Whole generations have grown up with the Disney cartoon “Bambi” since its release exactly 80 years ago. In it, a young white-tailed deer loses its mother to a hunter’s cartridge and grows into a stately animal – also under the care of its father – that finally finds love in its conspecific Feline.
Bambi becomes a beast of horror
Now there should be a remake of the classic, which should make some fans shudder. Instead of the beloved honey-sweet deer calf, Bambi is to appear as a malicious killing machine; as a cross between a deer and a human who lurks in the wilderness for its victims. “Prepare for Bambi with rabies,” said director Scott Jeffrey.
A slasher film
The new edition entitled “Bambi: The Reckoning” was inspired by the design of a Netflix strip: In “The Ritual”, four men encounter a similar hybrid creature on a hike through a mystical forest. The 31-year-old filmmaker had previously created a chilling interpretation of “Winnie the Pooh” (theatrical release in the USA: February 15, 2023) and thus committed himself to the so-called slasher film. In that horror subgenre, a group of teenagers are threatened by a killer.
Copyright permits adaptation – at least in part
US copyright is usually limited to the life of the author plus 70 years. The creator of the book “Bambi. Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde“ Felix Salten died in 1946. Producer Rhys Frake-Waterfield and director Scott Jeffrey are therefore free to use the novel, but not the Disney elements of Bambi’s character, story and appearance.