Their fictional cousin could simply have flapped his massive ears and flown out of trouble.
For these six baby elephants, however, there was no Dumbo-style solution for their very earthbound dilemma.
The calves had become trapped in a deep mud pit in a Thai forest and, try as they might, were unable to scale the slippery banks to safety.
The tiniest of the animals was sunk up to its eyes, with its little trunk barely sticking out of the mud.
Fortunately, the unhappy group was discovered by rangers patrolling the Thap Lan national park in the north-east of the country.
One group of rangers left to get reinforcements while the rest remained with the frightened elephants as night fell. Adults from the herd to which the youngsters belonged could be heard circling the area.
RANGERS TO THE RESCUE: Six baby elephants in Thailand got stuck in a mud pit and couldn’t get out. Officials say these rangers in the Thap Lan National Park spent five hours digging a path and helping all of the elephants to safety. 🐘 pic.twitter.com/y0vZRa3d14
— KDKA (@KDKA) March 29, 2019
The following day it took rescuers with picks and shovels five hours to drain some of the mud and dig a path so that the elephants could scramble to freedom one by one.
Mobile phone footage shows them walking shakily on to firm ground before heading into the forest.