Dumbo Gets Mad: "Marmelade Kids"
By George Bass | 22 February 2011
We all have our favorite memories of Disney losing their shit. Whether it’s “Night on Bald Mountain” being played in Fantasia or seeing penis clouds in The Lion King, Walt’s employees have long had a history of splicing anarchy into their pictures. No one can forget the sequence 70 years ago where Dumbo the elephant sucks up some booze and meets his legendary pink brethren—no one, that is, more than Dumbo Gets Mad, Italy’s new king of the international blog scene.
Having possibly shoved a feast of illicit substances up his own trunk, Mr. Gets Mad is every cartoonist’s surrogate fantasy: a hermit kid who keeps rewinding the weird bits, and has now gone on to become an animated vigilante. Arming himself with only a stomach-churning wardrobe and a mustache you could strike safety matches on, Dumbo Gets Mad—with the help of his angel-voiced girlfriend—plays beautiful and insane psychedelia, beautiful enough to be signed by Bad Panda on a pay-as-you-tweet basis. OK, so the majority of smartphone holders might not subscribe to analogue keyboards/tape machines/mescaline, but if they don’t quickly realise DGM’s psychedelic rock is worth a measly 160 characters then, frankly, they need to shove things up their own trunk, and fast. And then cool off, and then have their heads frozen in ethanol for robots to defrost in the future.
The trippy production smeared across Elephants at the Door ensures you’re at least kept spellbound for forty minutes, but it’s surprises like the rap beats of “Marmelade Kids” that drive home Dumbo’s cartoon insanity. Over a background of angel noises and galactic jazz rhythms, Mrs. Mad sings about being boring in 1962, although a quick glance at her official Facebook reveals that physically can’t be possible (unless she’s been frozen in ethanol too). As she purrs like a cherub recovering from dental anesthetic, Dumbo prepares melancholy music for end-of-evening clinches: hooting organs, shrill strings and bridges that sound like the return of the New Radicals. It’s difficult to imagine how a live crowd will take to this now that Dumbo Gets Mad are hitting big—I predict hordes of enraptured fans swaying on the floor like they all need a simultaneous piss—but as “Kids” slips into its tranquilized conclusion I also predict a load of hypnotized youngsters saving money on drugs. Mission accomplished, Mr DGM. This is probably the most potent free psychedelia you can have without growing your own peyote.