Well here’s something that took me by surprise. The main antagonist in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom, was the man who killed Bambi’s mother. Now for anyone that can recall either movie, both characters left a lasting distasteful impression on the audience. Even though the villain from Bambi, simply known as Man never physically appears on film once during the movie, viewers can tell that something revolving around him will happen when his music begins to play. This is in stark contrast to his possible later reincarnation in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when he appeared throughout the movie regularly.
Man, the antagonist from Bambi created one of the most tragic moments in any Disney film, if not all films in existence. The moment that Bambi’s mother was shot by a hunter left audiences shocked. While in human terms he is simply a hunter, to the animals he is stalking he is one of the most cold-blooded and cruel villains in the world. In fact, this portrayal of Man resulted in him being listed as number 20 in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 50 film villains of all time. It would make sense that another cruel antagonist from a later Disney film should be him.
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Now to Judge Doom. Judge Doom was the mean, cruel and feared hanging judge of Toontown. He had a propensity of sentencing Toons who had broken the law, even for minor offenses, to deletion, or, in other words, death. He took a particular interest in the title character of the movie, Roger Rabbit who was framed by the Judge for murder. He just seems to have a total dislike of all Toons. This is despite the fact that he himself is a Toon too. So where’s the connection between Judge Doom and Bambi?
In the graphic novel version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is is revealed that Judge Doom was a Toon called Baron von Rotten who played villains in movies until he suffered a concussion and woke thinking that he was a real villain. This could be the connection between Judge Doom and Bambi. Indeed, this was actually suggested in a deleted scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It’s not known why the scene was deleted.
However, and there could be a simple explanation for this, there may be a continuity error with this reasoning. In deleted scene from Bambi, a scene that was actually shown to a test audience but removed because they thought that it was too graphic, the corpse of Man, the cold-blooded killer of a mother deer, was shown in a fire. So if he was dead in Bambi how could he have possibly been Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Recall when we said that Doom was an actor early on? Well, it is entirely possible and plausible that he was a Toon actor in Bambi, not the real life, if you can call him that, villain. This would make sense and fit in with the notion that Judge Doom killed Bambi’s mother as Man, the character was dead, but Doom, the man was alive.