Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Dumbo Deleted Scenes - Part 4

OK, here we go... the rest of the deleted scenes. I can't claim that my reflections are completely comprehensive, so if any of you notice anything you feel I should have mentioned... either about any of these scenes or others I may have missed... then let me know in the comments!

As before, these are transcripts from the drafts - you can find scanned copies of the originals on the A. Film L.A. website by following the links in the scene titles. The portions of the transcript in italics are the parts which don't appear in the film, the rest is included to provide context.

Sequence 16: Clown Sequence (Draft No. 1)

1 LS - Tent. Clowns in sillhouette celebrating and singing, "WE'RE THE SMARTEST CLOWNS ----."

2 MS - Ollie and Frank dancing and singing, "WE'RE THE ANSWER TO AN OLD RINGMASTER'S DREAM."


4 MS - Group of clowns dancing and singing finish of song - "---THE BIG TOWNS, FOR THE GREATEST CLOWNS THE WORLD



The dialogue throughout this sequence is not given in full in the draft, but in a shortened (and sometimes very slightly paraphrased) form. Fortunately most of the cut song is included in the draft, and, better yet, Hans has posted up an acetate recording of it, and of the "hit the big boss for a raise" reprise that survived into the film.

Mark Mayerson mentioned that a lot of the film relies on "the principle of contrast", and there's certainly a lot of contrast going from the tear-jerker previous sequence to the clowns laughing it up in their tent. There would have been more of a direct contrast if they had kept these scenes in, as the film would have gone from one song (the lullaby) to another (the clowns' celebration song). Maybe that kind of cut would have been a bit too jarring, though.

And, yes, two of the clowns are identified as "Ollie and Frank". If they really are named after the two animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, it's very interesting. Neither worked on Dumbo, but would have been occupied on Bambi at the same time. Seems like some light-hearted in-house rivalry. It's also interesting that, so soon after Ollie's promotion to full animator, than he and Frank would already have been seen as some kind of double-act.

Sequence 17: Hiccups and Cure (Draft No. 2) has quite a few differences in the draft, but not much in the way of deleted scenes. Scene 12 is a kind of deleted scene: after Dumbo has swallowed the alcohol-enhanced water, he lets out a hiccup, and the draft mentions a close-up of Timothy saying "OH, I GUESS YOU HAD ONE LITTLE ONE LEFT OVER." However, in the film he is off-screen when he says this.

Also, in scene 18, after Timothy emerges from the bucket, the draft has him say "GIGGLE WATER!", evidently in response to his own question about "WHAT KINDA WATER IS THIS ANYHOW?" The question is in the film but the answer isn't.

Mostly, though, we can see the opposite of deleted scenes - scenes which are in the film but not in the draft. I expect Mark Mayerson will cover this when he reaches this sequence in his mosaic.

Sequence 19.2 - Dumbo learns to fly (Final Draft)

Now, this one's a bit more complicated than the usual clean lifts. Thanks to Zartok-35 for first noticing it.

29 CU - Dumbo's head. Crows flying around. Timothy jumps out of Dumbo's hat on to his trunk. Crows Laughing.

30 EXTREME CU - Timothy on Dumbo's trunk talks to him, kisses feather. "DUMBO! I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT. NOW OUR TROUBLES ARE OVER. HO-HO!" To crows off-stage: "YOU BOYS KEEP THIS UNDER YOUR HATS. MUM'S DA WOID."

31 CU - Crows on top of Dumbo's head: "SHO' NUFF, BOY." "WE DON'T GONNA TALK." "NOT TO NOBODY." "MUM'S DE WOID."

32 CU - Two crows on top of Dumbo's head. Crow with deep voice: "MUM'S DE WOID."

33 CU - Timothy on Dumbo's trunk, says "WAIT'LL WE GET TO THE BIG TOWN."

As Zartok mentioned, a close-up of J.C. was added after this, saying "BOY, THEM CITY FOLKS IS SURE IN FOR A SU'PRISE!" This seems like a bit of a redundant addition: more something that would be taken out to condense dialogue (see story notes from The Reluctant Dragon) than added. In the next sequence, Timothy says basically the same thing - in both the draft and the film.

Or maybe they really needed to hammer it in that flying elephants are supposed to be surpising, in a world where storks literally deliver babies! Then again, we have just had a whole song about how unusual a flying elephant would be.

But a couple of other things, too. I'm not sure if I'd describe scene 29 as a close-up of Dumbo's head, also, it contains Timothy's "I knew you could do it!" line that the draft places in the next shot. I guess they didn't want to lose that line even though they were cutting the scene where it appeared. It seems a surprising number of differences for a so-called "Final" draft.

Sequence 20 - Big town, Dumbo triumphs (Draft No. 2)

3 LS - Burning building. Old Woman Clown running back and forth, yelling, "POOR BABY, OOH, OH."

4 CU - Old Lady Clown yelling, "SAVE MY CHE-ILD."

5 MS - Fire truck enters and throws clowns.

6 MS - Firemen land and run in confusion.

8.1 Clowns grab net - They all fall down.

9 Fireman cranks group of firemen up ladder.

10 Firemen on ladder come up into scene. Ladder out. Firemen fall out of scene.

18 MS - Four Firemen run in with net yelling: "JUMP, COME ON, JUMP."

It seems that originally this sequence was going to have a build-up to Dumbo's leap as big as the one in the earlier "Fireman Sace My Child" sequence, with several scenes of clowns fooling around as before. In addition to those actually included in the draft, there are also mentions of scenes 2, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 as "No Scene" and 8, 15 and 17 as "Out of Picture". The difference in terminology might refer to different dates when these scenes were removed. At any rate, it appears that they gradually cut more and more of the build-up and eventually decided to just lose the whole thing and "cut to the chase".

Also, from the end of the sequence:

62 CU - Timothy in hat says, "THAT'S THE STUFF, NOW THE VERTICAL FLIP-FLOP."

51 LS - Dumbo weaves through tent poles and zooms out at upper left.

64.1 Dumbo's shadow on tent top. Timothy says,

Now, as you can see, this is another more complicated cut -- it seems that the visual from scene 62 was used to end the sequence, but with Timothy's dialogue from scene 64.1. Also notice the numbering - quite a few shots in this sequence have been rearranged, as noted on the draft - similar to the "Fireman Save My Child" sequence. The draft we have is of the sequence as a work in progress, after they had started and before they had finished rearranging and removing scenes.

Well, that's it for deleted scenes. But the realms of "what could have been" extend further, with Michael Sporn posting some fascinating early storyboards on his blog last month, many of which are of unused story concepts. I'll take a closer look at them in a later post.

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