Thursday, February 15, 2007


I would have to agree with you. I read the articles prior to viewing the movie, which I had seen before but was very fuzzy in my memory. After reading about how many people had strong reactions against the film--for it's scientifically inaccurate representation, it's anti-hunting sentiments, it's traumatic depiction of Bambi's mother's death--I expected to react more strongly to the film as well. But this was not the case. For example, I could not remember the exact details of the mother's death scene, but I did recall hearing time and time again from others that it was severely disturbing, and the only thing most people recall from the movie. But it turned out to be less disturbing than I expected. Yes, it's sad, but the movie doesn't show the actual death, and it quickly transitions to a more happy, springtime scene (if I recall correctly). The part of the movie which I think is more traumatic is the scary fire/hunt scene that comes later, where there are three birds hiding on the ground from hunters, and one is driven insane and flies out in clear view to be shot. The mother's death just seemed more inevitable and necessary to Bambi's subsequent development into the iconic stag figure we've been reading so much about. And in the end, everything comes full circle, with Faline assuming the mother's former place, just as the readings describe. I guess my point is, I expected to come away from the movie with strong anti-hunting sentiments, but to me the movie emphasizes nature's resilience against antagonistic external forces more than anything. After all, in the end, everything is exactly as it was before, and maybe even better, as we have two young deer! While the man was undoubtedly a scary and serious threat for the animals, so was winter, but in the end the forest rebounded from them both and the cycle repeated. The movie didn't come off nearly as anti-hunting as I expected, though I can see why it would prompt hunters to react negatively. After all, who can tolerate the thought of killing such unbearably cute animals!
I also thought that people who got so distraught over Disney's misrepresentation of nature needed to calm down. It's just a cartoon, with gimmicks and exaggerations intended to captivate a young audience. All Disney movies are guilty of stereotyping, exaggerating, or generalizing certain animals/groups of people/places/events. I highly doubt that any children were harmed by the realization later in life that an owl cannot, in fact, turn its head around two and a half times. No one ever said Bambi was supposed to be an ecological textbook.
Anyhow, I really enjoyed watching the movie! It's so cute and funny!
~Katie Hansen

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