Cautions: brief sensuality, some violence and emotional intensity, potential ethical confusion, and some minced oaths
Bambi is a story of talking wild animals leaping through twentieth-century paintings and music, shaming most of Disney’s other films for their dependence on magic, enthralling or else enraging audiences with its heartbreaking portrayal of death and danger, and landing a spot in the top-however-many list of movies with the best character development and the least lines. Children and adults have enjoyed Bambi for generations, but its scene of romantic attraction warrants caution on moral grounds.
1942 | David Hand | 70 min Watch Trailer
One scene involves female animals attempting to get the attention of males. A female rabbit gives a display of giggling, coy glances, batting eyelashes, calculated sauntering for a staring male, and then kisses him on the mouth.1 Other animals kiss.
A song (not sung by characters) includes the line, “I want you to see, when you’re looking at me, that I’m looking for love.”
Some Violence and Emotional Intensity
Unseen hunters shoot at deer and other animals, with some deaths resulting. Deer are chased by vicious dogs. Sensitive viewers and young children may find these scenes emotionally intense.
Potential Ethical Confusion
Bambi asks the viewer to sympathize with the animal, rather than with the human hunter, for the sake of its particular story. This is not itself problematic, biblically,2 but may be used by some viewers as a support of, or segue into an unbiblical perspective on human interaction with animals.
Unseen hunters are responsible for an accidental forest fire, which is not itself problematic, but may be used by some as an example of the unbiblical view that man is the hereditary enemy of nature.
Some Minced Oaths
1 The behavior in this scene would be entirely inappropriate for a human, and it is not necessarily clear how much the animal context affects the morality of the scene.
2 See Proverbs 6:1-5, where scripture itself uses sympathy with a hunted animal as a compelling literary device.