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The Ringmaster is the main antagonist in Disney's 4th animated feature film Dumbo.
The Ringmaster is notable for being one of the few antagonists in a Disney film who is not necessarily evil other than his arrogance and his harsh rule. the Ringmaster is otherwise considered a fairly respectable character.
However, these traits were sadly all too apparent in The Ringmaster, and he unfairly punished Dumbo's mother when she came to her son's aid when Skinny continually taunted him. He did not realize what his mother was trying to do, locking her up and labelling her a mad elephant. The Ringmaster later tried to have Dumbo join in the act with the other elephants (who disliked the young elephant) but became enraged when Dumbo, through no fault of his own, accidentally caused a riot.
The Ringmaster demoted Dumbo to a circus clown as punishment, sentencing the poor elephant to a life of abuse and ridicule - however with help from a magic feather and the kindly mouse, Timothy, Dumbo was able to turn the tables on the Ringmaster via learning to fly. With Dumbo's new success the elephant earned himself a happier life alongside his mother, the Ringmaster apparently still controls the circus but seemed to have changed his ways (perhaps because of Dumbo now becoming a "star attraction").
Disney's Villains' Revenge
The Ringmaster is one of the villains who started to rewrite their stories after Jimmy Cricket foolishly tampered with a storybook in the video-game Disney's Villains' Revenge, prompting Jimmy to enter the book and undo the evils of the villains. Unlike in the original movie, the Ringmaster is a more outright villain in this game, complete with his own Circus of Fear. He then redeems himself after he was defeated & apologises to Dumbo for his mistakes.
- The Ringmaster's real name was not told of the movie.
- In the children's book versions of Dumbo, especially the MGM books, the Ringmaster is portrayed as a friendly person.
- The Ringmaster is similar to Aunt Sarah from Lady and the Tramp, who are both misunderstood villains and punished the protagonists (Dumbo and Lady) when they don't realy deserve to be punished, and their reforming is not seen in the film only mentioned. However, he is not affiliated with animal villains, the way Sarah was affiliated with her cats Si & Am and the climatic Rat.
- The Ringmaster is also similar to Stromboli from Pinocchio, as both have short tempers, make certain things perform and shout. However Stromboli sought to keep Pinocchio away from his father and home, while the Ringmaster provided Dumbo with an agreed home.