This is a wonderful tale of difference, exclusion and inclusion. Dumbo’s ears might as well be labelled ADHD, autism or Down’s Syndrome for the reaction he gets from his community.
This is a great video for training and for introducing key inclusive education concepts to children and adults. Deceptively simple, beautiful, moving, and hilarious, DUMBO is often overlooked when considering Disney’s greatest films because perhaps of its lack of extravagance, its brief running time, and its simple story.
Baby elephant Jumbo Jr. is delivered by the stork to his elephant mom with much fanfare but soon receives a cold excluding shoulder from the snobby female pachyderms and the rest of the circus due to his oversize ears. He faces a circle of bottoms. When his mother goes on a rampage in order to protect him from bullying, she winds up locked away and labelled ‘mad elephant’- sound familiar? Dumbo is left without a friend in the world until the street-smart Timothy Mouse decides to become his manager and a telephone line full of delightful jive-talking crows (another excluded, marginalised group) convince him he can fly. There’s never an imperfect moment to be found in this raucous, tender, sublime film, which has been delighting audiences for generations. We at Inclusive Solutions regularly use this video footage to stimulate thinking about processes of exclusion and friendship.