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Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Disney Axes “Bambi” Hunting Scene




Wait’ll they find out where lamb comes from.

Truth isn’t stranger than fiction. Usually, it’s just a lot dumber.

Everyone remembers the movie Bambi–even if you’re not a hunter who felt a bit insulted by the way we are portrayed in the film–so we don’t need to remind you that the event that sets the plot in motion is the death of Bambi’s mother. Without it, there’s no movie. It’s certainly true that sequence always makes children cry; losing one’s mother is a child’s greatest fear. We all saw it, we all wept, and we all grew up and put it into perspective (just as we did with the mountains of other fiction for children that involves the death of a parent).  So when we learned that Disney is making a less-gritty reboot of Bambi without the hunting scene, we assumed it was a decision made to stem the flow of children’s tears. Nope! Disney is doing this to avoid “triggering” the parents.

How sad is it when a 7-year-old is more emotionally stable and rational than your average gun-grabber? Sadder than Bambi’s mom, that’s for sure.

Today, we have a very interesting take from our friends at the NSSF, including some fascinating history about that hunting scene. Enjoy!


OCTOBER 11, 2023


By Matt Manda

The 1942 Disney children’s classic Bambi is getting a remake and chatter from Hollywood insiders suggests the reboot will not include one particularly critical scene. Not surprisingly, producers are leaving out the scene when the titular young fawn’s mother is presumably killed by a hunter.

“Not to spoil the plot, but there’s a treatment of the mom dying that I think some kids, some parents these days are more sensitive about than they were in the past,” film writer and former director Linsey Beer told a movie news website.

The decision is laughable. Bambi was produced in a way to smear the reputation of hunters. Outdoor writer Larry Case wrote in 2018 of how an editor at Outdoor Life wrote to Walt Disney of the unfair portrayal. Some things in the entertainment industry don’t change. The same Hollywood antigun, anti-hunting culture behind the Bambi decision is reminiscent of an equally idiotic decision to reboot Looney Tunes while leaving out Elmer Fudd’s iconic shotgun.

Viewers will have to wait until 2025 to see how the brilliant minds in Tinseltown choose to portray the death of Bambi’s mother.

Trigger Warning

For centuries, even before the founding of the country, young Americans learned safe and responsible firearm ownership from their parents. It was necessary for survival, not just for hunting and harvesting game to eat but also for security and protection. Millions of young people today learn the value and importance of firearm handling early on from families passing down traditions to hunter education courses and youth programs like Scouting and 4-H. Cultivating the understanding of handling firearms makes for safer and more responsible gun-owning adults. For Disney, this is problematic.

For those who need a refresher – there is no specific depiction of Bambi’s mother being shot and killed. No blood, no struggle, no suffering. The scene that is triggering for the Disney suits involves Bambi and his mother eating grass in a snowy field. Mom becomes aware of approaching hunters and urges Bambi to run to cover. The scene cuts to show Bambi running through woods and the report of a shot rings out. Bambi continues running, but his mother is not seen again. That’s all. For Disney, that “trauma” is too much.

Movie news website World of Reel criticized the decision.

“It is quite likely that the studio has decided to remove it so as not to offend today’s sensibilities,” wrote Jordan Ruimy, for World of Reel. “As if we couldn’t despise Disney more, nixing out this scene is an odd creative decision. Bambi’s mother should absolutely die… as it sets up the emotional stakes for the rest of the film.”

“The changes to Bambi come as Disney has been lambasted by critics for its recent “woke” remakes of other live-action films,” the Post Millennial’s Katie Daviscourt wrote.

Beer added the scene is just too problematic for millions of now-parents that whole generations of kids have never seen one of Disney’s earliest and most well-known classics.

“I do think there’s an entire generation of children who have never seen the original, which is such a shame,” Beer said.

‘Wascally Wabbit’ Hypocwisy

Disney likely thinks they aren’t making an unprecedented decision. HBO Max made a similarly silly decision to satisfy anti-hunting activists and gun control advocates when they rebooted the Looney Tunes cartoons. Show writers nixed perpetually-failing hunter Elmer Fudd’s iconic shotgun, as well as Yosemite Sam’s two trusty revolvers. At the time, Executive Producer Peter Browngardt tried to make it make sense. He failed.

“We’re not doing guns. But we can do cartoony violence – TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”

Apparently, explosions and the occasional anvil drop are just fine, as is Fudd is chasing around Bugs Bunny with a Grim Reaper-style scythe. At the time, Warner Bros. never said antigun pressure led to their decision, but Looney Tunes animator Michael Ruocco all but confirmed it.

“Also, think about context about what’s going on in the world… Right on the heels of a record number of mass shootings… NOBODY wanted to touch guns working in media,” Ruocco posted on social media.

Disney is on the receiving end of plenty of criticism for “going woke” in recent years, but they can’t be criticized for being consistent. Disney’s 2023 remake of the classic Peter Pan still includes a pistol-wielding Captain Hook and plenty of cannon fire. Writers kept in numerous swashbuckling pirates swinging their swords, but that makes too much sense today. Knives, clubs, blunt objects and fists combined are used to intentionally kill more Americans each year than the total number murdered all rifles, a statistic perpetually left out of the gun control argument in support of banning Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs).

Walk It Back

The continued erasure of hunting traditions in children’s films and efforts to eliminate the teaching of responsible firearm ownership and use by young Americans isn’t only happening on the silver screen. California Gov. Gavin Newsom attempted to criminalize anything remotely related to youth hunting and recreational shooting sports when he passed a law that imposed $25,000 civil fines on “firearm industry members” for advertising “any firearms-related product” in a way that could be seen as “appealing to minors.” The California State High School Clay Target League couldn’t take the risk of continuing operation. “As a school-based activity serving students from 6th-12th grade, these provisions serve to outlaw the very name and existence of the California State High School Clay Target League,” the group posted on its website. Gov. Newsom was forced to backtrack. Still, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the law.

The pushback was fierce at the federal level too, after President Joe Biden’s attempt to eliminate hunter education and archery program funding in schools. After swift bipartisan calls for the president to reverse course, President Biden was forced to sign a law, passed with near unanimous support in both chambers of Congress (only one vote in either opposed), reversing his administration’s mistake.

Early education about hunting is beneficial and leads to safer and more responsible gun owners. Legislative attempts to eliminate these educational programs are met with strong opposition for good reason. By eliminating the hunting scene in their remake of Bambi, Disney is once again showing it’s far more interested in appeasing social activists and gun control advocates precisely at a time when the public overwhelmingly wants them to stay out of it.


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