Dumbo: The Circus Angle - CircusTalk

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Dumbo: The Circus Angle

Circus movies have a long and interesting history: From classics such as  The Greatest Show on Earth  to modern day hits like  The Greatest Showman, from legends making circus movies (Charlie Chaplin in The Circus and Fellini’s La Strada) to circus movies that became legends (like Wings of Desire)… Audiences seem to be fascinated not only with live circus but with its various depictions on the silver screen.
Disney’s animated Dumbo (1941) holds a strange place in the pantheon of circus movies: On the one hand delightful and heart-wrenching (who hasn’t shed a tear when mama Jumbo sings “Baby Mine”?), on the other side bizarre and at times problematic (the crows an outdated and racist stereotype of African-Americans). But as Disney announced a live-action remake of the old, beloved animation feature, Tim Burton seemed the perfect choice. Not only is Burton known for his strong, unusual sense of aesthetic befitting any circus, he also has a history of including circus characters, scenes and themes in his movies. My personal favorite is the circus scene in Big Fish, where acrobats and jugglers freeze mid-trick as the hero spots his love interest across the room. Ironically, Danny DeVito – who played the circus owner in Big Fish – plays a circus owner in  Dumbo, too. With Tim Burton’s live-action remak...
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Stav Meishar

Stav Meishar was born and raised in Israel and leads a double life all around the world, mostly in New York City. During the day she runs Dreamcoat Experience, an award-winning nonprofit organization for arts-driven, experiential Jewish education. At night she is a writer and stage artist specializing in circus and theater. Sometimes, when she's lucky, she gets to be both at the same time – like with her most recent project, a solo performance based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat woman who survived the Holocaust by hiding and working at a German circus. Stav is committed to pursuing the gestalt of circus, history and education, but is incapable of committing to a single hair color.