Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Bambi Effect

We live surrounded by woods, and I always have a hard time when hunting season begins. Yesterday was opening day for rifle season on deer.

Besides the fact that I am afraid to venture far into the woods during this time, even bedecked in orange, I always have the mad urge to race through the forest shouting "Run, Bambi, Run!"

Or, better yet, "Hide, Bambi, Hide."

Did watching the Disney movie at an impressionable age help me develop a soft spot for animals? Do books and movies about kindness make an impression on children?

I like to think so. I can't see a deer in the wild without imagining this:

Does reading a book like Black Beauty help a child understand horses, and life from an animal's point of view?

What do you think?

Can children develop kindness and feelings toward animals through the influence of movies and books?

What book or movie made an impression on you as a child?


Patricia said...

Personally I find it sickening that people still go out and shoot deer, bear, rabbits, or whatever animal you want to fill in the blank. I am an avid Humane Society of the U.S. member and do not believe we need to kill cows and sheep and deer to feed America. Granted, I'm a vegetarian but as far as I'm concerned, it was a LONG time ago that we were dressed in rabbit skirts and needed to kill a deer in order to put food on the table. And yes, I watched Bambi and read Black Beauty and it did help form who I am today, thank goodness.

Linda Benson said...

Patti - I live in the middle of a hunting culture. My neighbors hunt, my husband hunts, and they do eat the meat. (I eat very little meat.) What bothers me, though, is how people consider killing another animal a "sport."

But I don't want to make this strictly an anti-hunting post (although it bothers me deeply.) I just wondered how much of an impression books and movies make on children. I'm guessing that Walt Disney had a big influence on a lot of us.

Read the post I wrote called "Shelter animals: writing your passion" - - for more on my feelings about this subject. ;)

Dreaming said...

I am laughing because my children's babysitter gave them the VHS tape of Bambi years ago. She wrapped it in a plain brown wrapper. Her hubby was a game manager on a hunting preserve and NEVER would have condoned her giving Bambi to my boys!

Linda Benson said...

HaHa, Dreaming - I never dreamed ;) that anyone would object to children watching Bambi. It's a great movie, and great book by Felix Salten from the 1920's. Who could forget one of its greatest lines? - "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Anyway, I grew up totally anthropomorphising animals, and so considered it perfectly natural. *grin*