In this animated feature the stork brings a baby elephant with large ears who becomes a clown but learns he can fly.
Storks bring babies to the circus animals in Florida. The circus moves by train that believes it can make it up a hill. A baby elephant is called Jumbo Junior by his mother of that name; but he has large ears and is called Dumbo. Singing circus workers set up tents with help from the elephants. The circus animals and clowns parade; Dumbo falls in the mud and is given a bath. Kids laugh at Dumbo's ears, and his mother Jumbo goes on a rampage. Jumbo is locked up as mad. Other elephants gossip and shun Dumbo. Mouse Timothy (Edward Brophy) scares them and gives Dumbo a peanut. Clown Joe thinks of a pachyderm pyramid, and Timothy talks to him in his sleep about Dumbo. Elephants perform by making a pyramid; but Dumbo upsets it, and they are injured.
Dumbo is made a clown and is ostracized by the elephants. The clowns entertain putting out fires with Dumbo and then celebrate their success. Timothy washes Dumbo with a toothbrush and takes him to visit his mother, who sings "Baby of Mine." Clowns want Dumbo to jump from a higher platform and go to ask for a raise. Dumbo cries and gets the hiccups. Timothy gives him bubbly water. Timothy drinks it too and gets tipsy. Dumbo blows bubbles that become pink elephants dancing until they finally become clouds at sunrise. Crows see Timothy sleeping on Dumbo in a tree. Timothy wakes Dumbo, who falls into water. Timothy wonders how they got up there and realizes Dumbo can fly. Jim Crow (Cliff Edwards) gives Dumbo a magic feather, and Dumbo flies. In the circus clowns ask Dumbo to jump from a tall building on fire, and Dumbo flies around. In the final scene everyone celebrates his success.
This cartoon fantasy shows how an individual who suffers
from social prejudice can turn his peculiarity to an advantage.
Ironically the victims of Jim Crow discrimination are the ones
who recognize his gift. They may be black; but they can fly, and
so can he.