My youngest daughter was raised on Dumbo! It’s the only movie she ever watched when she was a little toddler. To this day, she loves elephants. A few years ago when she was 19, up in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she stood in line with all the little kids to get a ride on the elephant. And she visits the zoo in her city all the time to see the two baby elephants. She’ll actually bring her schoolwork and sit in front of their habitat for hours.
When I think of the movie Dumbo, I don’t think “sad” at all. I think of the marvelous “Pink Elephant” song and all the psychedelic animation that accompanied it. I also think of those black crows on the line and how politically incorrect this would be today. I think the movie is funny, not sad!
As for the treatment of the elephant, I just finished reading a book about Edison. Mrs. Jumbo was actually treated pretty humanely compared to how rogue elephants were often treated. “Elephant Executions” were common; Thomas Edison did one by electrocuting the elephant with alternating current to prove that Westinghouse and Tesla were trying to foist a very dangerous kind of electricity upon the public. (Edison was a fanatic about direct current and very opposed to alternating current.)
I read another book called Water for Elephants. A fiction novel, but thoroughly researched, and in this novel, the lead characters kidnap (or elephant-nap!) the elephant because they are afraid that it will end up “executed.”
So even though Mrs. Jumbo was given solitary confinement, it’s better than execution.