"When the teddy bear craze struck the U.S. in 1906, there was a serious debate over the effect that stuffed animals would have on children; some feared that small girls who played with plush bears instead of baby dolls would be inadequately prepared for motherhood" (187). -The Bambi Syndrome
Sometimes, I find the human race just utterly disappointing.
Because playing with plastic dolls is the way any little girl should learn to be a mother.
"Now, dear, this doll will make you into a great mom. Feed the doll, and nurse it, and pretend it's your own child. Stuffed bears are silly. Those are just animals." What.
Because little children learn their values and actions through their toys and not through their parents.
That's the thing that bothers me about Disney critics. They blame the Disney movies for raising unrealistic expectations of "happily-ever-after" in children, instead of maybe, mmm, looking at how they can improve their parenting. 'Everyone gets a happy ending, which just doesn't happen in the real world, and we should stop feeding our children the idea that it does.'
Um, how about explaining to your kid that it's just a movie. How about letting your child enjoy the magical worlds and vivid storytelling created by Disney, but teaching them that what they should take away are the lessons and insights, not the happily-ever-after?
When I grew up watching (and loving) Disney movies, I never expected some dashing prince to come and fall in love with me. It was an animated cartoon movie, for God's sake.
There were talking closets. TALKING CLOSETS.
Even as a 5-year old, I knew these movies were just for enjoyment. Just like any other movie out there, ever. I just loved all the wonderful stories and the music and the beautiful animation. I appreciated it, not because it gave me some twisted view of reality and some false expectation of love, but because it made me feel happy and warm.
The same question can then be raised to the critics of Bambi. Hunters complained that Bambi portrays Man and Hunting in a negative light, while romanticizing the animal. How about: Bambi is an animated cartoon with talking animals. Give people a little credit, that maybe they don't base their whole ideologies on animated features. Ok, so they may be a little influenced because of how cute the animals look, which, in that case: raise awareness on the 'truth' of hunting. Tell the world how hunters actually help the environment and keep animal populations stable, or whatever. Educate, rather than blame.
It is true that Bambi has had an influence on mass culture, and how some people think of nature.
But blaming and getting angry at a movie for supposedly propagandizing the world against hunters?
I don't know about that.