character who does not say anything, he has a lot of personality and a lot of personality came from Tim's direction on how to cheer him up.

FLYING HIGH – In Disney's new live adventure, "Dumbo," a newborn elephant with giant ears discovers that it can fly and is destined to be a star, which may or may not be a good thing. Directed by Tim Burton, "Dumbo" hits theaters on March 29, 2019.

Disney

Josh Weiss: The project brings together Burton with some of his most famous collaborators, notably Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito. It took some time for them to recapture their bat Man repartee or did you just click back into place after all those years?

Derek Frey: It was instantaneous. One of the earliest days at the [production] we had one of the scenes in the sky boxes in Dreamland and it was Alan Arkin and Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito all together in one scene. I think everyone was absorbing energy that day … We worked a lot with Danny, this is the fourth film that Tim directed Danny; they have collaborated on several different things throughout their careers. This I knew would be instantaneous.

Michael, Tim had not seen for a long time and from the moment they met when Michael came to town and they were going through fancy tests, they just clicked. There's a shorthand there. I think the people with whom Tim collaborates often, this shorthand is already kind of present, but having those guys working together in the same scenes was something really magical to watch.

Since the beginning of this film, [Tim] He expressed that if he could fill and merge many of these characters with people with whom he worked in the past, people he thought were suitable for roles, but people who are kind of like his family of movies, this was something that would excite Tim and Make a better movie. I do not think Tim has followed this path to make the fans and audience enthusiastic, but it's really great to see that people are looking back and [that] they are excited to see this meeting and I do not think they will be disappointed. It's very exciting to see them all together again, and it's not like they're redoing something or retreading or redoing something. They are turning into a new territory and creating really strong new characters.

Josh Weiss: In addition to DeVito and Keaton, you also have Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Alan Arkin. Was it a challenge to juggle so many talented actors and a flying CGI elephant?

Derek Frey: Not really. Once again, really good people gravitate to work with Tim and this cast, they all understand Tim's process. I think Colin and the kids were the only major roles where these actors have not worked with Tim before and with Colin, it seemed he was part of this family. It fits well – the shorthand was right there, and I'm looking forward to Tim and Colin working together again because I think they fit in very well.

For kids, this was their first movie, so I think it was great for kids to get into this great world; They have felt very comfortable because the people who work with Tim obviously are very familiar with it, it is a really comfortable environment. It's a circus environment, so inherently there is a lot of fun and there is a lot of movement of people juggling. There is never a moment of boredom, so I think they have managed to get into this world and feel very comfortable. They are very confident and competent actors in themselves.

MAKING A STAR – In the new live action movie from Disney, "Dumbo," the persuasive businessman V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) convinces circus fighter Max Medici (Danny DeVito) to make a flying elephant star of Medici. Directed by Tim Burton, "Dumbo" hits theaters on March 29, 2019. © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: I'm glad you mentioned that. Do some fun moments / set anecdotes stand out? Maybe the actors reacting to an elephant that was not there?

Derek Frey: When the time came Dumbo, it was the only thing that was not really present on the set, at least in terms of its final appearance. We had a Dumbo actor named Edd Osmond who wore a kind of very peculiar green cloth clothing, which doubled for Dumbo in terms of line and eye movement and contact with the actors.

As ridiculous as his costume might look, "he coined" The ant-man costume " – he allowed the actors to have something to play … One of the things that really impress me is how real the contact and the movement and interaction between the actors and Dumbo [is]- it really works well and a lot of it has to do with having someone present for those scenes.

Nico [Parker] and Finley [Hobbins], who play the children, they had the best stories because they spent a lot of time with Edd … They had a real relationship with him. It was a really interesting kind of relationship between the three … But I can not speak of anything really specific; it was just the general absurdity of everyday life and how quickly we adjusted to the ridicule that Dumbo's double suit looked like.

A lot of it had to do with Edd's performance because he brought a lot of feeling into it. O primeiro par de dias no set foi tipo &#39;Como vamos ter uma reação verdadeira, sincera e sincera dos atores tendo que interpretar esse personagem?&#39; Mas então seu desempenho foi tão real e puro, que você foi com isso, você realmente sentiu no set e também na foto final.

BATHTIME – Na reprise ao vivo de “Dumbo” da Disney, Milly Farrier – filha de uma ex-estrela de circo encarregada de cuidar de um elefante recém-nascido – rapidamente abraça o mais novo membro de sua família de circo. Apresentando Nico Parker como Milly, “Dumbo” estreia nos cinemas dos EUA em 29 de março de 2019 … © 2010 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Todos os direitos reservados.

Disney

Josh Weiss: In the original, the relationship between Dumbo and his mother and the poor treatment of his mother is some of the saddest stuff in cinematic history. How does that carry over into the remake?

