Tim Burton and Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Break Down the Parade Scene in Dumbo

Director Tim Burton and Costume Designer Colleen Atwood break down the stunningly beautiful parade scene in Disney’s new live action film, Dumbo.

In the enchanting world of Disney’s Dumbo, director Tim Burton and Costume Designer Colleen Atwood collaborate to bring the mesmerizing parade scene to life. March 29th marks the theatrical release of this mesmerizing production.

“This shows the magic of the world that these people are seeing for the first time in their lives.”

Built in an old blimp factory, the entire set, from gates to floats, was artfully designed by Production Designer Rick Heinrichs, a frequent collaborator with Tim Burton, enhancing the actors’ connection to the whimsical world of ‘Dreamland’. Unlike green screen productions, tangible sets allowed everyone to immerse themselves in the grandeur, creating a genuine and unforgettable experience.

Colleen Atwood, known for her masterful costume designs, took a unique approach deviating from traditional circus colours. Instead, she opted for a palette of dirty yellows, reds, and blues. This gives the costumes a distinct patina that resonates with the film’s magical atmosphere.

One of the challenges faced in the film was Dumbo’s character development. Unlike typical movies, Dumbo materialized towards the end, requiring a thoughtful approach. Tim Burton’s decision to have an actual actor in a green suit portraying Dumbo enables genuine reactions by providing the cast a focal point.

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Parade scene in 'Dumbo'

Parade Scene in ‘Dumbo’

Tim Burton’s attention to detail extended to Dumbo’s eyes, emphasizing the connection between humans and animals. By adjusting the eye placement and incorporating Dumbo’s point of view, they beautifully captured the character’s essence, striking a balance between fantasy and reality.

Even Atwood’s seemingly minor details, such as the headdresses, were carefully designed to exude a captivating visual appeal. Michael Keaton’s character, V.A. Vandevere, embodied a unique challenge, demanding comfort and quick changes, all of which Atwood expertly addressed.

Ultimately, the collaborative efforts of Burton, Atwood, and the entire creative team aimed to evoke the timeless emotions associated with classic Disney movies—joy, happiness, sadness, and a profound sense of self-discovery. Dumbo, a tale of peculiar characters finding their place in the world, promises to transport audiences into a magical realm where weirdness becomes a beautiful advantage.

Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood

Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood

Have you seen Dumbo? I’ve always been a fan of Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood. Turning it over to you, I would love to know your thoughts about the film in the comments below.


If you enjoyed this post, you can find more Costume Design posts, here.

Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

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