Tag Archives: Bambi

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “With a Smile and a Song” (1937)

Evolution of Disney : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Part 1

Snow White “With a Smile and a Song” (1937)

Of course for the Queen, seeing the Prince in love with Snow White is the last straw and she arranges to have the young Princess murdered out in the countryside. Fortunately for us, the Huntsman has a conscience and Snow White runs deep into the forest where she encounters a large group of forest animals (interesting how they can understand humans, isn’t it?) Now trying to cheer herself up, Snow White sings “With a Smile and a Song” to remind herself (and her new animal friends) about how being positive can help you get through tough times. As with the earlier songs, the vocal part is relatively simple.

With a smile and a song
Life is just a bright sunny day
Your cares fade away
And your heart is young

With a smile and a song
All the world seems to waken anew
Rejoicing with you
As the song is sung

There’s no use in grumbling
When raindrops come tumbling
Remember, you’re the one
Who can fill the world with sunshine

When you smile and you sing
Everything is in tune and it’s spring
And life flows along
With a smile and a song

I enjoy this song as much as the others, but something about it has always bothered me. Caselotti’s voice is so high-pitched in this song that, to my ears, some of the words come across as unintelligible. It still sounds beautiful but it would be nice to understand all of the lyrics. It’s also interesting to compare the animation of the animals in this film to their super-realistic appearance in Bambi. While it’s true that Disney wasn’t going for realism in Snow White, everything is still recognizable (deer look like deer, rabbits like rabbits, etc.)

“With a Smile and a Song” is a nice, peaceful interlude after Snow White’s terrifying run through the forest (which really needs to be covered in Disturbing Disney) and easily sets up a transition for the princess to travel to the cottage of the seven dwarfs. Let me know what you think about “With a Smile and a Song” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “I’m Wishing/One Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Whistle While You Work” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Heigh Ho” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum/The Washing Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “The Silly Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (1937)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “I’m Wishing/One Song” (1937)

Evolution of Disney : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Part 1

Snow White “I’m Wishing/One Song” (1937)

It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when Disney did not completely rule the world of animation and children’s movies. Back in the 1930s, Disney was seen as a small studio that created funny cartoons, but little else. Of course Walt Disney had bigger plans, including an idea for making a full-length film that was completely animated (something unheard of at the time). What was once known as “Disney’s Folly” became known to history as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Released in 1937, the titular character is voiced by the singer Adriana Caselotti. She sings several songs over the course of the film, the first of which is “I’m Wishing,” sung to her bird friends as she gets water from the well in the castle courtyard. The melody is relatively simplistic, with many leaps from the tonic to the dominant (D to A) and back again. Before the melody returns for a final reprise (just before the Prince interjects), there is a lovely interlude where Caselotti shows off her vocal prowess and sings a call and response with her “echo” in the well.

Evolution of Disney : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Part 1

The song serves as a good introduction for the character: she’s a young (at least teenage) girl who’s clearly done her best to be happy, but still dreams of finding true love (and probably getting away from her stepmother the Queen). The music for this song (and most of the others) was composed by Frank Churchill, who’s last work would prove to be the score for Bambi in 1942.

You wanna hear a secret?
Promise not to tell?
(sung)
We are standing by a wishing well
Make a wish into the well
That’s all you have to do
And if you hear it echoing
Your wish will soon come true

I’m wishing
(I’m wishing)
For the one I love
To find me
(To find me)
Today
(Today)

I’m hoping
(I’m hoping)
And I’m dreaming of
The nice things
(The nice things)
He’ll say
(He’ll say)

I’m wishing
(I’m wishing)
For the one I love
To find me
(To find me)
Today

It’s amazing how lifelike Snow White looks (and remember this was 1937, before computers, all of this was done BY HAND). By the way, look at the Prince below, doesn’t he remind you just a little of Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty? This charming song is immediately followed by “One Song” sung by the unnamed Prince (his role was supposed to be larger but Disney wasn’t entirely convinced that his animators could bring a male character to life convincingly so this is the first and last time we see him until the end of the movie, where he again sings “One Song”).

