Thursday, February 24, 2011

UPDATED: Now with video. Bambi: Prepare to have all of your repressed childhood memories come back to haunt you

I keep seeing commercials on TV for a newly restored Disney's Bambi on DVD and it is kind of fucking with my mind. At first I was all awwwwwww I loved Bambi as visions of hours lying on my little belly completely mesmerized by those adorable cartoon forest creatures came flooding back. But I had this weird twinge somewhere in the depths of my subconscious. The next time I saw the commercial, that little feeling got a little bit louder, a little bit more uncomfortable. By the third time I saw scenes from Bambi flash across my television screen it all came flooding back. That movie TOTALLY fucked me up.

This will probably come as a surprise to approximately none of you, but I was an emotionally fragile child. I'd use just about anything as an excuse to turn on the water works. Loud noises, fireworks, trucks horns, the Happy Birthday Song. All of these things have at one point reduced me to a giant ball of snot and tears. True Story: I hated being sung Happy Birthday to so much that on my birthday I would stand in my chair, put my hands over my ears, roll my eyes into the back of my head and scream as loud as my little lungs would permit in an attempt to drown out the singing. Every single year. Even then, I was a really effective communicator. My family, as you can imagine, loved this. Because they are all assholes.

Not to mention, all of my favorite movies were tear-jerkers. My favorite childhood movie of all time is An American Tail. I loved nothing more than curling around my favorite blanket, popping in the American Tail VHS and silently crying myself into oblivion on the living room floor. It's just so sad. Fievel is so alone. And he misses his family. And the world is just so big and dangerous. Oh god why, Fievel, WHY? And that movie has a happy ending.

You know the song from an American Tail, "Somewhere Out There?" The one that is played during one of the movie's most pivotal and lonely scenes? Oh you don't remember? Well here you go, good luck not cutting yourself after this one:

That one? STILL brings me to tears. I really wish I was kidding. A few months ago I was driving home from work and absent-mindedly scanning the airwaves for something to listen to when I stopped on some adult contemporary easy listening station and "Somewhere Out There" as performed by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram was on and what do you think I did? I turned that volume up to 11 and sang my little heart out and I cried. Hard. Alone. In the car. Pretty par for the course for me, I'd say.

Once when I was little my parents had a mouse in the house. One morning as I was quietly sitting at the kitchen table eating my Kix, I saw it scurry across the floor and under the oven. I immediately dropped to my hands and knees and tried to coax the mouse from his hiding spot. When my parents walked in, I was lying on my stomach on the kitchen floor placing pieces of cheese in a trail from the oven to a tupperware container that I had rigged to trap him. I spent hours lying on the floor waiting for him to come out. I named him Fievel and planned on keeping him and caring for him forever. Surely he was alone and afraid and missing his family. Don't worry, Fievel! I will take care of you! I will be your family now!

The next morning I came down to pour myself my bowl of cereal and there he was. Crunched in a trap that my dad had set the night before. Dead. My father killed my mouse. And my dreams.

This incident was almost as traumatizing as watching Bambi for the first time. I was very young, three of four at the time. As any three or four year-old is, I was very attached to my mother. My father, remember, was a Feivel killer. I watched with rapt attention and was completely lost in the world of this little Prince of the Forest. I followed as he learned to walk. Learned to run. Made friends and discovered his world. Found love. And then his mom was fucking SHOT by a fucking HUNTER. Excuse me WHAT? I honestly don't even remember what happens in the movie after this scene because that is some heavy shit for a four-year-old to digest. Your mom can die? YOUR MOM CAN DIE?! Your dad abandons your family AND YOUR MOM CAN DIE?! I'm getting weepy just thinking about this.

Just watching these Bambi commercials makes me want to fly to my parents' house, dig out my old childhood blanket from the depths of the closet in my old room, wrap it around myself like a giant burrito, curl up on the floor, watch Bambi and cry. You know, totally typical behavior for a 26-year-old professional. The other part of me wants to buy the movie immediately because if it's just being re-released now, who knows when the next time it will be available? And I need to have it on hand when I have children of my own so I can fuck them up as much as my parents fucked me up by letting them watch Bambi. It must be done. And when they watch it for the first time and turn to me with their big, sad little eyes I will slowly nod my head and say to them, "that's right. And you know what else? The earth is broken, war is everywhere, and monsters are real." I like to set realistic expectations early. I am going to be SUCH a good parent.

P.S. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go curl into a ball and die.


Becky Mochaface said...


Amy H. said...

An American Tail is absolutely my favorite movie. I STILL sleep with a stuffed Feivel I got when I was three (true story). Oh and my twin brother and I used to act/sing out the "Somewhere Out There" scene because we were obviously brother and sister and of the right age, so why not?

amanda said...

You keep saying the 'first' time you watched Bambi. You watched it a SECOND time?!?! To this day I have only seen that movie once. And that one time was enough for me. Did you ever see Mac and Me with the little alien? My sister was INCONSOLABLE after seeing that in school. Seriously. They had to call my mom in for a parent teacher conference because of that movie.

Bridget said...

@Becky I blame our parents.

@Amy H. I lub you and your twin brother.

@amanda i have never seen this movie but can you guess what i just put on my netflix queue?

Lora said...

yeah, Disney is awful. Even now they are still making movies about dead/divorced parents. Starring The Rock, and other out there celebrities. It's weird.

Also, there aren't many parents in kids cartoons in general. Try explaining THAT to your kid over Saturday morning sugar cereal binges

andreac said...

My earliest memories of TV were of Bob Vila and This Old House. We weren't aloud to watch TV and my dad thinks movies are a waste of money so you can imagine I've never seen Bambi. Oh childhood, where were you when I needed you!

Jess said...

Ever seen the movie Scruffy? Ask B. about that gem our grandparents used to have us watch every time we visited.

Deidre said...

I have actually still never seen bambi because my parents didn't think i could handle it And they're right.

Dumbo is the most disturbing disney movie I watched.

Anyway, i feel ya.


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