The 55th-anniversary limited edition of Bambi is nothing short of mesmerizing. It is a wonderful, amazingly animated, exciting, and entertaining cartoon that is everything a children’s movie should be.
Bambi was a landmark of my youth. It blows my mind that Walt and his boys could accomplish something like this more than half a century ago. The animation was way ahead of its time and is just as impressive as ever. Bambi doesn’t lose a bit of its power, even next to the more modern, high-tech Toy Story.
The single defining moment in the movie is obviously the death of Bambi’s mother. This is the scene that fuels the animal rights movement. As a hunter, though, I don’t subscribe to their notion of ”the Bambiism of wildlife,” which reduces precious living, breathing creatures to the level of a cartoon. Bambi has come to represent Everydeer, and I don’t blame the movie for that. I blame the ignorant types who talk about ”the slaughter of innocent Bambis.”
As soon as fluffy little Thumper the rabbit opens his cute mouth, all thinking people should come to the bold realization, This is only a f—ing movie! If you want nature, turn on the Discovery Channel. I’ve heard Bambi’s name raised at state wildlife hearings, and I’ve wanted to hang my head and weep. Only an idiot would attempt to establish policy based on a cartoon character. It totally reduces the value of our true natural resources. It’s like using Elmer Fudd as a role model.
Since 1969, my family has dined solely on game we’ve killed, none of which played tag with skunks or received hysterical warnings from songbirds. Hunters are not the enemies, as we are depicted in Bambi. We are mothers and fathers and sons and daughters who believe in the balance of nature.
I watched Bambi with my 6-year-old son, who loved the movie and understood its Lion King-like message. When, in that recent classic, Mufasa explained the circle of life to Simba, I stood up in the theater and cheered. It’s called life and death, kids.
Ted Nugent, former member of the Amboy Dukes and Damn Yankees, has recorded 27 albums, including Cat Scratch Fever and Spirit of the Wild! He is also the president of Ted Nugent World Bowhunters, Inc., an organization that lobbies on behalf of hunters, and is a member of the National Rifle Association and the Handgun Hunters Hall of Fame.