How many idealists did #8216;Bambi#039; ruin?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2006

Wow, they remade &#8220Bambi”. Well, not exactly. I just saw an advertisement for &#8220Bambi II”, which is available on DVD. Here we have yet another one of Walt Disney's attempts to cash in on their library of old cartoon characters.

What's next? &#8220Cinderella meets Cinderella Man?”

The latter happens to be the Russell Crowe movie, heavily invested in by Universal, which was left biting its tongue when Oscar candidates were announced earlier this week. &#8220Cinderella Man,” by all accountsŠ(excuse me, all &#8220critical” accounts)Šwas a Best Picture nominee upon its release earlier in 2005. Only problem was no one saw it. Also, the Academy may have been punishing Crowe for his phone-smashing incident and the media spotlight that followed. Oscar, it seems, doesn't like embarrassment. Maybe that's why Tom Cruise doesn't win anything. Except &#8220Scientologist of the Year.”

Back to &#8220Bambi”: When I was little, I was all set for a wonderful and whimsical celluloid adventure (like &#8220Snow White” or &#8220Pete's Dragon” for instance) and then midway through the picture Bambi's mother gets shot, forever destroying my innocence and my idea that cartoons are all meant to be escapist fun and merriment. Thanks Walt.

I honestly believe that &#8220Bambi” is responsible for turning budding idealists into cynical old realists. Bill O'Reilly once said that liberals see the world as they want it to be; conservatives see the world as it is - cruel. Just ask Bambi. All he wanted to do was bounce through the forest, frolicking with Thumper, and BAM! Mom's dead. Cue the tears.

For the life of me, I'll never figure out why we're drawn to downer movies. One of the saddest movies I ever saw was &#8220My Life,” which starred Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman. Keaton plays a successful businessman living with terminal cancer. Doctors give him little chance of surviving to see the birth of his and Kidman's only son. So starts making videotapes for his unborn tyke, leaving at least his face, his voice, his personality and some fatherly advice behind for his little boy. As fortune would have it, he does live long enough to see his son born. But there's no happy ending. He dies at the end of the film.

A sad ending, but a true ending. Stories like &#8220My Life” happen on a daily basis. All that live will die. Some earlier than others. Some after long, fruitful lives. Sorrowful movies or books touch us emotionally because we recognize them in our own lives.

Cue the tears.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: