Screenwriter Todd Alcott on Bambi
“Your mother can’t be with you anymore.”
Talking About Bambi with our Guest Todd Alcott, Screenwriter
When released in 1942 during WWII, Walt Disney’s Bambi struggled to find its audience. It still did well enough for itself, but it wasn’t until its subsequent releases over the decades when Disney would bring its classics back to theatres where it really found its audience. Since that time, it’s often cited as one of the best animated films out there. Why does this simple film about a young deer learning about life in the forest work so well?
Screenwriter and graphic artist Todd Alcott joins us to talk about Bambi, one of his favorites. But as he says, even that didn’t happen over night. It took decades and multiple viewings to realize what the story was really about and why it clicked so suddenly. And for a film from 1942, there are elements within that make it feel somewhat subversive. It’s a story with little plot about a passive protagonist that doesn’t have any clearly established goal, after all. What screenwriting handbook said that was okay?
The film is about life, the mistakes we make, and how we try learning from them. It’s also a reminder that there’s no clear path for life. Just when things make sense, life changes the rules. It’s quite a lot to absorb from what seems like a simple little film. But that’s why we like it, and are thrilled that Todd brought it for us to talk about on Movies We Like.
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In each episode, co-hosts Andy Nelson and Pete Wright invite someone from inside the film industry to discuss their favorite films. What makes a movie inspirational to a cinematographer or a costume designer? Listen in to hear how these pros watch their favorite films.