Tied with “Sleeping Beauty” for Disney’s worst movie poster ever. Too much rant to fit in one caption.
As I explained to some seven-year-olds who had never heard of it: “Bambi is a movie about a deer who grows up.” They weren’t too impressed.
Fun Facts are fun. Here we go:
- There are songs in the movie, but none of the characters actually sing
- Bambi’s facial expressions were based on those of his voice actor, Donnie Dunagan. I’m going to link you to his IMDb page, because his life was pretty interesting, and it’s totally worth reading (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0241760/bio?ref_=nm_dyk_trv_sm#trivia). His career started when he won a talent show tap-dancing at the age of three, and he also served as a Marine for 25 years, and became their youngest ever drill instructor.
- At first, Thumper’s name was Bobo
- One of the few Disney movies to never have humans on screen. Others are Robin Hood, The Lion King, The Great Mouse Detective (I think), and Dinosaur.
- There are only about 1000 words spoken in the film
- According to IMDb (When you run a movie blog, that site becomes your best friend), there were several gory ideas for the end of the film that Walt had to turn down. Some were:
- Showing the hunter getting killed by the forest fire he started
- Bambi looking for his mother after she was shot and finding her in a pool of blood
- Bambi getting shot instead of his mother
I’m starting to wonder what was wrong with the creative minds of 1940’s Disney.
Before we jump in, can we just take a moment to discuss the movie poster? Look at the tagline. “A great love story.” That‘s the best they could come up with? Seriously? That’d be the lamest tagline ever if it was a great love story, but, show of hands, how many people even think “love story” when they hear “Bambi”? The love was probably the least well-portrayed emotion in the whole movie. Of all the taglines, of all the deer puns in the world, they went with that. Wow.
And then there’s the book. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I just don’t get it. A bunch of Disney movies (Snow White, Pinocchio, Winnie the Pooh, etc.) start with opening books, which I actually really like. It reminds you that you’re about to be told a story, and feels homey. But if Bambi didn’t start with a book opening, why did they choose to focus on it for the advertizement? Why not the scenery and the other animals? And what’s up with the typeface of “Bambi” anyway?
Speaking of the book, apparently it’s a literary masterpiece. Here’s a representative review, since I haven’t read it:
“Do you believe in magic?” “Well, it depends, but not necessarily. I believe in the effect it has on children, but not, like, magic magic.”
I just read this book a couple of years ago and found it fascinating and horrifying at times, like when Salten describes the humans through the eyes and mind of the animals. We seem like some bizarre creatures from a very foreign, ugly place with bizarre mannerisms. Not natural at all!
From what I’ve gathered, I think a lot of it is religious allegory and stuff too. So in conclusion, yes, Bambi is a book.
For a book vs. movie comparison, drop by http://dettoldisney.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/bambi-vs-bambi-a-life-in-the-woods/, a blog dedicated to comparing Disney films to their original stories. It’s pretty cool.
The movie was pretty cool, too. I watched it with eleven-year-old Eloise (check out the Viewer Profile for details), and we had an alright time. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t feel like too much actually happened in the film. Which I was okay with, but looking back on it two weeks later, it seems sort of dull. What I remember:
- New baby
- New friends
- Awkward little growing-uppy experiences, model of childhood development
- The mom dies
- Everyone suddenly has girlfriends so it’s all okay again
- Series of slow battles against Man and words of Wisdom from the Great Prince
- More of that
- And more
- And babies again
(It should be noted that the rest of this post is written more than month after I watched the movie. I’m a PROcrastinator.
Here’s what I’ve noticed: All of these early Disney movies either have lullabies or waltzes, and I haven’t seen one of those in a long while (songs like “I See The Light” from Tangled are slowed down a bit, but still, I’d say, in the pop genre). Eloise and I were talking about how they’re dying out because people don’t think kids will have that kind of attention span, and need action sequences to keep them in their seats. Which is interesting, since her two favorite parts were when Bambi was snuggling with his mother, and the beginning when they showed that two minute landscape scene of the forest. And if you’ll recall in Dumbo, my eight-year-old companion’s favorite part was the lullaby. And my favorite part of Pinocchio was when Pinocchio was going to bed the first time. Really, the slow, touching scene is a lost art.
I also realized that this is the second consecutive movie to start with the birth and naming of the main character. Which got me thinking about how many others have that. I came up with Lion King, Hercules, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, and Finding Nemo. So seven, off the bat. Strange how I never noticed this was a thing.
