The Ringmaster is the main antagonist of Disney's 1941 film, Dumbo. He is the circus' host and the very boss of every actor and every animal in the show. He was voiced by the late Herman Bing in the original film.
Unlike other villains before him, he doesn't show any signs of being a villain; he's just a rather strict and arrogant man trying to run the circus the best he can, and he finds himself dealing with the movie's hero.
He is first seen when the train named Casey Junior is all loaded and ready to go, and shouts "All aboard!" and the train whistles back "All aboard! Let's go!". He is seen again leading the circus parade.
When some mean kids start to make fun of Dumbo's big ears, Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo's mother, starts attacking them to protect her baby. However, the Ringmaster, not knowing she was provoked, tries to stop her, only to be splashed into Dumbo's barrel where he takes a bath in.
Furious, the Ringmaster has the "mad elephant" locked up in a cage. Later, he talks to his assistant Joe about a pachyderm pyramid, but has no clue what his climax will be. Timothy the Mouse, who (along with Dumbo) heard this, convinces the Ringmaster in his sleep to make Dumbo the climax so that Mrs. Jumbo can be let out. The next day, the Ringmaster puts the act into use, but Dumbo trips over his ears and causes the pyramid to fall, setting off a catastrophic chain of events which leads to the tent itself falling down and leaving the Ringmaster horrified at the disaster that resulted from his big idea.
Seeing no other use for Dumbo, he teams the little elephant with the clowns so to give him a role without causing anything disastrous. During a show in which Dumbo jumps off a higher building, he sees Dumbo soar over the crowd. He points in amazement to see something he never saw before. He is finally humiliated in public when Dumbo learns how to fly, shoots peanuts at him, and throwing one of the clowns' elephant mask after he again falls inside a barrel. The mask then lands on his butt.
Though he isn't seen again, the Ringmaster finally makes Dumbo the main star of his circus, gives Dumbo his own train car, and best of all, lets Mrs. Jumbo out of solitary confinement.
In the video game, the Ringmaster, and several other Disney Villains, plan on stealing the endings of their respective stories, and altering them so that they may get the happily ever after. The Ringmaster alters the story of Dumbo and forces the baby elephant to perform nonstop. He also alters the circus' overall look, making it seem like a horror film-esqe area. However, thanks to Jiminy Cricket and Mrs. Jumbo, the circus, and Dumbo, is saved. In the climax of the game, he and the other villains attempt to stop the player and Jiminy from restoring the stories by each taking one of the happy ending pages. He is defeated when the player uses the book containing the stories as a shield.
- The Ringmaster is characteristically related to Stromboli. Both have a curling mustache, make certain things perform, and shouts. Another similarity is that the Ringmaster separates Dumbo from his parent, just as Stromboli held Pinocchio captive to keep him from Gepetto. However, one main difference is that unlike Stromboli who sought to keep Pinocchio away from home, the Ringmaster has provided Dumbo with an agreeable home.
- The Ringmaster's character role is also similar to that of Aunt Sarah. They are both misunderstood characters who punish the protagonists (Mrs. Jumbo and Lady) when they don't really deserve to be punished, and their reforming is not seen in the film, only mentioned.