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Dumbo Character Posters Offer Fresh Looks At Human Cast And Adorable Elephant Lead

To get everyone amped-up about the impending release of DumboDisney has unveiled five character posters for the Tim Burton-directed live-action remake. 

Shared in an exclusive reveal by Entertainment Weekly, the one-sheets show off the floppy-earned, impossibly cute elephant who leads the story; Colin Farrell's Holt Farrier, a World War I veteran, former showman, and one-armed widower; Danny DeVito's Max Medici, who owns the Medici Bros. circus and who buys Dumbo's mother in hopes of bringing more revenue into his struggling big top; Eva Green's Colette Marchant, a French aerialist who top-lines a dazzling rival circus; and Michael Keaton's V.A. Vandevere, a "savvy, slick entrepreneur" who owns the "state-of-the-art amusement utopia called Dreamland."

Dumbo, named for his "unusually big ears," is the laughing stock of the Medici Bros. circus, only viewed as valuable when Max discover his hidden talent: he can fly. The price of fame is high, Dumbo soon learns, as he's separated from his mother when Vandevere selects him as Dreamland's latest and greatest attraction. His character poster features him in a happier moment, though his eyes look to hide a certain sadness, if we're being completely honest. 

As for Farrell's character, the actor described Holt as being lost until Max, his boss, tasks him with caring for Dumbo. "What once was my home and a place where I was incredibly comfortable, is now a place that I feel very estranged from," Farrell said. Dumbo offers Holt and his two children "a whole new world of possibilities" they never could have dreamed of before. 

After Vandevere successfully manipulates Max and "everyone around him," Dumbo heads to Dreamland and pairs up with Colette, who, in turn, enters "the orbit of Holt and his family." Once he has Dumbo right where he wants him, Vandevere's smarmy, money-hungry attitude only grows more intense — and Keaton admitted he had a ton of fun with the character. "Often the antagonist is really fun to play, and it was," the actor told EW

Take a look at the new Dumbo character posters below.

Disney has a laundry list of planned live-action adaptations of its classic animated features — including new takes on Aladdin and The Lion King, both coming this year — but what makes Dumbo stand out is its director, Tim Burton. The filmmaker has a distinctive visual style, often painting settings and characters with a bleak brush, and tends to spin stories into slightly harrowing territory — although that's not what he did with his previous adaptation of a well-known Disney property.

In 2010, Burton took on a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, which kicked off Disney's trend of animated-to-live-action remakes and was applauded for its aesthetic. However, casual movie-goers and reviewers alike criticized the film's storytelling structure; many felt the 2010 movie "sacrifice[d] the book's minimal narrative coherence — and much of its heart" in favor of striking visuals. 

Burton admitted that he didn't want to make Alice unnecessarily creepy or gritty, telling The New York Times that he "kind of went out of [his] way to not make it too dark," and though it's tough to say whether this decision was his downfall with Alice, it seems that Burton is rectifying his missteps with Dumbo. Or, at the least, he's returning to what comes naturally to him. What we've seen of Dumbo so far hints at heartbreaking stuff, suggesting that Burton will sprinkle some of his signature darkness over the story. Will it work? Only time can tell — and that time will come on March 29, when Dumbo flies into theaters.