Long before Pixar movies had our tears flowing in the first 10 minutes and even before a certain lion's pops bit the dust, there was Bambi, the Disney classic that went from flowers and cute animals to something so devastating it was practically traumatic to watch. As it stands, the film is one of the saddest Disney movies ever, but according to Hello Giggles, it could have been worse. Much worse.
Hello Giggles reports that Walt Disney wanted not just one death, but two. During the movie's promotion, Paul Felix, a visual developmental artist at Disney Animation, was asked about Bambi being a horror movie.
"It does have that thing in common [with horror movies], where you're turning against expectations. You think watching this fawn growing up, and THAT happens," Felix explains, referring to the death of Bambi's mother. "But having watched again a couple of nights ago...when the danger of men [is first explored], it could have been a lot worse."
But Disney (the man, not the entire company) wanted to make the film even darker. Felix notes that Walt wanted to add the image of a man's hand in the fire sequence, showing that the flames came at the hands of man, and that same fire destroyed the cause of all the chaos, too.
"There was a long part during production [of the movie] where [Walt] Disney wanted an image of man’s dead hand ending the fire sequence," Felix said. "I don't know if it was charred or what [but you'd see that image]."
Luckily for kids everywhere, that additional death didn't make it to the final cut. If things had gone the way Walt wanted, Felix says that one of the very last images from the film would be of a dead guy's hand. That's not the usual Disney ending, but Bambi's not your run-of-the-mill Disney flick. Without a princess in sight, it's one of the few films that's equal parts sweet and scary.
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