Animation movies

Original Bambi Star Says Modern Disney Movies Lack Walt Disney Sensibility

Things have changed a lot since Walt Disney passed away in 1966, and that includes the kind of movies The Walt Disney Company produces.

For many older fans of Walt Disney’s animated films, movies like Bambi are a world away from some of the modern House of Mouse offerings, and that’s an opinion shared by Donnie Dunagan. Although his name may not be familiar to many, you will have heard Dunagan’s voice as he played the young version of Disney’s iconic stag in the 1942 release of Bambi, one of the best-known films in Disney’s long history. Based on the book by Felix Salten, Bambi’s life unfolds from birth, through the trauma of his mother’s death, to his rise as the prince of the forest, and Dunagan thinks more films would have been like Bambi if Walt Disney had not died in 1966.

While the Disney name is now attached to many major brands and franchises such as Marvel and star wars, their animated films branched out into new worlds and stories beyond the classic fairy tales that made up a large part of Disney’s most beloved catalog. Dunagan thinks that Walt Disney himself wouldn’t have put his name on many of Disney’s more recent releases. Reflecting on her memories of Walt, Dunagan told ILiveInDallas.com:

“It’s so messy today that I don’t think they have the sensibility that Mr. Disney had in his productions. I’ll give you a good example…World War II in Europe is underway…It was environment when Mr. Disney was about to show Bambi. I was there when he first saw Bambi’s mother’s take being shot. He called a break and he looked at the people of production and said to take it down because there was an image of her being shot with a bullet hole and her face grimacing as she was about to die. He said, ‘Take that out. Just suggest that the mother was shot.’… So when you look at Bambi, it’s just a suggestion that they’re both shot, both the mother and me later… Even then, when the mother was shot, although it was just a suggestion, I have seen mothers put their hands over the children’s eyes… Think of that unlike today. today, with movies where someone is blown away every 15 seconds. What a contrast! Mr. Disney was very sensitive to these things…”

Related: Is Disney Leading A New Wave Of Art Censorship?

The death of Bambi’s mother is one of Disney’s most haunting moments

When Stephen King, the world’s most famous horror author, calls Bambi the “first horror movie” they saw, it gives you an idea of ​​the decades of trauma the movie caused generations of children. Like many of the greatest movies of all time, however, it’s what you don’t see that makes the movie and this death scene in particular so powerful. With Walt Disney being directly responsible for the scene ending as a suggestion of death rather than an explicit confirmation, this goes a long way to proving Dunagan’s view of modern movies. It will be interesting to see how the scene is handled in the upcoming “live-action” remake.

It’s impossible to deny that times have changed in the cinematic landscape since the 1940s, with violence, swearing and sexual references being commonplace in all films rated PG-13 and above. Back when Walt Disney was making movies, many villains weren’t seen perishing onscreen and even their performances were assumed offscreen. In contrast, the death of a Disney villain became the norm in the late 1980s and 1990s in the likes of Oliver and Co., Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. There’s no way to know precisely what Walt Disney would have thought of his business now, but many of Disney’s most beloved films continue to be those made during Walt’s lifetime.


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