The new Dumbo live action movie is getting mixed reviews, but one thing most people can agree on is, if adoption is a touchy topic for you, then a trigger warning is needed.
If you have a child that has dealt with losing their parents or family in any way, then you need to tread very carefully with the new DUMBO movie.
Or at the very least go in to the movie prepared.
Disney is no stranger to immediately killing off the parents in their movies and making the story all about the children overcoming the hardship of losing their parents and fighting past that. (I still have to fast forward through the stampede scene in the Lion King. I just do.)
But, DUMBO is particularly rough on those who have experienced a loss because of how that loss is handled, and how Dumbo is treated based on his loss.
Sure, DUMBO is a gorgeous movie with great music and insane images, but if you are a foster or adoptive parent, you should preview this movie before taking your children to see it.
It’s not just the storyline– which talks about family separation, trying to get back together and it not working, and even making it seem like it might happen again and again.
There’s also the idea that if Dumbo does a good job, he will get to be back with his mother.
And this is probably one of the most harmful messages of all for kids who are longing for their biological family.
In fact this is the kind of message that can be harmful to kids who have gone through all sorts of trauma. Not just loss of parents, but divorce, too.
This theme was present in the original DUMBO, but because it was a cartoon, and not a Tim Burton film, it wasn’t as dark, and wasn’t considered as triggering.
We aren’t saying don’t go see DUMBO. You should definitely see it.
We are saying just don’t go in there NOT expecting to have a discussion with your children about adoption, parents, and what love means.
Even kids without loss are likely going to have questions after seeing this movie, so parents should be prepared.
That being said, that little feather is cute as can be, and Dumbo is completely adorable. It’s a beautiful movie that you and your kids will love!
We hope you (cautiously) enjoy the movie!
I sure did. 🙂