Saturday, August 20, 2011
It’s “Bambi” Versus Time. And “Bambi” Wins!
Disney's Fifth Animated Feature - 1942
Short and sweet, Walt Disney’s 1942 animated feature Bambi is a magnificent film, well worth your time, energy, and dollar.
But nothing this good is simple. Even if you’re never seen Bambi you probably know what happens to Bambi’s mother. That’s how potent and memorable this film is. Bambi is hands down one of the best if not THE best Disney animated feature. But is your child old enough for Bambi? Answer me this: does your child know that all living things die—including animals and humans? If so, they’re old enough for Bambi. You don’t need me to tell you that your child should not find out that living things die in a movie, any movie.
Pinocchio. The threat here is a real, live hunter/predator who demands attention. As I mentioned earlier in this piece, Bambi’s mother is shot and killed by a hunter. We only hear a gun shot. And we never see any humans in this film, but we see evidence of their destruction, not only in hunted animals but in a carelessly abandoned campfire that leads to a forest fire.
Bambi’s pals, Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk are a jolly and supportive pair of pals, charmingly voiced by real children. We see Thumper and Flower grow up, too. As teens, the “lads” vow that they’ll never be interested in girls about two seconds before they’re all smitten. When Bambi reconnects with Faline, a gal he first met as a young fawn, it’s love at first sight. But as with real deer, Bambi must fight another young buck for the right to be with her.
Disney Goes To War
Also made in 1942, the Disney animated short, Der Fuhrer’s Face answered the call for anti-Nazi propaganda, and did it with humor and snap. It won the 1942 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and rightly so. The film, which takes place in Donald Duck’s nightmare, was held back from general release for decades due to the Disney Corporation’s squeemishness at the sight of Donald Duck in a Nazi uniform. It’s now available on dvd, but can also be seen in its entirety on YouTube. Also on YouTube, Spike Jones and his City Slickers, famous for their parody songs, recorded the title song and can be seen here at a WWII bond drive, giving their own version of the Nazi salute.