July 18, 1988 12:00 PM

They call this a movie for children. Ha! Go ahead: Take an impressionable child to Walt Disney’s 1942 classic. Sure the movie is gorgeous; a creative team of 100 slaved over it for five years. Their artistry—the forest in sun, shower and snowfall—dazzles. Just the kind of thing kids jaw about with their pals. Yeah, right. What young kids will notice is that Bambi is like them. A bit wimpy at first, he hangs on to his mom, who doesn’t like him cavorting in the meadow alone. He enjoys his friends—Thumper the rabbit, Flower the skunk and a female fawn named Faline. Dad isn’t around much. He strikes macho poses on mountaintops, part of his job as great prince of the forest. All this gives a child a sense of security, which Uncle Walt cruelly shatters. Bang, a shot. A hunter has killed Mom. Growl, a pack of hunting dogs. Faline is trapped on a ledge. Sizzle, a forest fire. That’s home burning down. Waaaah, a child’s cry. The child is yours. Hello, bad dreams. (G)

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