Dumbo (1941)

Publication Year: 

Image retrieved from lindseywatchesfilms.blogspot.ca On March 7th, 2014.

Even before the rerelease of Fantasia in 1969, on-campus film programs, which rented 16mm prints of European imports by Bergman and Fellini for screenings, began to regularly reqest such Disney classics as Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland. Initially, suppliers assumed a growing interest in the art of animation amoung colleges students. In fact, the emerging youth culture, recalling those films from childhood wanted to watch them in a new light. Quietly but quickly, the Disney company withdrew both films from distribution.

In Dumbo, the psychedelic sequence occurs at mid-movie, when the large-eared baby elephant is at his low ebb. "Pink Elephan ts" begins as a prelude to (and, perhaps inspiration for) Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, who drove across America, dropping "acid" in reservoirs, as detailed by Tom Wolfe in The Electrice Kool-Aid Acid Test(1968). Dumbo's companion, Timothy the Mouse, literally dives in after his friend, issuing a challenge. How uniquely can Dumbo shape bubbles blowing from his trunk? Out slips a Pink Elephant.

Source: From Walt to Woodstock: How Disney Created the Counterculture, Douglas Brode, University of Texas Press (June 1, 2004)