In direct contrast to the negativity the crows have garnered is the relatively unnoticed “Song of the Roustabouts.” For example, if one googles “Dumbo Crows Racist” it would yield 120,000 results while “Dumbo Roustabout Song Racist” only gives a return of 18,500 (if there's a more scientific way of measuring something like this, I'm all Dumbo ears). By all means, this song blatantly features all the hallmarks of racism - it dehumanizes and marginalizes these LITERALLY faceless black men through perpetuating and rationalizing negative, institutionalized stereotypes with lyrics that would make Mel Gibson blush. Do yourself a favour and watch the video below for yourselves but here's the general gist of the song: “Hi, we're a bunch of 'happy-hearted' 'slaves' who 'never learned to read or write' and love working sooo much we 'throw our pay away'... oh, and we also refer to our fellow workers as 'hairy apes.'”
Appropriately enough, the story doesn't open with a book like Snow White and Pinocchio but with a series of brightly couloured circus posters.
With the voice over in the beginning and the penultimate scene including its montage of newspaper headlines, Dumbo is book-ended with a very World War II-esque Newsreel motif.
In that aforementioned newspaper montage, Dumbo looks to take on the characteristics of another national hero of the time - Charles Lindbergh.
Dumbo is the first and very rare Walt Disney Animated Classic to be contemporary with its story.
As “Mr. Stork,” Sterling Holloway takes his first of many turns voicing classic Disney characters. Some of his more well-known roles were the “Cheshire Cat” in Alice in Wonderland (1951), “Kaa” in The Jungle Book (1967) and “Winnie the Pooh” in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977).
Except for in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Tiger, you may notice that Mr. Stork delivers all of the baby animals to single mothers.
There's no sign of that donkey who was addressed to be shipped to a circus from Pinocchio (1940).
As the circus train, “Casey Jr.” might be the only Disney character based on a personified inanimate object (not counting the Pixar movies).
Casey Jr. takes his chant of "I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can" from the popular childrens' story The Little Engine that Could (1906).
“Dumbo” is a mean-spirited nickname given to him by the other female elephants in the troop. His mother Jumbo named him “Jumbo Jr.”
Those elephant cows seem to have the characteristics of a bunch of cackling yentas who may have migrated from Brooklyn to sunny Florida in their older age.
Dumbo is brought to Jumbo with two birth defects: freakishly large ears and he's a mute.
Both in story and character, Dumbo shares a lot with Pinocchio:
1. Both of their existences are conjured by lonesome star gazers (Gepetto and Jumbo).
2. In Jiminy Cricket and Timothy J. Mouse, they are both flanked and counseled by street-wise, hand-held friends.
3. They're both exploited as performers and achieve various levels of fame.
4. They both suffer from a bout of childhood drunkenness.
Was that champagne or absinthe that spikes the tub of water Dumbo and Timothy drink from?
Considering Timothy went on to have a career in Hollywood, one can posit that the events he experienced in Dumbo (spiked drinks, waking up in high places with no memory of how he got there) could've led to him playing an integral part in the development of Hollywood Blockbuster The Hangover (2009).
Is there a main villain in Dumbo? The only prospects are the Elephant cows, the clowns and/or the Ring Leader.