Bambi and Hunting

31st March, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on Bambi and Hunting

Bambi has a pretty clear anti-hunting message. Decades after the original release, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. In fact, it kind of seems like a lot of other “save nature” films that we get these days. At the time, though, sportsmen were upset. The film doesn’t have a single account of natural predators, and it doesn’t suggest any of the positive benefits of hunting (such as reduced population to prevent wildlife starvation). Plus, Bambi’s mother is shot at the end of winter/beginning of spring. As no hunting is permitted during this season, the person who shot Bambi’s mother must have been poaching—not an accurate depiction of the American sportsman.

Nevertheless, Felix Salten got his message across better than he could have ever hoped in Disney’s adaptation, for generations have now grown up feeling sympathetic to deer. In fact, the phrase “Bambi Syndrome” has been coined to describe those who feel a particularly poignant compassion for animals. References to Bambi thus often come up in issues relating to hunting. My favorite is a deer hunter video game where a deer hunts humans. The deer’s name? Bambo.

Bambi may be just another battle in the war between hunters and animal-rights activists, but it’s a permanent part of the scenery.

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