“Mother! Where are you?”: Attachment, Hazard-precaution and Loss Simulation in Bambi and Finding Nemo (BA Project)

  • Laura Bjerre Schwalbe Aarhus University
Keywords: Disney, attachment, foreign threats, evolutionary theory, theory of mind, children’s films, feminism, Human Nature and Pop Culture


This BA project analyses Disney’s animated feature films Bambi (Alger, et al. 1942) and Finding Nemo (Stanton and Unkrich 2003) from an evolutionary perspective, exploring the adaptive mechanisms that underpin them. The heroes of Disney’s childhood favorites often must survive horrifying threats and traumatic losses. Through the lenses of attachment theory, children’s danger management, and evolutionary film theory, this paper argues that Bambi and Nemo’s cute and fragile appearances and loving relationships with their parents activate children’s biological urge for parental protection. The characters encounter threats that human children are adapted to avoid, but small children endure these scenes because they offer indirect experience with real-life fitness-threatening scenarios. Finally, while evolutionary theory and feminist theory are frequently considered at odds, I discuss how these two approaches in combination can explore the untraditional family patterns in Finding Nemo.


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How to Cite
Schwalbe, L. (2017). “Mother! Where are you?”: Attachment, Hazard-precaution and Loss Simulation in Bambi and Finding Nemo (BA Project). Leviathan: Interdisciplinary Journal in English, (1). https://doi.org/10.7146/lev.v0i1.96786