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Clowns

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Circus Clowns
Background information
Feature films Dumbo
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Television programs House of Mouse
Video games Disney's Villains' Revenge
Park attractions
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators
Voice Billy Bletcher
Performance model
Designer
Inspiration The Disney animators who went on strike in 1941
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names Joey (one of the clowns)
Personality Greedy, drunk
Appearance Varies by individual
Nationality
Species
Birthday
Occupation Clowns
Ringmaster's minions
Alignment
Alignment Neutral
Affiliation
Affiliations
Goal To get a giant raise for their jobs well-done (failed; when distracted by Dumbo's magnificent flight)
Home Florida
Relatives
Pets
Allies Each other, Ringmaster
Minions Dumbo (out of force)
Enemies
Likes Champagne
Dislikes Failures
Powers and abilities Their professional strength
Weapons Board (to whip Dumbo's buttocks in their clown act)
Fate Get burned in their buttocks while running from the burning building display and apparently fired from the circus or reformed
Quote "This idea's sensational! Let's go tell the boss!"
(pulls a cork to open a bottle of champagne to make a toast to Dumbo) "Here, boys, this calls for a real celebration! Come and get it!"

The Clowns are the teritary antagonists in Disney's 1941 film Dumbo. The clowns work for their boss the Ringmaster for a circus. They are first seen in the parade on the circus' opening day, doing various goofy acts.

Background

Personality

The clowns are not exactly antagonistic through evil or maliciousness, but more of insensitivity towards animals, most notably Dumbo. They take great pride in their jobs as comic entertainers, believing it will earn them respect from their audiences. However, they are also easily scared, as when they see Dumbo finally flying and soaring at them, they immediately panic and run for cover, assuming he will attack them as revenge for the previous act that left him humiliated.  

The clowns are mute during their act, but seem to be generally loud-mouthed otherwise.

Design

It is unknown what they look like without their costumes, as they are only seen as shadows.

Appearances

Dumbo

The clowns first appear during the circus parade, and start a fireman act as Dumbo's first performance as a clown. During the act, one of the clowns wears an elephant mask and a dress pretending to be Dumbo's mother shouting "save my child!", and the other clowns appear dressed as firemen, with one wearing the uniform of a fire chief. The only clown that talks during the act is the "mother." The clowns perform goofy acts such as dousing a fire with gasoline, roasting hot dogs in front of a burning building, or throwing water on a flowerbed instead of the fire. For the climax, Dumbo, who is dressed like a baby and wearing clown makeup, is made to jump from the building, where he is to land in a gigantic pie. He resists, but one clown sneaks up from behind him and whips him with a wood board. He ends up landing in the pie, much to everyone's amusement. The other animals consider Dumbo to be a disgrace to the circus animals (despite Dumbo had no choice in the matter and was doing the job as best he could). Following the act, the shadows of the clowns are shown in their tent changing into casual clothes and celebrating with a bottle of champagne over the popular act. They believe they will earn a lot more money by making the height greater and thus more death-defying. One of the dumber but more sympathetic clowns comments that they may accidentally hurt Dumbo if they make the act much too extreme, only to be brushed off by two others who reply that "elephants don't have feelings" and that they are "made of rubber". As they leave to tell their boss of their idea for thier next act, their champagne bottle is knocked into Dumbo's water bucket, resulting in Dumbo and Timothy Mouse getting drunk.

The clowns ultimately get their comeuppance (along with the Ringmaster) during the second act when Dumbo flies off a thousand-foot-tall cardboard building instead of landing in the pie. This scares the clowns, who either take cover in water barrels (one clown who was standing on a ladder loses his balance and falls into the pie himself after Dumbo soars at him, the spash soaking four of the clowns) or drive their fire engine into the burning building only to reemerge with scathed rear ends screaming. They are not seen for the rest of the film. What happens to the clowns after the circus is renamed "Dumbo's Flying Circus" is unknown, although it is assumed that they either lost their jobs, or reformed after witnessing Dumbo flying during the act.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

House of Mouse

Disney's Villains' Revenge

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Clowns.

Trivia

  • The clowns' requests to get a raise from their boss is a reference to the Disney animators that went on strike in 1941 (during the creation of the film), demanding higher pay from Disney himself. Moreover, some of the clowns are caricatures of those animators. 

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