Bambi out for revenge in new horror film 'Bambi: The Reckoning'
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Bambi is out for revenge in just-announced horror film ‘Bambi: The Reckoning’

Bambi the deer will be reimagined as a bloodthirsty “killing machine” in a just-announced horror film.

Titled Bambi: The Reckoning, the film will follow the titular character and offer “an incredibly dark retelling of the 1928 story we all know and love,” according to its director, Scott Jeffrey. The film’s official synopsis says that Bambi will be a “vicious killing machine who lurks in the wildernessPrepare for Bambi on rabies.” While further plot specifics have yet to be revealed, pundits have predicted that the film will trace Bambi as he exacts revenge on the hunter who slayed his mother in the original Disney animation. 

Bambi: The Reckoning has been slated to begin development in January of next year, and is produced by Rhys Waterfield. The producer is known for directing Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey, which is due for release next year and similarly offers a horror-genre retelling of fellow Disney character, Winnie The Pooh. In what’s sure to destroy childhoods the world over, the synopsis for Pooh: Blood and Honey reads: “Now feral and bloodthirsty, Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet terrorize Christopher Robin and a group of young women at a remote house.” 

Credit: Disney

Both films are able to be produced given that Disney’s licensing rights over the two characters lapsed in January of this year, meaning they have officially entered the public domain. Bambi and Winnie the Pooh joined Lawrence of Arabia in entering the public domain this year, while the copyrights to Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse will expire on January 1, 2024. It means creators have the right to republish, reimagine and adapt the character however they see fit. 

Other characters set to enter the public domain, and likely to become the muse of childhood ruiners, include Looney Toones’ Bugs Bunny (followed closely by Daffy Duck), the characters of The Wizard of Oz, and the French schoolgirl Madeline. Bambi: The Reckoning joins a slew of traditionally child-oriented films to receive the horror treatment, with a slasher film centred around the grinch, titled The Mean One, set to premiere on Christmas Day.