EDWARD Scissorhands director Tim Burton’s films are known and celebrated for two things.

His fascination with the macabre and his love of oddballs, underdogs and those who are misunderstood.

Dumbo – brought back to the screen more than 75 years after the animated classic – definitely falls into the latter category of Burton’s work.

And thanks to a mix of poignant and quirky scenes, you can’t help but fall in love with the ‘circus freak’ elephant who is born with oversized ears and is separated from his protective mother to perform on demand.

The story sees Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) returning from the war a shadow of his former self. He has lost his arm, his wife due to influenza and his circus act as a horse stunt rider. In the process he has also lost his sense of self and his connection to his two children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins).

The kids find solace from their fractured family by tending to baby Dumbo when they discover his secret which stuns the world.

Soon Max Medici’s (Danny DeVito) struggling travelling circus is enjoying sell-out shows thanks to the amazing flying elephant.

An inevitable buyout by V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who runs the amusement park Dreamland, promises to make the dreams of everyone come true and also gives Holt the chance to work with his children again to prepare the new star act with dazzling performer Colette Marchant (Eva Green).

But not everything is as it seems at the ruthless showman’s art deco ‘wonderland’.

There is a debate to be had about whether a remake of Dumbo was necessary but this live action version left my five-year-old spellbound.

And although the plot is a bit by-the-numbers, the parallels between Holt’s broken family and Dumbo’s desperation to be reunited with his mum is powerful nonetheless.

It is also great to see Burton to be reunited with Keaton for this Disney picture – the director’s second ‘creature feature’ after Frankenweenie.

Burton and Keaton previously worked together on two Batman films and Keaton steals the show as the greedy, callous Vandevere.

Well, at least until the ending when his character becomes a bit exaggerated and silly.

Dumbo is by no stretch a masterpiece but it’s best enjoyed with your kids by your side. Go along for the ride and let your heart take flight.

RATING: 7/10