This a 3-part series as a model for student work.
Bambi in Boyland: How Disney’s Fawn Reflects American Morals
How our ideas of power and success are shallow and naïve, and that Bambi’s virtues remain a noble goal.
“Later, you grow and start to understand”. (Cooper)
Rapper 50 Cent reflects on the death of his mother. He was eight years old, too young to understand, and the adults around his life would say to him, “She’s not coming back,” but he refused to listen to them (Cooper). Unlike Bambi’s father, Curtis Jackson’s father was absent from his life; and, unlike Bambi, Jackson would have to find his way to “Prince of the Forest” on his own. I don’t know if Jackson ever saw the Disney film, but it’s fairly clear from his career path and thoughts on love that he may have benefited, not only from having had a father figure in his life, but from the movie’s lessons on adulthood.
Jackson insists that he respects women, puts them on a pedestal, even. Of course, this is only because of their beauty. And only a few “Queens,” for reason. The rest, he says, are “b****es and hoes” (Kugel). His attitude may be evident through the lyrics of his art:
Yeah! – I got all kinda b****es: from vet b****es to beginner b***h (uh!)
My phone ringing and I ain’t answering cause I’m in a b***h. (yeah!)
I’m all like a pimp than a trick. – I send a b***h! (hahaaa!)
50’s and lead escorts, call me the runner b***h. (whoooooo-whooooooooooooooohhhhhh!)
If we going out, we going dutch pay for your inner, b***h!
Look b***h! – This is my life, I’m on some different sh*t.
Every different day I wake up to play with a different b***h
B****es love me. (yeah!) – Just like I loooove me! (yeah, YEEEAH!)
(“All His Love”)
Here 50 Cent struts his status as a player, boasting about how many woman he uses. Their names are irrelevant, their interests, too. His insistence that they “love me” strikes us as shallow, even naïve. How could they? Unless his idea of love is completely warped. While Jackson claims that the loss of his mother was a major impact on his young life. Had he a mother to remind him of basic decency in interacting with people, had he a father who stayed to teach him how to act like a man, the sort of Prince 50 Cent would become might look very different.
But the 50 Cent Prince of the Forest is, in fact, very shallow, and very temporary. Debuting a powerful set of albums in 2003, he has not produced a single album since 2009, and that one—Before I Self Destruct—failed to reach gold. Beset by legal problems, Jackson is finally about to release another album after many false starts, but early reviews aren’t positive. To be a Forest Prince, something more tangible, powerful is required. Jackson does have power—nearly gunned down in the street is 2000, much of his fame is built upon this near-martyrdom (and a deal to sell vitamin water) (Charnas). But fame, power, and princedom require more than a near death experience and a slick business sense. Bambi’s rise is inevitable, permanent, marked by genuine love, respect, and power based on nobility, morality, and truth.
In stark contrast to 50 Cent, Bambi builds himself to Princedom through his love, friendships, and simple humility. He does not buy Faline’s physical attention or even remark on her obvious cute factor. Instead, with an endearing innocence, he builds a friendship and devotion to her. He nobly battles Ronno for her. He protects his family from fire, wards off attack dogs, and finds his way back to her. In short, Bambi earns both love and power. He does it because he is genuine, and he does it because he has a father who teaches him. Jackson does not want to even meet his, though he admits that he might not have made so many mistakes. (Cooper)
One might argue that Bambi is a fictional character and 50 Cent is real. Given. Yet we must not forget that it is Curtis Jackson who is as real as Bambi author Felix Salten. 50 Cent is Jackson’s fiction as Bambi is Salten’s. And, as Jackson himself says of art, “Nobody’s gonna pay a million dollars for me . . . scribbling (Kugel). You said it, Mr. Jackson. This is why you found a few quick years of infamy while Bambi endures. I wish you had seen the movie.
“Later, you grow and start to understand.”
“All His Love by 50 Cent.” YouTube. YouTube, 16 Apr. 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7WALks4J5c.
Charnas, Dan. “How 50 Cent Scored a Half-billion.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2010. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
Cooper, Roman. “50 Cent Recalls Losing His Mother, Has “No Interest” In Meeting Father.” HipHopDXRSS. 24 Mar. 2014.
Kugel, Allison. “Inside 50 Cent: The Rap Mogul’s Thoughts on Love, Sex, Fear & Taking Risks The PR.com Interview – PR.com.” PR.com. 24 Mar. 2014. http://www.pr.com/article/1136.