This Wholesome Family Film Terrified Quentin Tarantino: “I gotta get out of here!”

Quentin Tarantino
THE MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ, Quentin Tarantino, Miss Piggy, 2005, photo: David Gray / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

While he was making the press rounds for his book Cinema Speculation, Quentin Tarantino stopped off to chat with the Los Angeles Times. When the outlet probed about films he saw as a child that traumatized him, the Oscar-winning director was quick to admit that Bambi fit the bill. To be fair, he’s not alone. That picture has scarred countless youngsters that saw it at an impressionable age.

“I think Bambi is well known for traumatizing children,” Tarantino began. “It’s a cliché, but it’s true. The only other movie I couldn’t handle and had to leave was at a drive-in in Tennessee. I was there alone, sitting on the gravel by a speaker, watching Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left. So for me, Last House on the Left and Bambi are sitting on the f— shelf right next to each other. [laughs] Both take place in the woods, and both had me saying, ‘I gotta get out of here!’”

If you have somehow missed this traumatic rite of passage, the setup goes like this: In this Disney classic a young deer named Bambi joins his new friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, in exploring his forest home. As a boy, he learns from his doting mother and his father, The Great Prince of the Forest, that there are dangers in the open meadows where hunters can spot the animals, and he meets a beautiful young doe named Faline. As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is tragedy as well as beauty and joy in his forest world and on the path to adulthood.

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