Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Since 1942, the original Bambi has both charmed and (let's be honest) traumatized young audiences. More than a mere cartoon character, Bambi has become emblematic of childhood innocence cut short by the tragic loss of a parent. Sadness. Isolation. Uncertainty. Indeed, a half-century before Mufasa succumbed to a wildebeest stampede in The Lion King, Bambi's mother fell prey to Man in a scene that stigmatized deer hunters forever. But what of Bambi's father? We got a glimpse of the majestic stag in the first film, but that story focused on Bambi's self-discovery and budding friendships.

Perhaps it was inevitable that, in this age of straight-to-DVD sequels, the folks at Disney would venture back into the forest for another round with the playful fawn. In Bambi II, the young deer is still trying to get his spindly legs under him with help from his best friends; a cocksure bunny named Thumper, and Flower, a subdued skunk. Bambi has also attracted the attention of a sweet doe (Faline) and an arrogant young rival (Ronno).

But the central relationship is paternal. Bambi wants desperately to follow in the snowy hoofprints of The Great Prince. However, Dad has important work to do and mustn't be slowed down by a hanger-on, even his own flesh and blood. He reluctantly offers to care for Bambi through the winter, but intends to delegate parenting duties to a worthy doe come spring. So this stately buck goes about protecting the herd and tossing Bambi table scraps of wisdom, only to discover the importance—and satisfaction—of raising Bambi himself. As winter gives way to spring, Dad's cold, aloof dignity mellows and both boys learn what it means to be complete alpha males.


Positive Elements

While it's great that Bambi has pals to help him find his way through the thicket, the inestimable value of a father's tutelage comes through loud and clear. Not only does the fawn need The Great Prince's wisdom, but also his love and approval. That's why Bambi feels compelled to model bravery after locking up in the face of danger. (He eventually proves his mettle.) The regal stag has some growing to do, too. He softens to his son, even allowing himself to show tenderness at times. It's a wonderful reminder to dads that, although professional goals and an authoritative presence in the home are important, a boy also needs open communication, playfulness, warmth and quantity time.

At first The Great Prince dismisses Bambi's desire to reminisce about his mother ("A prince does not look back, only ahead"), but learns to value those memories. Bambi's kind heart earns a secret smile from Dad when he frees a ladybug caught in a spider's web. Bambi is also selfless and brave when a dire crisis arises, during which he leads a pack of dogs away from a doe caught in a trap. By contrast, the narcissistic bully Ronno is looked down upon, in part for saving his own hide in that tight spot.

Dad charges to Bambi's rescue. Thumper notes that dads like to answer lots of questions, and echoes his father's sage advice: "A family that plays together stays together." When Thumper's spunk borders on insolence, he's quickly humbled by a loving, no-nonsense mom.

Thumper challenges Bambi to reach new heights and tells him that a well-timed growl can calm fears ("Just be scarier than whatever's scaring you"). Dad reinforces the need for courage ("A prince may be afraid, but he can't let fear stop him from acting"). As children of the King, young Christians can apply this to their own need for bravery when the right thing to do isn't necessarily the easy thing to do. Also, Ronno is a jealous, proud deceiver bent on berating Bambi and convincing him that his father is ashamed of him—much the way Satan tries to alienate us from God. Such moments of peer conflict can be used to illuminate that spiritual parallel.

Spiritual Content

Nothing supernatural to speak of, though one scene is noteworthy for its handling of an otherworldly reunion. In a dream, Bambi's mother assures him that she's always with him, and explains that life and death occur because "everything in the forest has its season." In essence, this mirrors The Lion King's "circle of life" chat and celestial appearance of Mufasa, but without the accompanying (odd) spirituality.

Sexual Content

None. Poked by a cranky porcupine, Bambi lurches into an accidental kiss with Faline.

Violent Content

Lots of spills and thrills throughout the forest (some comical, some threatening). Bambi gets lured into an open field by hunters, whose vicious dogs charge the stunned deer before The Great Prince intervenes and tosses the canines around with his antlers. An incidental gunshot rings out. Later, Bambi dispatches several dogs, one with an avalanche of rocks and another with a kick off a cliff. Bambi and Ronno butt heads (literally) and get into scrapes. Flower blasts a dog with his God-given defense mechanism. The animals are harassed by a crotchety old porcupine who makes his point with sharp quills. A turtle bites Ronno on the nose. A ledge crumbles from beneath Bambi, causing him to fall and lie unconscious for a tense moment or two.

Crude or Profane Language

Ronno says "geez" and is verbally disrespectful to his mother (who lets him get away with it).

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements

Is it fair to once again paint hunters as the heartless, faceless baddies? You have to admit, a sportsman with a gun and an open spot above the fireplace probably is the greatest threat to an eight-point buck. Still, not all hunters are simply out for a trophy. Some hunt for food. Others help to thin overpopulated herds and strengthen the community as a whole. Consider exploring both sides of this divisive issue with children in order to avoid the wholesale vilification of hunters.


Was anyone clamoring for a Bambi sequel? What's next, Sleeping Beauty 2: Back to Bed? In case it isn't obvious, I'm pretty skeptical when Disney raids the intellectual property vault to put a profitable new spin on an old favorite. But I must admit, I'm glad this one's here!

Bambi II overcomes a thin story and a few prefab, Disney Channel-style pop songs by throwing in plenty of cute bits and filling the screen with lush, beautiful scenery. Snowflakes. Dew on leaves. Ripples in water. Fireflies. Layers of branches. Rain striking rocks. There's even a moment when Bambi hides in deep grass from two circling black hounds who, from high above, look like swimming sharks. Moments like this show the animators' commitment to stylishly reviving an old art form at a time when anything that isn't 3-D tends to be rushed through the animation mill. Brian Pimental and his creative team find ways to bring the forest to life with light, color, shadow and texture that's a far cry from the quickie foliage in a Winnie the Pooh sequel.

Thematically, in addition to modeling kindness and courage for little ones, the film does a terrific job of stressing a boy's need for his father. The opening scene isn't afraid to put a finger in the chest of the workaholic, emotionally detached dad who considers raising a child woman's work. The rest of the tale wraps an enabling arm around that same viewer's shoulders, gently presenting the benefits (for him and for his kids) of being intimately engaged in a child's life.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!