« Bouvier des Flandres—a lap and a half dog (maybe more) | Main | Deaf puppy learns sign language »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I can't disagree more. Back in the day, my folks thought nothing of letting me watch horror movies which were way worse than anything in Old Yeller. Yes, I thought the film and the book were sad, but I got over it. People who grow up on farms deal with the themes of life and death frequently and you learn to see these themes as a natural part of life.

I think we coddle our children too much nowadays. Can't let them play dodgeball. Can't let them keep score at games because all participants are winners. Can't grade their papers with a harsh red pen. It's just getting crazy. What are these children going to do when they run into the real world?


Hated Old Yeller. Had to read the book for English at a young and impressionable age. It is one of my least favorites for its stark and miserable view of life. Still I also hate Disney for anthropomorphizing animals to the point where people really think cows can talk and plot and plan their escape from us horrible farmer people.


I watched all the black and white horror shows back in the day like; Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.
But I watched them with the intention of being scared out of my wits as a child.

"Old Yeller" on the other hand was supposed to be a (feel good) movie or so I thought as a 6 or 7 year old child?
Picture yourself as a child getting drawn in to all the loving heroism of this wonderful scoundrel of a dog, and then watching him being killed in the end without understanding that there is no cure for the maddening disease which he had.

Maybe I could have understood it more if he had gotten hit by a car? Heck.....they didn't even have cars in that movie did they? Well, maybe if he got hit by a train?

I think the movie was a little too deep for a child that age? It really disturbed my little brain at that age! Heck.....I was so dumb......that I thought all those kids running around in slow motion for the "Keds" shoes commercials was for real. I wanted my mom to buy me a pair because I thought they really made you be able to run in slow motion like the kids on TV?

I had no concept of slow motion filming at that age just as I had no concept that someone would shoot their beloved family dog? I didn't have a clue what rabies was?

I do agree with you that "we coddle our children too much nowadays". I played dodgeball, and full contact football without pads and loved every minute of it! I've watched my grandmother wring many a chickens neck, and watched them slaughter hogs but I never intentially set out to hurt a beloved family pet, and thought anyone who did so was complete evil!

I've never seen Fantasia, and I don't have children, but I would monitor my childs maturity level if I had one, and I would wait until I thought the kid was old enough to understand, and even explain to the child that "Old Yeller" was really not a "feel good" type of movie and make sure they understood about rabies etc. I would tell them that the movie is a hard lesson in life.

The bottom line is....I wasn't watching it as a horror movie. I was watching it as a "feel good" movie and it turned into a horror movie.......at least in a 7 year old's mind!

Oh......and I think they should let the teachers paddle the kids at school too! Is that real world enough for ya??!!!LOL!!!!!
I remember one lady teacher who made you bend over in front of her desk while she administered the paddling. Our little heads would bounce off the front of her desk every time she smacked our arse!
Yeah baby.....real world!!!!! Maybe that's what's wrong with me?

Tom and Icy

I agree with both the commenters. It's time Americans face reality. Like a person not rich because he has a lot of stuff but deep in debt.


I cried when Old Yeller was put down,and then got all happy when the puppies came after.
I wasn't traumatized by the movie,probably because we had a dog that had to be destroyed because he had rabies,and when Old Yeller got bit by the wolf I knew what time it was.


I read the book first..actually it was read to me in english class..if we did all of our work she would read out of the book each day..when she got to the byebye ole yeller part I was hysterical crying with my head on my desk..I stood up and said "your the meanest person I have ever met...who would read this to a bunch of kids(i was in the 7-8th grade) and stomped out of the room to finish crying in the privacy of the girls restroom.i hated that bitch teacher after that..used to make jokes all the time how i was afraid to do all my work now for fear she would read stories about the holocaust to us..I wouldn't watch the movie for about 30 years..

jayne d'Arcy

The book Old Yeller was read to my first grade class during "storytime". I thought it was a wonderful story about a family that loved their heroic dog... and then the dog was shot and killed.

I had absolutely no idea that some people put their animals down this way. Even though I was growing up in a farming community, we weren't farmers. I was upset until I went home and cried in my mother's arms. She then had the lovely job of explaining to me that the shooting of Old Yeller was a mercy killing. Even though I eventually understood it, it didn't take away the shock of the story.

I am a grown up now, and I understand the logic behind putting animals to sleep, but it doesn't make things one whit easier especially since I always seem to flashback to "storytime" and the point where Old Yeller was killed. It still makes me cry.


My third grade teacher was a sadist. She made us read "Where the Red Fern Grows". (didn't Disney do that one too) Then she gave me detention because I got caught up in the story and read ahead and broke into tears in class the next day.