At the end of the movie, Eloise had this really cool conversation about how the entire movie mirrored itself, meaning that each scene in the first half had a corresponding scene in the second half, but backwards. There were a lot of moments to point out, too, and I think I may have to watch it again to do a full post just on that because it was really thoughtful and I didn’t write any of it down. If you happen to be watching it soon, start with the birth of Bambi at the beginning and the birth of his kids at the end (really, the zoom into and out of the forest) and just work your way in. It’s pretty cool.
Speaking of the birth of Bambi’s kids, that part really bothered me. Literally everyone in the whole entire forest is there when they’re born, except for Bambi himself. And the Great Prince of the Forest. But then the GPotF walked away, and then Bambi was the only one not seeing his kids being born. He was just, like, a 5 minute walk away, staring off a cliff. I have to admit, I was sort of disappointed in him.
Even though this was a very pleasant movie at most parts, it was still hard to watch. Here’s why: When I said it was a pleasant movie just now, I’m pretty sure most of you were thinking “Pleasant?” and then flashing to either the fire or, as it is famously referred to in cinematic history, “the part where the mom dies”. Tell me you weren’t. And that’s why it was so hard to watch. Actually, the first reason was that there were a lot of long stretches without dialogue, but the second is that during every single one of them Eloise and I would just look at each other like Is it now? Now? How about now? Because when the movie was released and nobody actually knew what was going to happen, they were probably just pleasant little portions for everyone to appreciate the artwork and the music and such, but for us it was just these nerve-wracking, two minute stretches of suspense wondering if this one was the one before Mrs. Bambi bites it.
That right there is the dreaded scene. Way, way emotional. I did think it was really well done, but I had a problem with the moment right after. His father’s statement is just so…. harsh. No consoling words or anything, no explanation of death and nature and the world, or a hug or anything. Bambi probably doesn’t even understand what happened, and feels even more alone. And then SNAP!
Its springtime! Which was a strange non-transision, but I sort of liked it. I felt like it was saying “Fear-not, sensitive Disney fans! We know you just got your little hearts broken, but instead of giving you time to sit there and cry, we will remind you that there is still springtime and goodness in the world! Here is a cheerful song to snap you out of your sadness!” Disney’s always got my back like that. Anyway, what I thought was one of the best things about Bambi was all of the recognizable, staples-of-growing-up moments in it. Like when Bambi first meets Faline, and they’re not talking straight to each other, but communicating through their mothers.
Bambi Meets Faline Scene from Bambi Movie (1942) | MOVIECLIPS.
That scene was so spot on! It’s not something I often think about, but it’s a scene I think all of us really recognize from around first grade. And, while we’re on the subject, almost every character in Bambi is someone you recognize from your life. It’s the most successful with that of the films I’ve watched so far. Oh, and Friend Owl giving Bambi, Thumper and Flower what pre-teens commonly refer to as “the talk”? That was a great moment. Again, staples-of-growing up.
The last thing I want to talk about is the whole concept of “The enemy is MAN”. That cut really deep. Eloise and I actually felt ashamed to be humans while we were watching this. Disney managed to create this extremely scary villain of someone who doesn’t even show up on screen but still makes you just as frightened, but then, it’s not even one bad guy that you can hate, but just a generalization of a whole species. And the scariest part is that the whole concept is even more relevant now than in 1942, with global warming and deforestation and holes in the ozone layer and all. And it shows. It’s very much like how the overall enemy in the Hunger Games series is the Capitol. Making the villain we hate a reflection of ourselves– now that’s scary.
And thus concludes another installment of Babysitting Jack-Jack. In Conclusion:
Favorite Part: THUMPER. All things Thumper. Particularly, Thumper in the part where Bambi and Flower meet. You just need to watch his laugh in this clip (at 00:38) : cracks up at Bambi thinking a skunk’s a flower. Like, it’s so funny to him that he can’t talk or stand or breathe.
I love how Thumper just
Favorite Character: THUMPER. Thumper is my favorite Disney character so far, in fact. He is the sweetest little thing ever I can’t handle his cuteness really why don’t they just make an entire movie about him I just love him so so much.
Biggest Criticism: I’d have to say the Great Prince of the Forest guy, who was apparently Bambi’s father even though it was never actually explained in the movie. He seems like he’s supposed to be this character with infinite wisdom who’d be a really good person to go to in times of crisis, but he sort of makes the whole mother’s death scene worse, and I blame him for Bambi’s absence at his twins’ birthday party. According to Bambi’s mother, “Everyone respects him”. Except me.
Okay, that’s all for today. It’s springtime now, so go outside and get twitterpatted, you crazy kids!