Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hello! So for anyone who saw that psychedelic Dumbo (1941) scene in class today, and wanted to see more I have just the video for you! After watching it I remembered in a Winnie the Pooh episode from 1968 (I have attached the video). In the scene Pooh had a nightmare about heffalumps and woozles, which resemble elephants and weasels. The likeness of elephants in the two cartoons is striking. Not simply because of the similarity in the way the cartoons are drawn, the two films did come from the same studio, but in animator’s treatment of the elephant figures. Particularly interesting was the way in both films elephant figures morph: their trunks turning into musical instruments, evolving into non-elephant shapes and back, etc. There are times when these images seem frightening (a neon yellow elephant with cutout-eyes that continue into the empty black background) and others where the elephants look like harmless, stuffed animals (a pink elephant with pearls, playing a harp made from her trunk and honey). Another similarity is that characters of each film experience these musical visions when in dream-like states. From this I have few questions: Why elephants (in Dumbo I realize that the protagonist is an elephant, but why an elephant in Winnie the Pooh?)? Are the animators delivering a message on how we should consider elephants, as either scary and mystical, or harmless objects? Why was the “Pink Elephants on Parade” scene mimicked in the Winnie the Pooh episode? Are the scenes nightmares for the protagonists? And if so is it a way for young children to identify with the cartoon characters' experiences? Was it just a successful scene, or is there something more to it? Not too sure, either way the cartoons are cool to watch! 


  1. In many children's cartoons ive noticed when watching them as an adult there are many inappropriate inferences. This is an example of one of those times. The animals got drunk on something that caused those visions.

  2. I'm glad you brought this up because that scene also reminded me of Winnie the Pooh. I think that both scenes definitely have a spooky aspect to them and are both pretty dark in terms of Disney scenes. However, I don't remember them being especially weird as a child as they are as an adult. I'm not sure why Disney chose to show suck similar scenes but it's interesting that they are both during a dream-like scene for the protagonists. It's interesting to think of how they could be related.