At tor.com, a surprising (at least, I was surprised) post by Mari Ness about Felix Salten’s BAMBI.
I totally loved that book as a kid. It has a lot of substance to it, far more than a cute Disney movie could possibly convey.
Mari Ness says: “But more than any of this, Bambi is a study, not of death and violence precisely, but the response to that death and violence.”
This is exactly right. Did I mention this is not a light-hearted romp of a story? Ness also takes a good look at Salten himself, his history and how it influenced the way he put the book together, which is not something I ever thought about. It explains the way he treated dogs and other domestic animals in BAMBI, which is the only detail that really bothered me when I read the book — even though I did not have dogs until I was an adult, I knew that this was not an accurate picture of how dogs actually feel. I like that passage with the dogs and the fox better when it is cast as an allegory, as Ness asserts it should be.
Anyway, if you, too, loved Salten’s book, you may want to click through and read this post.
And if you are solely familiar with Disney’s cute film, then let me say that the original book is an entirely different kind of story and — especially if you like MG / YA stories — very much worth reading.