Home Entertainment Disney’s Bambi Inspired Stephen King’s Horror Career

Disney’s Bambi Inspired Stephen King’s Horror Career


When King was asked why the bulk of his output was either horror or supernatural, he was frank:

“It’s built in. That’s all. The first movie I ever saw was a horror movie. It was ‘Bambi.’ When that little deer gets caught in a forest fire, I was terrified, but I was also exhilarated. I can’t explain it. My wife and kids drink coffee. But I don’t. I like tea. My wife and kids won’t touch a pizza with anchovies on it. But I like anchovies. The stuff I was drawn to was built in as part of my equipment.”

It sounds as if King was already innately drawn to horror and “Bambi” merely confirmed that his interests were in-born. Of course, that’s a common push-pull one has with anything that inspires us. Did the art inform our personalities or do our already-formed personalities merely and unexpectedly mesh with certain artists? Curiously, King only mentioned the scary forest fire from “Bambi” and not the film’s notoriously tragic death. About halfway through “Bambi,” the title deer’s mom (Paula Winslowe) is out in an open meadow, a dangerous place for deer. They know there’s no cover in the meadow and they can easily be targeted by hunters. Bambi’s mother is shot and killed in that meadow, which famously traumatized several generations of children. King, instead, remembers the forest fire.

When asked if he was ashamed to have similarly scarred his readers, King wasn’t the least bit apologetic:

“No. I thought it was great fun to scare people. I also knew it was socially acceptable because there were a lot of horror movies out there. And I cut my teeth on horror comics like ‘The Crypt of Terror.'”

Never feel ashamed, Stephen.

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