From his Playboy interview in tandem with Roger Ebert:
BTW, the whole interview is worth a quick read.The movie with the strongest emotional pull of my youth—and it has to do with my psychological history—was Dumbo. The separation from the mother was terrifying to me. And also Dumbo’s flying. It was like my whole ego was riding right on his trunk when he had to fly and believe in that mouse. I felt that I had big ears and I think most people feel that they have big ears stashed somewhere in their life.