The Matriarch appears at the beginning of the film, boarding Casey Junior's circus train with the other. As the train goes on, Mr. Stork delivers Mrs. Jumbo's baby. At first, the Matriarch and the other elephants coo over the baby, but then become surprised when they see his large ears. They laugh at him and call him "Dumbo". When Casey Junior arrives at the circus grounds that night, the elephants are unloaded to help set up the circus tent. The next morning, the elephants march down the street with the rest of the circus.
After a while, they learn that Mrs. Jumbo is in solitary confinement and discuss it; with the Matriarch and Catty blaming Dumbo for it. When they see Dumbo coming, the Matriarch instructs them to form a tight circle to block him out and "to pretend they don't see him". Timothy Mouse, having seen everything, marches into the circle and frightens them, causing them to scramble in fear of him. He gives them a stern lecture about picking on "little guys" before scaring them again while leaving.
Later, the elephants are part of an act in which they form a "Pyramid of Pachyderms". The Matriarch is the base elephant standing on a large ball as the other elephants climb on top of her back. Throughout the act, the Matriarch tries to keep the others focused on their work instead of each other, constantly having Prissy losing her footing and falling down on her, smothering her head with her rear. When the pyramid is formed, Dumbo comes to jump onto the top as the climax, but he trips on his ears and hits the ball that the Matriarch is standing on. This leads to the elephants crashing down on each other and bringing down the circus tent. After that, the elephants discuss about what happened, with all of them wearing bandages, ice packs, etc... They learn through Catty that Dumbo is now a clown and that they no longer consider him an elephant.
Near the end of the film, as Dumbo jumps off a burning building for his clown act, he reveals his flying ability in front of everyone. As he flies, he sucks peanuts through his trunk from a peanut seller's stand and shoots them at the Matriarch and the other elephants as revenge for their bullying. The Matriarch and the other elephants are later shown singing in the reprise of "When I See an Elephant Fly" at the film's end, implying that they have finally accepted Dumbo.
House of Mouse
Elephant Matriarch and the other elephants make an appearance in the House of Mouse episode, Super Goof.
- The Elephant Matriarch was a character which inspired people to create another elephant character almost like her named Eloise in Goliath II.
- The animation of Elephant Matriarch and the other Gossipy elephants getting spooked by Timothy Q. Mouse was recycled for use in Goliath II for the scene with the elephant herd getting spooked by a mouse.
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