It turns out that Snow White was a role model for saving the forest and Walt Disney was a secret environmentalist, inserting subliminal messages into his cartoons. Who knew?
According to a recent book by two Cambridge academics, all those years of watching Jungle Book, the Little Mermaid and Bambi (re-runs on that one) have made generations of children more sympathetic to the natural world. Great!
Bambi, from 1942, was noted as being particularly influential--the authors think that many of the first green activists may have learned respect for nature by watching it every Saturday afternoon at the movies.
It sounds crazy but the analysis of many of the plots is interesting... Snow White lived in the forest and the seven dwarfs were her best friends and the forest was a peaceful setting compared to the madness of the human world.
Bambi was "a classic example of the use of animated detail to represent the idyllic realm of nature rendered vulnerable by human incursions". Tarzan was raised by gorillas, Cinderella's only friends are animals and don't forget that it was mouse that helped her find her prince.
Once Disney gave up the reins and Michael Eisner took over the films "become more complex, suggesting that people and nature can coexist if people come to respect wildlife and realise their place in the natural order". The explanation of Minnie and Mickey is grist for another thesis. :: The Times