Derek Frey: Disney films, especially the early animated ones, there’s a lot of scenes of loss and tragedy. There’s real life lessons that were told in those stories, and I think that’s one of the reasons why they resonate so strongly in people. It was something that, in this reimagining, we felt it was really the heart of the story.

The heart of the story is a baby elephant trying to reunite with his mother, and that’s the kind of the takeaway that people have from the original. I found that lot of people remember how they felt watching the original, but they may not remember every single beat of the story, and I think that’s mainly because it’s something that people watched when they were very young and we knew that this story had to maintain that pulse. The original’s a 63-minute long film.

Obviously, for a feature-length live-action film, we had to provide something a bit more extensive and Ehren Kruger … aside from expanding the story once the world finds out that there’s a flying elephant, he also felt it would be good to introduce human characters with a family story that kind of parallels the plight of Dumbo. That’s where the the Farrier family comes into play. So, I think it plays really well; there’s a real touching parallel story of these children and their father trying to connect and deal with their mother who has passed away. I think it’s made for a real kind of lovely update of the original story.

When [people] watch it, they’ll get enough of the original and how they felt watching the original and there’s enough nods to the original that they’ll feel like it’s doing it justice. But it also takes it into a whole new realm and they’re not gonna feel like that was a bad turn. I think they’ll go with it.

CIRCUS FAMILY – In Disney’s all-new live-action adventure “Dumbo,” circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) and circus performer Rongo the Strongo (Deobia Oparai)—plus the rest of their big-top team—welcome a newborn elephant with oversized ears to their tight-knit family. Directed by Tim Burton, “Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019. ©2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: Based on the trailers alone, the sets alone look breathtaking. Can you talk a little bit about their design and construction?

Derek Frey: A term that Tim used from the very beginning was ‘grand intimacy’ and his meaning behind that was in the original animated film, you are firmly tracking Dumbo and his mother and the story of the circus. There’s a certain scale and color scheme that’s really bold and memorable and in this film, it’s a big movie, but Tim never wanted to lose focus on the tale of this family and of Dumbo. While you do have this big world that everything is set in, you never get lost in it. At least I find in a lot of bigger budget films, sometimes you lose yourself in the scale of the world … over the substance of the characters and the story. Tim wanted to make sure that we maintain a certain intimacy of the story and the characters.

That being said, we’ve done films like Alice in Wonderland, where it’s completely set within a CGI world and most of the filming took place on green screen sets. Because Dumbo is one of the biggest visuals effects in the film, Tim felt it was important to build [practical sets] as much as possible in terms of the setting. For every scene, our characters, the initial world, the immediate world that we’re tracking, is all on real sets. Although it’s done really well, it’s hard to tell sometimes, the horizons, the world beyond, the skyline … those are the elements that we’ve added later. But the initial world from Danny DeVito’s Medici Circus, the down and out dusty circus, and through Michael Keaton’s Vandevere Dreamland, those sets were all practically built.

It creates a certain design aspect that is really strong, because you sense that you’re in a real world and it enables to us to believe the elephant [is real] in a way because the visual effects team was able to effectively create this Dumbo elephant into a real world. I think when you have two layers of the unreal, like an unreal setting and an unreal character, it’s a little bit harder for your brain to process and go with it. Each time I’ve seen the finished film now, I’m really astounded at how well Dumbo plays within these environments.

DREAMING BIG — In Tim Burton’s all-new, live-action reimagining of “Dumbo,” persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) decides that a young elephant from a struggling circus belongs in his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Directed by Burton and produced by Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer, “Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019. © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disney

Josh Weiss: How is it different from all the live-action remakes Disney has released or is planning to release in the coming months?

Derek Frey: I’m not familiar with the trajectory of the storylines for Lion King or Aladdin. From what I’ve seen, it seems like they’re definitely looking back at the original films. Those original animated films [from the] late ‘80s, early ‘90s, they’re a little fresher in people’s minds. You have a generation of people that grew up with those pictures and they now have kids of their own and those films mean something really fundamental to them. While I’m sure there’ll be some changes, I would suspect that they wanna stay true to a little more of what those original films were.

We had a little bit more liberty with Dumbo, because it came out in 1941—it’s a 63-minute-long film. We had a little more flexibility in expanding upon the story and maybe people not being quite so dear with it. Again, I’m not sure what they’re doing with those [other] films, but I do think Tim was able to exercise his amazing creativity to its fullest on this and I think it’s something people will accept and embrace and really enjoy.

TRUE LOVE — When former circus star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) is charged with taking care of a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus, he’s surprised by just how quickly his children (Finley Hobbins and Nico Parker) fall for the peculiar pachyderm. Directed by Tim Burton and produced by Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer, Disney’s all-new, live-action reimagining of “Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019. © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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