6 Fun Facts About Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse
1. An Elephant of Few Words
Dumbo is the only title character in a Disney film that never speaks. He does, however, hiccup after he and Timothy Q. Mouse inadvertently drink some champagne that the circus clowns had dropped into a water bucket.
2. Excuse Me!
A few other Disney characters never speak in their original films, most notably Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Gideon the cat in Pinocchio. (One might argue that Dopey would qualify as a title character, but that’s stretching things a bit!). Curiously, just like Dumbo, both of those characters also hiccup! In Gideon’s case, his hiccups marked the lone appearance of legendary voice actor Mel Blanc (best known for his portrayal of Bugs Bunny) in a Disney film.
3. Dumbo Comes to the Small Screen
Although he is silent in the film, Dumbo did speak in the 1954 record “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Party.” He would later go on to star (and speak) in the Disney Channel show “Dumbo’s Circus,” voiced by Katie Leigh. The show is notable for being the longest-running Disney Channel original series up to that time (at 115 episodes) until it was surpassed by “Phineas and Ferb.”
4. Where’s Timothy?
While the character of Timothy Q. Mouse doesn’t appear by name in the 2019 live-action remake, a tribute to him can be seen at the beginning of the film. There we see a white mouse wearing Timothy’s ringmaster suit, serving as the master of ceremonies in a mouse-sized circus called the Greatest Little Show on Earth (itself a reference to the name seen on the top of the large tent in the opening sequence of the 1941 animated classic).
5. Don’t Call me Dumbo…
Dumbo’s actual name Is Jumbo Jr. (Continuing the trend of “characters who rarely speak,” we know this is Dumbo’s real name because it is the only line in the film uttered by Dumbo’s mother, Mrs. Jumbo!). As far as Dumbo’s sidekick goes, Timothy Q. Mouse is indeed his real name, but how do we know this? His name is never spoken aloud in the film; we only know it because we see his signature on the contract he signs at the end of the film.
6. Dumbo’s Origins
The story of Dumbo goes back to a children’s story, “Dumbo the Flying Elephant,” written by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl and illustrated by Helen R. Durney. The story was initially presented in a short-lived invention called the Roll-a-Book, in which the story was printed on a long scroll. The scroll was attached to two rotating cylinders inside a small box, and the reader would progress through the story by turning a knob at the top of the box to reveal the next “page.”