Evolution of Disney : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Part 1

Like “I’m Wishing,” “One Song” is a simple melody, well-suited for a tenor’s voice, that clearly sets out what the Prince is saying (i.e. I’ve fallen in love with you at first sight). The melody is again very simple, with a medium range of notes. Disney songs have a tendency to be very simple melodically (the idea was that this made them more appealing to children).

Now that I’ve found you
Here’s what I have to say

One Song
I have but one song
One song
Only for you

One heart
Tenderly beating
Ever entreating
Constant and true

One love
That has possessed me
One love
Thrilling me through

One song
My heart keeps singing
Of one love
Only for you

 The only question I have is, if the Prince really loves Snow White that much, why didn’t he just take her away right then and there? Where did he go after this song ends? Nevertheless, it is a sweet moment (and the look on the Queen’s face when she sees the Prince wooing her stepdaughter is priceless!) Originally, there was going to be an idea that the Prince was supposed to be coming to court the Queen, which would also explain her outrage at seeing him woo Snow White, but the idea was ultimately dropped.

What do you think of “I’m Wishing” and “One Song”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day! This is going to be the start of me re-formatting my earliest blog posts. When I first started, I wasn’t sure what the blog would look like, so I experimented with some different formats. Now I’m going to fix my early work to match what I do now. Hope you enjoy!

See also:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “With a Smile and a Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Whistle While You Work” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Heigh Ho” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum/The Washing Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “The Silly Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (1937)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Disturbing Disney #6: Faline vs. the dogs (1942)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

The final act of Bambi does not lack for ‘disturbing moments’ especially when you consider that in short order: Man attacks the forest en masse, causing total hysteria among the animals; Bambi gets shot; and the entire forest is set on fire, compelling the surviving forest creatures to run for their lives. But the moment I would like to focus on happens in the midst of all this, during Man’s attack, but before the forest is set on fire.

Faline vs. the dogs (1942)

Due to a series of events, Bambi and Faline have become separated and in the chaos are frantically searching for each other. And during a sudden lull in the shooting (which in retrospect is a sign that things are about to get worse), Faline bounds over a hill only to discover…the dogs. And just calling them ‘dogs’ alone is an understatement, these are killers!!

Man'sDog

I mean look at them: fangs bared, angry eyes, these dogs will rip apart anything they can catch, including Faline!! What makes this moment disturbing for me is that regular dogs have been turned into savage monsters by the studio. This, combined with the heart-pounding accompaniment of chase music, adds up to a scene that had me simultaneously engrossed and terrified.

The scariest (and most disturbing part) comes when the dogs have Faline cornered on a tiny ledge:

Bambi-disneyscreencaps.com-6901

It’s a terrifying scene: only a few inches of rock are keeping Faline from those dogs and they’re not giving up! I’m very thankful this scene did not traumatize me for life in regards to dogs (because it could very easily do that).

Thankfully, Bambi comes to rescue Faline and the danger passes. And yet…the image of those dogs lunging up at Faline has stayed with me for a very long time. What do you think of the scene where the dogs hunt and chase Faline? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Disturbing Disney, see here

See also:

Disturbing Disney #1: The Coachman in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #2: The truth of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #3: Escaping Monstro from Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #4: Dumbo loses his mother (1941)

Disturbing Disney #5 The death of Bambi’s Mother

Disturbing Disney #7: Cruella wants to do WHAT??

Disturbing Disney #8: The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (from Make Mine Music, 1946)

Disturbing Disney #9: Dr. Facilier’s Fate (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Disturbing Disney #10: The rat in Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Disturbing Disney #11: Clayton’s Death in Tarzan (1999)

Disturbing Disney #12: The Bear from The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #13: “Smoking them out” in The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #14: The Salt Trap in The Jungle Book (1994)

Disturbing Disney #15: Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia (1940)

Disturbing Disney #16: King Triton destroys Ariel’s grotto

Disturbing Disney #17: Ratigan becomes a monster in The Great Mouse Detective

Disturbing Disney #18: The Queen’s assignment for her Huntsman

Disturbing Disney #19: Cinderella’s dress is destroyed (1950)

Disturbing Disney #20: Quasimodo is crowned ‘King of Fools’ (1996)

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Disturbing Disney #5: The death of Bambi’s Mother (1942)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

If you ask most of the young adults in my generation when and how they first learned about death in film; the answer is more than likely to be Mufasa’s death in The Lion King (1994). But 52 years before that tragic event, Disney set the bar for the disturbing and upsetting when it came to the death of Bambi’s mother in Bambi (1942). In fact, my grandmother, who saw Bambi in the theater at a very young age, recounted to me once that this scene had all the young children in the theater in tears (and I don’t blame them at all). Because it is so upsetting and so blunt in how it presents death, I have made this scene part of the list of Disturbing Disney moments.

