For me, in an odd way, viewing Jumbo is a bit of a sad experience, which has nothing to do with the film or the Blu-ray presentation.
While there were musicals after Jumbo, for all intents and purposes, Jumbo was the final true M-G-M musical. There really weren't any more like it.
The look of it, even in Eastman color, the orchestrations, and the entire technical staff behind the production, were as extraordinary as any put together in the past. But Jumbo was the end of an era.
By my comments, I don't mean to say that Jumbo is one of the great M-G-M musicals. It's not. But it's a beautiful, fun and entertaining film that has a certain place in history.
It's a gorgeous film to look at -- almost 3D on this new Warner Archive Blu-ray, with a full rich track in DTS-HD MA 5.1. It's the kind of track that, in its own way, screamed...
Jumbo, is of course, one of a small group of "big top" movies produced over the decades. Most weren't very good. One won the Academy Award for Best Picture, but was never one of my favorites.
What Jumbo offers, aside from the ever perky Doris Day and an appearance by the great Smiler Grogan, late of the vaudeville team of Clayton, Jackson & Grogan, is the music of Rogers and Hart, and the cinematography of William Daniels, which as noted appears almost 3D-like in this presentation.
Jumbo is based upon the Billy Rose's play of the same name, which ran on Broadway during 1935-36. The play is based, in part, upon the life story of a quite extraordinary elephant.
Born in 1861 in the French Sudan, he spend time in a Paris zoo, before being purchased at age 20 by P.T. Barnum. Jumbo traveled as a major attraction with the circus for only four years, until he met his unfortunate end after being struck by in locomotive in Canada in 1885. His skeleton resides at the Museum of Natural History in NYC.
As far as I know, Jumbo and Doris Day never actually met.
Jumbo is a quality film, presented with the finest of quality on WB's new Blu-ray.
Image - 5
Audio - 5