Animal characters are prevalent in animated film for many reasons.
-they speak to a broad audience; transcending gender, race, nationality, beliefs.
-they’re universally relatable to all ages, so they’re easy to connect, & identify with.
Animal characters, of course, mimic human cultures, traditions, & societal norms.
Bambi & Dumbo are both long standing animated films that help to temper young minds into the acceptance of absolute oppression of other animals.
Simultaneously both films destroy a child’s empathy for animals, while structuring the speciesist culture with humans above all.
Bambi packs a wallop of darkness with the decentering nightmare fuel death of his mother.
Dumbo pulls at heartstrings with the imprisoned mother, desperate to touch her baby, rocking dumbo in her trunk one last time.
These films cause children to cry, thus causing parents to soothe, rationalize, and justify.
And, justify they do.
Uttering the likes… ‘that’s just the way it is’, ‘deer are hunted for human food’, & ‘life is unfair sometimes’ (Dumbo forced to work at a circus as a clown).
Studies have shown that children lack the speciesism bias. Children naturally value animal life much more than adults do. Speciesism is both taught and learned, cyclically, as are all other isms. Adults consistently prioritize human life over animals, with humans showing even less empathy for species we deem evolutionary distant to us.
Due, mainly, to humans being smarter than other animals. However, that claim falls short because humans prioritize dim humans over other animals.
So, if it isn’t a powerhouse cranial reason…what is it?
Animals are different than us.
The look different, live different, survive different, communicate different, behave different…etc
Difference, historically & presently, is the root cause of all atrocity; Species difference, religious difference , racial difference, gender difference, orientation, etc.
It has been difference that, over the course of human existence, has been a consistent justification for abominable acts.
When your child watches these films, please tell them the truth.
Animals are killed and eaten because we wield a might is right attitude, choosing to ignore sentience, & biological science.
Animals are exploited, imprisoned, forcibly separated from families because we feel we have the right to do so.
Teach your child animals are friends, not servants, not clothes, not tools, and certainly not food.
Teach your child about the interconnectedness of each and every being on this planet.
Dig Out Your Soul