Animated film “Dumbo,” about a flying elephant with big ears, is released

On this day, October 23rd, in 1941, RKO Radio Pictures released the Disney animated film Dumbo. The film, produced by Walt Disney, tells the story of  an elephant – named Dumbo – ridiculed for his big ears, which are actually capable of making him fly by functioning as wings. Aside from his mother, Dumbo’s only true friend in the film is Timothy the mouse.

The film was made as an attempt to recover from the financial losses of Fantasia.  It was deliberately made to be simple and runs at only 64 minutes long—making it one of Disney’s shortest animated films.

Although it was around the time of World War II, Dumbo was probably one of Disney’s most financially successful films in the 1940s.  The film proved to be a financial miracle compared to other Disney films at the time—costing about 950,000 dollars to produce.