Happy 70th Birthday, Dumbo: vive la différence!

Dumbo at 70: Have large ears, will fly -- forever!

It’s hard to believe, but good old Dumbo is 70 this week!

The adorable baby elephant (whose real name is Jumbo, Jr.) has been flapping his extra-large ears and flying into our hearts for seven full decades. Read more at IMDB

Released theatrically on 23 October 1941, Dumbo was Walt Disney’s fourth animated film. And at just 64 minutes, the movie was also the shortest and least expensive produced by the Studio.

Read the synopsis on Rotten Tomatoes

Dumbo is the only Disney animated feature film that has a title character who doesn’t speak — he really is a creature of few words, or none!

Dumbo not only turned a profit, but charmed critics as well. The movie won the 1941 Academy Award® for Original Musical Score, was nominated for another the Academy Award for Best Song for “Baby Mine”, and took the Best Animation Design award at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.

Since its release, Dumbo has stolen the hearts of generation after generation, and can today be found on countless consumer products and the ever-popular Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction at Disney parks around the world. And in celebration of the beloved classic’s 70th anniversary, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released Dumbo for the first time on Blu-ray.

Read the story about digital restoration of Dumbo

Here’s the most famous song from Dumbo, Baby Mine, which Dumbo’s mommy sings to him. This is one of the all time favourite Disney movie moments that has made millions cry for 70 years. It is sung by actor and singer Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes.

Baby Mine From “Dumbo”

Music and lyrics by Frank Churchill and Ned Washington

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Baby of mine

Little one when you play
Pay no heed to what they say
Let your eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear
Baby of mine

If they knew all about you
They’d end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they’d give just for the right to hold you

From your head down to your toes
You’re not much, goodness knows
But you’re so precious to me
Sweet as can be
Baby of mine

New-and-improved Tinker Bell: UN’s latest Honorary Ambassador of Green

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure

Now she's green inside and out!

I always thought Tinker Bell was a bit green — with envy, that is. Peter Pan’s faithful fairy sidekick was far too possessive of him: every time another female appeared to get close, Tink would try to chase her away. She typifies the Jealous Female.

And now, Tinker Bell is very officially green, too: The United Nations has just named the Disney animated character Tinker Bell an “Honorary Ambassador of Green” to help promote environmental awareness among children.

The announcement came just prior to a screening at UN Headquarters in New York of the world premiere of the Walt Disney animated film, “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.”

In the new movie, being released on DVD and BluRay on 27 October 2009, the feisty fairy first seen in 1953’s Peter Pan classic animation movie finally gets a makeover for her journey away from the magical land of Pixie Hollow.

The new and improved Tink looks more tomboyish: more of her body is covered in clothes, yet she still retains her curvy figure. “We wanted to make Tink as real as possible in Lost Treasure,” says director Klay Hall. “It made sense she was going to put on a jacket, leggings and boots. This is sort of a new phase for Tink, and the look brings her up to the current feeling we are trying to convey,” such as the belt she uses to carry items she needs.

Tomboyish yet curvy...“We’re delighted Tinker Bell has agreed to be our Honorary Ambassador of Green,” said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “This beloved animated character can help us inspire kids and their parents to nurture nature and do what they can to take care of the environment.”

The UN event was intended to promote environmental awareness in the lead-up to the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, where countries will aim to ‘seal the deal’ on a new global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Protecting the environment is an underlying theme of the Tinker Bell movies, according to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), which finds that the Walt Disney Company uses its storytelling to inspire a love of nature and spirit of conservation in its audience.

In the latest film, Tinker Bell’s greatest adventure takes place in autumn, as the fairies in Pixie Hollow are busy changing the colours of the leaves, tending to pumpkin patches and helping geese fly south for the winter. When Tinker Bell accidentally puts all of Pixie Hollow in jeopardy, she must venture out on a secret quest to set things right.

Tinker Bell Director Klay Hall, Producer Sean Lurie and cast members Mae Whitman (Tinker Bell) and Raven Symoné (Iridessa) were among those attending the premiere, hosted by DPI as part of the Secretary-General’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative.

The Initiative links the UN and producers, directors, writers and new media professionals seeking a working relationship with the world body with the goal of raising awareness of critical global issues.

Well, I can think of one Big Challenge for the creative community worldwide: find some way, any way, to ‘animate’ (i.e. bring to life!) the chronically dull and dour Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN, who in his own admission is often invisible!

But hey, some feats are beyond even the most creative people! So just enjoy these two online videos…

Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure: First 6 Minutes