03 August 2019

Death and drugs in "Bambi"

In a recent podcast of No Such Thing as a Fish, the elves commented that the original 1926 publication of "Bambi - A Life in the Woods" was quite different from the Disney version seen in movie theaters.  I decided to check, and here's my TL;DR summary -
A ferret kills a mouse, one jay calls another a murderer, a deer is shot and killed, a crow commits infanticide of a hare's offspring, a ferret mangles a squirrel, a fox tears a pheasant apart, humans commit mass slaughter of pheasants, a ferret kills a squirrel, an owl kills a squirrel, and Bambi gets violent:
"He turned to flee from the silent Bambi who came rushing after him.  Karus knew that Bambi was furious and would kill him without mercy..."
Another deer dies, a fox kills a duck, and Bambi takes drugs:
"Eat that," he commanded suddenly, stopping and pushing aside the grasses.  He pointed to a pair of short dark-green leaves growing close together near the ground. 
Bambi obeyed.  They tasted terribly bitter and smelled sickeningly.
"How do you feel now?" the stag asked after a while.
"Better," Bambi answered quickly.  He was suddenly able to speak again.  His senses had cleared and his fatigue grew less." 
An owl kills a mouse, a dog kills a fox, and finally a man ("He") is shot and killed.
I don't know how all that compares with the Disney film, which I've not seen.  I'm waiting for the Tarantino version.


  1. just reading about bambi, and the lion king, has persuaded me that these are films i do not want to see because of the violence in them.


  2. Bambi was also banned by the Nazis.

  3. It helps to know a little about Salten's background, look him up. For another example of the same strain of Mitteleuropean animal kitsch from the same period, look up Janacek's opera "The Cunning Little Vixen", after cartoons by Rudolf Tesnohlidek.

  4. Arguably Marv Newland's "Bambi Meets Godzilla" is the film adaptation most faithful to the source material.
    Emphasis on "arguably".

    1. I remember seeing it shortly after it came out in 1969. For those unfamiliar with this classic...


  5. Can remember reading the book as a child and sobbing when Bambi's mother is shot, despite eating venison and wearing a fringed leather jacket made from white-tailed deer hide, the deer shot by my wonderful Aunt Josephine.


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