It turns out that Disney's creepy CIA spook also hired the sharpshooter who 'liquidated' Bambi's mother in the service of narrative causality. There is, however, absolutely no evidence that phosphorus munitions were used during the forest fire scene.
It wasn't completely unknown before Disney. It was originally a Norwegian folk legend, but immigrants had brought it to America and it was known in folklore circles.
Another Norwegian folk belief was that if lemmings got stuck someplace and couldn't get out, or get past, they would spontaneously combust. It's too bad Disney didn't run with that.
Also, Ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand when scared and chameleons don't change colour to match their environment.
For anyone who's never read it: James Thurber's Interview with a Lemming.
So...they're like the Kennedys then?
Oh, next you'll be telling us there is no such thing as a "digger" lemming or a "blocker" lemming. Come now.
So the Disney Corp. ran a bunch of lemmings over a cliff for their documentary? Just when you think they couldn't get any more evil...
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