Reviews for the film at its initial release were largely positive. Variety said that Dumbo was "a pleasant little story, plenty of pathos mixed with the large doses of humor, a number of appealing new animal characters, lots of good music, and the usual Disney skillfulness in technique". Cecilia Ager, writing in PM, called Dumbo "the nicest, kindest Disney yet", and Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, said that the film was "the most genial, the most endearing, the most completely precious cartoon feature film ever to emerge from the magical brushes of Walt Disney's wonder-working artists". TIME responded to the reception of the film with plans to name the character as its "Mammal of the Year" (a play on its annual "Man/Person of the Year" honor), with an appearance on the cover of the magazine's edition of December 29, 1941. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 of that year shifted the news cycle away from Dumbo, although the previously planned essay on the film, with a more appropriate introduction, appeared in the December 29 issue's "Cinema" section.