PETA is urging director Tim Burton to change the ending to his live-action adaptation of the Disney classic animated film, “Dumbo.”
It was announced this week that the acclaimed auteur would be putting his unique spin to the flick starring the adorable big-eared elephant who, unfortunately, called a circus his home.
Following the breakthrough news that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is set to eliminate elephant acts from its shows, PETA hopes that Burton will allow Dumbo and his mother to share a similar happy ending.
“We’re hopeful that in your adaptation of Dumbo, the young elephant and his mother can have a truly happy ending by living out their lives at a sanctuary instead of continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry,” PETA senior VP Lisa Lange wrote Burton in an open letter on Wednesday.
Surprisingly enough, Lange says that PETA actually likes the original 1941 “Dumbo” film “because it tells the story of the heartbreaking abuse that elephants in circuses endure.”
She goes on to say that elephants in entertainment, including circuses, and film and TV, don’t freely perform. They instead react to weapons used to control their movements.
“They [elephants] perform because they’re afraid that they’ll be beaten if they don’t,” Lange wrote.
The new “Dumbo” movie will use a mix of CGI and live-action, although there hasn’t been confirmation as to whether live elephants will act in the film.
We hope that Burton will listen to Lange’s plea, as well as consider using CGI-created elephants instead of live ones. For a movie about imprisoned and abused elephants in the entertainment industry, it sure would be an unfortunate twist of irony if life imitated art.
All elephants deserve a happy ending. Most especially, Dumbo.