Dumbo “Pink Elephants on Parade” (1941)

“Pink Elephants on Parade” might possibly be one of the most psychedelic and mind-twisting pieces of animation that early Disney ever produced. The song comes after Dumbo has been forced to become a circus clown and is still deeply depressed over being separated from his mother. The well-meaning Timothy Q. Mouse takes Dumbo to get a drink of water to help him feel better, not realizing that a bottle of champagne has been added to the watering trough. As a result, both Dumbo and Timothy quickly become intoxicated (remember, this is 1941, different time, different standards) and begin seeing things, particularly strange pink elephants that quickly take over the screen. The song “Pink Elephants On Parade” comments on how unnatural it is to see pink elephants and what a disturbing sight it is. The song’s purpose is to 1) lighten the mood after all of the terrible things that have happened to Dumbo and 2) transition the story to the eventual discovery that Dumbo can fly.

Look out! Look out!
Pink elephants on parade.
Here they come!
Hippety hoppety.

They’re here, and there.
Pink elephants ev’rywhere!

Look out! Look out!
They’re walking around the bed.
On their head!
Clippety cloppety.

Arrayed in braid.
Pink elephants on parade!

What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
What an unusual view!

I could stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms
Is really too much for me!

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things
are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain’t
Can certainly give you an awful fright!
What a sight!

Chase ’em away!
Chase ’em away!
I’m afraid need your aid
Pink elephants on parade!

Hey hey hey

Pink elephants!
Pink elephants!
Pink elephants….

Once the elephants take over, Dumbo and Timothy disappear from the song and are not seen again until the elephants fade away. Until then, the screen is full of multi-colored elephants twisting and turning into different shapes. I know some people have commented on finding this scene scary or even a little disturbing, but I don’t personally remember being scared, if anything I thought it was funny. That being said, the song does contain some very surreal animation; for example a snake becomes an elephant dancer, which transforms into a ball, which becomes a floating eye (definitely not something you see every day). Also, if some of the footage looks familiar, it’s because part of it was recycled for “Heffalumps and Woozles” from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968).

Let me know what you think about “Pink Elephants on Parade” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Dumbo “Look Out For Mr. Stork” (1941)

Dumbo “Song of the Roustabouts” (1941)

Dumbo “When I See an Elephant Fly” (1941)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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3 thoughts on “Dumbo “Pink Elephants on Parade” (1941)

  1. Pingback: Dumbo “Look Out For Mr. Stork” (1941) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Dumbo “When I See an Elephant Fly” (1941) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: Dumbo “Song of the Roustabouts” (1941) | Film Music Central

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