Dumbo (1941)

dumbo elephant flyBorn with freakishly large ears, one baby elephant joins the circus, gets his mother locked up, drowns his sorrows in alcohol, and wakes up in a tree.

 

You may recognize the voice of that stork. His name was Sterling Holloway, and he was a Disney regular for decades. Not only did he voice characters like the snake in Jungle Book and the mouse in Aristocats, but he was also the original Winnie the Pooh.

dumbo mothersI loved this movie as a kid. In fact, when I was hospitalized for a brief period of time, I distinctly remember requesting to watch it. My mother and I were watching Dumbo the same morning the doctors told me I could eat again. They told me I could order anything I wanted for breakfast. I of course chose Cheerios. (I’ve always been sensitive about my cholesterol.)

However, just as they were bringing the breakfast of my dreams in, something happened. For whatever reason the doctors said they made a mistake and I couldn’t actually eat solid foods yet. So, not wanting the Cheerios to go to waste, my mother ate the only cholesterol-lowering desire of my six year-old heart right in front of me while we watched Dumbo.

So yeah, mixed feelings about this movie.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: That scene with the drugged up dancing elephants is the second-most disturbing thing I’ve seen in my lifetime. (No. 1 was this piece of stock video footage I accidentally stumbled into one day.)

Alright, now don’t pretend you didn’t know this clip was coming on Mother’s Day…

 

Children (and elephants) need a mother —a mother and a father. Not two mothers or two fathers, but a mother and a father. That is the eternal plan for all creatures of our God and King.

And for those single parents who must bear the weight of parenthood by themselves, God will make up the difference. He does so by placing individuals in a child’s path—not unlike Dumbo’s little mouse mentor—who will assist in guiding that child in the right direction.

As for those of us lucky to have mothers, or grandmothers, or whoever took the time to raise us, we ought to make sure we are there to love and support them more than once a year —because they’ve always been there for us, teaching us, loving us, and sitting up all night with us at the hospital — even if they eat our Cheerios.

“There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother…” — John 19:25

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