Traumafessions :: Reader Nita M. on Dumbo

Hi, as I’m sure you’ve heard before, your website is fantastic. Lots of fun for the horror lover. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has mentioned DUMBO as a traumafession. Though I visit regularly, I’m sure I could’ve missed it.

For me, DUMBO (like many a Disney film) was quite upsetting. I was very little of course when I first saw it and even with its scary moments, I liked it and watched it a lot but that didn’t mean I walked away psychologically unscathed. From the time poor Mrs. Jumbo had to watch all the other mother’s get their babies while she stood all by herself, hopes rising and falling like the ridiculous temperature out here in Northern Cali, to those snooty, gossipy, elephant companions they were forced to bunk with, all the way to the near end, when the feather slipped out of DUMBO‘s grasp and he nearly died painted up as a clown, I couldn’t help pondering why all of this was happening.

It was all so unjustified, especially when that horrid kid teased little baby DUMBO and got a well deserved spanking from Mrs. Jumbo, only for her to end up in jail (I guess Disney, like local law enforcement, don’t sit well with spankin’s ) I mean it was so sad and depressing.

Of course, no mention of the film DUMBO can go without the discussion of the ‘Pink Elephant‘ sequence. Though it was horrifying, I thought it was pretty cool, just like Asian Horror is today! But my friends sure didn’t think so. A couple had to leave the room when it came on and one’s own mother forbid them to watch that part, she always fast forwarded it while telling us to close our eyes. I didn’t blame them. The parts where the elephant is made up of heads and the high pitched voices are singing, is completely and understandably frightening.

As I’ve said, it was the emotional turmoil that got to me…that and DUMBO as a clown, I swear that image just won’t go away! Oh well, I’ve come to realize that it’s really not so bad being traumatized, slightly enjoyable even.

That’s all for me, thanks for reading!



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13 years ago

My brother, who is 4 years older than I, was SO completely traumatized by Dumbo. And not even the Pink Elephants sequence–no, what screwed him up was little Dumbo being taken away from his momma, her being chained and unable to reach him, the bellowing and horror and the (to a child) unthinkable idea that you might be separated from your parent, possibly permanently. Sure, there was the happy ending later, but I can still bring up Dumbo with my brother and watch him shiver. 🙂

13 years ago

Nita, I totally agree with you on Dumbo. I think people romanticize this movie in their heads because it’s “cute little Dumbo,” but the film is really one trauma after another. (I broke it down in my review of Dumbo, which you can read here.)

13 years ago

While not a particular FAVORITE of mine, I like DUMBO. The part that always gets me is the whole Baby Mine scene where Mrs Dumbo, caged for flogging someone, is trying to comfort Dumbo with only her trunk holding him and swaying him. Oh how I WEEP like a little bitch when that scene goes on!

As for Pink Elephants On Parade? SOMEONE at DISNEY was doing drugs! There is no way someone came up with that shit straight!
To this day my daughter sings that Pink Elephant song to me to try to freak me out.

So let us sit back and look at what we’ve learned of Big Top life here folks:

Clowns are drunks
People are cruel
Other elepehants are cruel too
Crows are racist AMOS N ANDY-like stereotypes
While most animals are a-holes storks and mice are pretty good-hearted
If an animal and a human have a fight it is the animal that will be punished
When you take away the mother you are also punishing the child!
Drinking will make you hallucinate the wildest LSD trip you ever did see
Elephants are cute but PINK elephants are terrifying
Nothing sucks more than goin on a bender and waking up in a tree
Black feathers cant make you fly, but high self esteem CAN
Clowns are scary. Even animal clowns!

Andre Dumas
13 years ago

I’ve given you guys an award over at my blog because I love you dearly!!
Also, Dumbo is on a lot of people’s scary list and I must agree–even though I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole thing- but I HAVE seen the scary parts..and bleck Dumbo has never been one of my favorites and probably due to these scenes of acid tripping.

Zen Master Dod
13 years ago

Like Andre, I also awarded you over at my blog:
You guys have always been there to cheer me up, whether you knew it or not.
As a kid, I think Dumbo was the movie that introduced me to the cruelty of man.  I could never get over how mean they could be, and that visceral feeling is still there whenever I see scenes from it.

unkle lancifer
13 years ago

Andre and Dod, Thanks so much! I woke up feeling like Dumbo today but y’all cured me!-Unk

13 years ago

Worth a listen for fans of this song is the great cover done by the Duke of Spook, The Man With No Tan, Lee Presson of Lee Presson and The Nails: . It’s on the El Bando En Fuego album, and worth a purchase.

12 years ago

I just watched the “Baby Mine” song on YouTube to see if I could take it. Nope. I’m bawling like a baby.

Brian Katcher
12 years ago

Glad to know that I wasn’t the only one tormented by the pink elephants.