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The original Dumbo film was released in 1941 and followed the adventures of the titular baby elephant, who for some reason was born with enormous ears. The story begins the night before the circus is due to leave for the next town, but before the train leaves the storks arrive to deliver a plethora of babies to all of the circus animals. This is the scene for “Look Out For Mr. Stork.” The premise of this song is that the stork delivers babies to everyone, rich or poor, whether you want it or not (that’s actually a little disturbing if you think about it, imagine if these baby animals were sent to parents that didn’t want them!)
Look out for Mr. Stork
That persevering chap
He’ll come along and drop
A bundle in your lap
You may be poor or rich
It doesn’t matter which
Millionaires, they get theirs
Like the butcher and the baker
So look out for Mr. Stork
And let me tell you, friend
Don’t try to get away
He’ll find you in the end
He’ll spot you out in China or he’ll fly to County Cork
So you better look out for Mr. Stork
Look out for Mr. Stork
He’s got you on his list
And when he comes around
It’s useless to resist
Remember those quintuplets and the woman in the shoe
Maybe he’s got his eye on you
Well, almost all of the circus animals receive babies. While newborn babies are sent to their parents left and right, Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, doesn’t receive a baby that she is clearly expecting (not to worry, he arrives the next morning, that particular stork was running late). However, knowing in hindsight that Mrs. Jumbo will get her baby doesn’t change the fact that seeing her be disappointed again and again is very heartbreaking to watch. This is yet another example of how good early Disney was with incorporating some really sad material into their animated films.
Despite the sadness of Mrs. Jumbo, it is fun to watch all the baby animals arrive. One of my favorite moments is when the litter of tiger cubs come crawling out and wake up their mother. Though, as a child, part of me always wondered what the circus staff would make of all the babies the next day.
Let me know what you think about “Look Out For Mr. Stork” in the comments below and have a great day!
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