Sunday, 13 June 2010

Dumbo Deleted Scenes - Part 3

As before, these are transcriptions from the draft posted on Hans Perk's A. Film L.A. blog - material that was deleted from the film is put in italics, the rest is included for the sake of context.

Sequence 12: Gossips disown Dumbo (Draft No. 1)

This missing section includes a few more shots of the "gossip" elephants speculating about what happened to Dumbo after the Pyramid Act disaster. You'll also notice if you look at the draft that the sequence begins with scene 13, and the note: "Scenes 1 through 12 inclusive are out". Either the sequence was originally longer and the beginning was taken out before they even reached draft stage, or scenes 1-12 were an earlier version of the whole sequence, which was later discarded and replaced by the version described in the draft.

15 CU - Catty with block of ice on head - "OH, THAT WONT BE NECESSARY, DEARIE ... THEY'VE FIXED HIM GOOD!"

16 MCU - Matriarch and two elephants. Matriarch: "WHAT DID THEY DO?" Ella: "DID THEY BEAT HIM?"


18 CU - Giggles (hopefully) "DID THEY SHOOT HIM?" (Giggles)


20 CU - Matriarch. Catty, o.s.: Continues: "HE'D BE BETTER OFF DEAD."
Ad lib chatter: "GO ON, TELL US, TELL US!" Matriarch, angry: "I DEMAND TO KNOW!"

21 CU - Catty: "WELL, THEY'VE GONE AND.." She pushes ice back into place with trunk "..MADE HIM...OH DEAR, I JUST CAN'T SAY IT!" Matriarch, o.s.: "OUT WITH IT!" Catty "....MADE HIM A CLOWN!"

It's strange to hear one of the "gossip" elephants use Timothy's term "clink" ... don't they have their own term for it? (The Ringmaster was going to call it "jail" in the "Menagerie" sequence, but that line was also cut)

I'm not sure why these lines were taken out. Maybe the "ad lib" nature of the "chatter" meant that they were just never recorded? Was the gleeful "did they shoot him" deemed a little too harsh? Did they think that it would be more reasonable for Dumbo to have been shot or locked up, and they didn't want to call attention to the unusual nature of his punishment?

Sequence 14: Fireman save my child (Draft No. 1)

Scenes were taken out and shuffled around both before and after this first draft was typed up.
As we can see by the scene numbers as well as additional notes, scenes 2, 7, 14, 20 and 25 have already been taken out, and scene 12 has been moved to follow scene 22. Then, some time after the draft was written, scenes 18 and 21 were taken out, and 19 moved to between 16 and 17.

16 MS - Clown running in with sprinkler to flower box. Cocoanut [sic] tree springs out of flower box.

17 Two-shot. Big clown runs in with little clown who has barrel on back - takes out eye dropper and puts one drop of water on fire.

18 Two-shot. Old woman screaming - mouth wide open. Clown comes in with atomizer and sprays mouth.

19 LS - Firemen running up ladder to burning house and throwing water in Dumbo's face.

21 MS - Eskimo clown runs up to fire and warms [rear end].

22 MS - Dumbo in midst of smoke. Fireman climbs up and fans him.

With a bit of detective work we can also speculate that, before the draft was written, some scenes were added to give Dumbo more of a presence in this sequence, which otherwise might lose him amid all the clowning. A reaction shot of Dumbo is numbered 12.1, and scenes showing the effect of pouring gasoline on the fire, including another reaction shot of Dumbo, are 26.1 and 26.2. These numbers suggest these were late additions to the sequence. It may be that the rearranging of the other scenes was also to make sure that the audience didn't lose sight of Dumbo for two long at a time. I'm reminded of the Battle of Helm's Deep in the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, where they made sure that one of the main characters was on-screen for at least every third shot, so the audience had a focus.

As for the missing scenes themselves: I'm not sure who "old woman" in scene 18 refers to, although I guess it would have to be the clown dressed up as the elephant woman. Presumably "atomizer" means a breath freshener... I guess the gag was taken out because it's almost identical to scene 12 where a clown does the same thing with water from a flower, but a little less "clown-like." The "eskimo clown" from the deleted scene 21 doesn't appear at any other point in the sequence, and I'm curious as to what he would look like, and how late he was removed from the film. Then again, the "captain" from scene 12 doesn't seem to appear in any other shots either (notice the blue coat and epaulettes).

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, its interesting to see so many scenes deleted in the Clowns sequence, and its one of my favourite sequences, I wish there was more in that sequence!