The first film my husband ever saw at the cinema was Bambi, when he was just four years old. Last weekend I instigated a cosy family viewing of this childhood film. I thought how lovely it would be for him to come full circle and watch it with his children thirty years later.
The children loved it. The adorable Thumper, the endearing baby Bambi – their forestry antics had my three in stitches. I was rather concerned about how they’d take the death of Bambi’s mother – shot by a hunter in a scene I suspect wouldn’t be included in modern day children’s films. With a lump in my throat I turned to my eldest.
“That’s very sad, isn’t it, darling?”
He shrugged. “He’s still got his daddy.”
I was more than a little put out at this. Neither of the girls seemed even the slightest bit upset.
“But he loves his Mummy.” I persevered. “And now she’s gone. Dead. Killed by the nasty hunter.”
I would have rammed this point home a bit further only I got a jab to the ribs from my husband, who presumably thought that pushing our infants to the brink of tears wasn’t an ideal parenting tactic. Personally I thought he was looking disproportionately smug at the suggestion that Mr Bambi would be able to cope perfectly well without Mrs Bambi.
“And Bambi’s daddy will be lonely too.” I tried. “He’ll have no-one to cuddle, or to share his… um…” I wasn’t quite sure what deer ate for supper.
“He’ll find another lady deer.” My traitor son responded. “Look Mummy – there are lots for him to choose from.” He pointed at the screen, where dozens of pretty doe were tarting around Bambi’s widowed father. Hussies.
“But who’s going to tuck Bambi up at night?” I was determined to get at least a small amount of recognition for mothers, if it killed me. “Who’s going to give out the Calpol? Who’s going to tidy the playroom, make your lunches, fold your pyjamas?” I became faintly hysterical at the thought of my callous children barely even noticing their mother’s absence. I wiped a tear from my eye.
The children stared at me open-mouthed.
“Bambi doesn’t wear pyjamas, Mummy.”
My husband slowly shook his head. “You are quite insane.” He said. He turned back to the film and considered the fawning deer surrounding Bambi’s father. “I’d go for that one on the left. Nice legs.”
Oh for heaven’s sake.
Many thanks to Disney, who provided us with a copy of Bambi on Blue Ray.