The death of Bambi’s mother (1942)

Prior to this scene, Bambi has been experiencing his very first winter and it hasn’t been going well. There’s hardly any food to eat; and after the initial fun of playing in the snow, Bambi finds himself longing for the warmth and greenery to return. Bambi’s mother promises that spring will come soon and sure enough, one day they arrive at the meadow to find the first shoots of spring grass peeking up through the snow.

So far so good right? Well no sooner do they start eating then the ominous “Man is coming” music starts. This theme is the only musical hint we ever have that Man is coming (he is never seen onscreen). Bambi doesn’t notice the danger, but his mother does and she quickly tells her son to run for safety!

bambimother3

This is where the scene begins to enter the disturbing. As Bambi runs for it, he turns to look back at his mother and hears these last words “Faster, faster Bambi! Don’t look back! Keep running, KEEP RUNNING!” Right before these words, the pair has already dodged one gunshot, and just after Bambi’s mother disappears offscreen, you hear it: a solid gunshot indicating a hit. But Bambi keeps running, not realizing anything has happened until he reaches the thicket, turns around and realizes…his mother isn’t there. The pain in the moment when Bambi goes from happiness (“We made it mother!”) to questioning (“Mother?!”) is heartwrenching. When I was younger, I had a very hard time watching this part of the movie. In fact, I can dimly recall being young enough to not quite understand what had happened to Bambi’s mother (and when I asked my mother all she would tell me was “keep watching”).

tumblr_mpej3nAmy71rcb0d2o1_500

Disney does provide one moment of hope at the end of this scene: after a long search through the forest, Bambi encounters his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, who solemnly tells him “your mother can’t be with you anymore” and formally takes his son under his wing. This is the last time we see Bambi as a young fawn; he’ll next appear as a young buck (antlers and all).

As sad and messed up as this scene is (keep in mind, Bambi right now is the equivalent of a 5- year-old human child), it was originally going to be ten times worse. In an earlier version of the script, Bambi was supposed to notice the shot, double back and find his mother lying in a pool of her own blood (whether she was already dead or dying is not specified). Walt Disney vetoed the idea on the grounds that would be going too far and the moment was cut (which is good, because otherwise, this scene would’ve been #1 in the series).

I suppose it could be argued that this scene is more sad than disturbing, but I felt it needed to be added to this series. What do you think of the death of Bambi’s mother? Did it greatly upset you, were you old enough to understand what had happened? Let me know in the comments below! I’m glad everyone is enjoying this series 🙂 The next installment will also be from Bambi and covers a small moment that always had me on the edge of my seat. Until then, have a good rest of the day!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Disturbing Disney, see also:

Disturbing Disney #1: The Coachman in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #2: The truth of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #3: Escaping Monstro from Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #4: Dumbo loses his mother (1941)

Disturbing Disney #6: Faline vs. the dogs (1942)

Disturbing Disney #7: Cruella wants to do WHAT??

Disturbing Disney #8: The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (from Make Mine Music, 1946)

Disturbing Disney #9: Dr. Facilier’s Fate (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Disturbing Disney #10: The rat in Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Disturbing Disney #11: Clayton’s Death in Tarzan (1999)

Disturbing Disney #12: The Bear from The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #13: “Smoking them out” in The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #14: The Salt Trap in The Jungle Book (1994)

Disturbing Disney #15: Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia (1940)

Disturbing Disney #16: King Triton destroys Ariel’s grotto

Disturbing Disney #17: Ratigan becomes a monster

Disturbing Disney #18: The Queen’s assignment for her Huntsman

Disturbing Disney #19: Cinderella’s dress is destroyed (1950)

Disturbing Disney #20: Quasimodo is crowned ‘King of Fools’ (1996)

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