I grew up watching horror movies too, as well as the Twilight Zone and Tales From the Dark Side. I was practically raised by those old B-grade horror flicks that tended to feature giant bugs taking over entire towns. Those didn't bother me nearly as much because as Jimmy pointed out they were meant to be scary. You could anticipate the horror. Because I didn't anticipate WtRFG having such an awful conclusion, I was unprepared and I STILL can't read that book. I've never even seen Old Yeller because of the similarities, and I doubt I ever will.

I don't believe in coddling children. I believe in preparing them. Yes, death is a part of life and everyone will eventually be touched by it, but there are better ways to learn about it.

I find myself vaguely squeamish again (as I was for weeks after the book incident) just writing about this. And in the rescue world, I deal with the death of animals on a regular basis.


Not sure I would take a youngster to see Old Yeller either. Can't totally sugarcoat the world though. Bad things happen to good dogs. And there are bad dogs too. I just read recently how a dog actually served eight years on "death row" at a prison out in the northwest there.

Lynn Sinclair

When I was in grade seven, they showed "Old Yeller" at school. To this day, I still feel an incredible sense of loss and sadness when I think about it.


I have never seen that movie more than once! I cried for days! It was beyond sad, and it forced my parents to tell me a lot of horrible facts of life way before they wanted to (and probably before I needed to hear them.) Maybe Disney should have teamed up with Stephen King. Bambi?? I can't even go there...


Definitely a devastating film! Disney got really disturbing at times.


Old Yeller is one of my all time favourite movies. I first saw it as a child and even owned the recorded version which I learned by heart. To this day I can still verbalize many of the scenes, word for word. The truth be told.. I do not remember being traumatized. I do remember being terribly saddened but I also remember the good parts and the love between the children and the dog. I guess the bottom line is... would I let my children and grandchildren watch it. And I would have to answer ... yes I would.


The book was even more powerful!

Fuzzy Logic

I'll never forget the time I saw Ol' Yeller to the end...

My mother always turned it off when Ol' Yeller came home.. Poof! She's say "Yeah! that's the end! Ol' Yeller is home! Okay time for bed!"

And once.... it was on during the day.. and she wasn't home.

I'll NEVER forget it.. ever.


Thank you for the link Jan. I don't feel like such a jerk for not letting my children watch when Old Yeller was aired on television a while back. They love dog movies, but all I could remember from seeing it was the shooting of the beloved rabid dog scene.

My kids aren't coddled, swathed and protected from real life, still we don't need supposedly heart warming movies to bring that point home. Unfortunately, real life tends to do that all on its own.


Disney also had Kathryn Beaumont suspended upside down from a wire performing stunts while animators drew her for Alice In Wonderland. Disney burned the actual film of this, but there are still photos out there...

universal studio orlando

I'm just about to plan a trip to Orlando Florida, your blog has helped me to come up with some good ideas, thanks!


I have to tell you that my daughter, at age 4, cried her eyes out seeing an animal get "hurt" in a movie - until I told her that those who makes the movies doesn't actually hurt the animals at all - they just makes it look like it! Thay have fake blood and all, she is now nearly 18, and she his a very healthy young woman who takes responsibility for her own actions in a very sensible way - I believe to tell children the truth and nothing else!

At daycare they told her to not eat snow cos it was "worms in it" - that kind of lies makes me go nuts! LOL - I told her that snow should not be eaten cos there are a lot of soot (like cigarette-ashes for those kids who cannot understand soot) and small particles in it that cannot be seen but are not good to swallow - AND - snow makes you cold inside - and so on!

One should never lioe to kids but tell them a kind of truth that they can handle - like how children grows in mamas belly... Hhrrrrmmmph... well, that's a tough one... Any ideas? I guess we here in sweden can just borrow a book at the library and let the kids watch the pictures when we read them the story - but it's not always that simple...

Anyway - have a great day!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo


  • Email

Dramatis Personae

  • Misty the alpha Poodle
    In her spare time
    she studies quantum theory and
    reads Proust
  • Timmy the stud muffin
    “The Jaws of Death”
    “The Silver Assassin”
  • Chamois the generic dog
    The world’s only
    Miniature Albanian Wolfhound
    because we were tired
    of telling people she was a mutt
  • Tudee the Rescue
    Half Chihuahua, half linebacker
    Found in a busy intersection
    telling the cars that
    she was there first

  • Taki
    A loving cat who came off the streets
    and into our lives
    and never left
[Valid Atom 1.0]


google-site-verification: googlee64a4879f6bea7bd.html
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2005