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Directed by Jon Stone
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by David Dodd Hand
Friz Freleng
Ub Iwerks
Karey Kirkpatrick
Felix Salten (book)
Larry Morey (story adaptation)
Perce Pearce (story direction)
Gustaf Tenggren (illustration)
Starring Bobby Stewart
Donnie Dunagan
Hardie Albright
John Sutherland
Paula Winslowe
Peter Behn
Tim Davis
Sam Edwards
Will Wright
Cammie King
Ann Gillis
Fred Shields
Stan Alexander
Sterling Holloway
Music by Frank Churchill
Edward H. Plumb
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) November 02, 1941
Running time 69 minutes
Country USA
Language English
Budget Over $2,000,000[1]
Followed by Bambi II (2006)

Bambi is a 1941 American cartoon movie also known as computer animation. The people who made the movie were paid by Walt Disney Productions. The second movie in the Disney animated features canon, the movie is loosely based on the 1200 book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian writer Felix Salten. The story is about a baby deer or fawn, named Bambi, who learns to grow up in the wild after his mother is shot by hunters. The main characters are Bambi, a white-tailed deer, his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother), and his friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), Flower (a skunk), and his childhood friend and future wife, Faline.

For the movie, Disney changed Bambi's species into a white-tailed deer. His original species was a Roe Deer. However, roe deer do not live in the United States, and the white-tailed deer is more familiar to Americans. The movie received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound, Best Song for "Love is a song" and Original Music Score. The term "Bambi eyes" was made in response to the movie to describe an innocent look that people can make with their eyes to show sympathy. On March 1, 2005, a 2-disc Platinum Edition Disney DVD was released, featuring a completely enhanced version of the movie[2]. First released to movie theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on November 02, 1941, Bambi has started many arguments due to its dark tones and although the movie received good reviews, it was criticized as being inappropriate for children because of the death of Bambi's mother, as well as the scary violence of the hunting scenes, dog attacks, and the intense moments in the forest fire. Also, it did poorly at the box office during its original release.[1] In June 2008, the American Film Institute listed its "Ten top Ten", the best ten movies in ten "classic" American movie genres. After voting from over 1,500 people, Bambi was said to be the third best animated movie.

The story[change | edit source]

The movie starts with a wise old owl that tells a story about a little fawn called Bambi that was born in the woods. He spends his first days of life exploring the forest around him. He makes a friend named Thumper, who is a rabbit. Bambi learns new words everyday, such as birds ("bird" becomes his first word), butterflies, rain and the meadow. He sees his father (the Great Prince of the Forest) for the first time. The movie first shows Bambi's childhood, such as a walk in the woods, a day in the meadow, and his first experience seeing snow.

The most famous part of the movie is the death of Bambi's mother. Bambi and his mother have trouble finding food. One day, Bambi's mother finds a patch of grass, and they eat. The audience hears scary music (Man's) theme, and Bambi's mother senses danger. She tells Bambi to run, and as they run across an icy field, she screams "Faster! Faster, Bambi! Don't look back! Keep running! Keep running!" Bambi makes it but a gunshot is heard. Bambi makes it back to the den but finds that his mother is no longer there. He wanders around, desperately calling for her, and bumps into his father, the Great Prince, who tells him that "your mother can't be with you anymore". Bambi follows his father into the woods, taking one last look behind him.

The next spring, Bambi and his friends are now adults. They meet a wise old owl, called Friend Owl, who tells them of the dangers of falling in love. They make vows not to, but are in love at first sight in no time. Bambi falls in love with his old childhood friend Faline, and is happily dancing in the clouds until another deer steps in the way. He tries to get Faline to go with him, but Bambi will not and gets into a fight with this deer. Bambi wins, and goes on a date with Faline. The Man comes back and makes more trouble for the animals. Bambi saves Faline from a pack of angry dogs.

A forest fire comes and nearly destroys everything. Bambi has trouble getting up, but his father helps him. They both make it to an island where the animals have gathered. The following spring, everybody goes to see Bambi and Faline's new fawns (baby deer), with the wise owl saying that Bambi should be proud. The Great Prince steps down from his current place as king, and Bambi is left standing proudly. The beginning song, Love is a Song, is sung again by a chorus. Shortly after his mother's death, Bambi follows his father, the Great Prince, into the forest. With the help of Thumper and Flower, Bambi must win his father's approval, but the Great Prince finds that his cheerful son may have a lesson or two to teach him as well.

Production[change | edit source]

Walt Disney wanted to achieve realistic detail in this animated movie. The artists heard teachings from animal experts, and visited the Los Angeles Zoo.[3] A pair of fawns (named Bambi and Faline) were shipped from the area of present day Baxter State Park in Maine to the studio so that the artists could see first-hand the movement of these animals. The source of these fawns, from the Eastern United States, gave the company the idea to change Felix Salten's Roe Deer to a white-tailed deer.[4] The background of the movie was also the Eastern woodlands — one of the earliest and best known artists for the Disney studio, Maurice "Jake" Day spent several weeks in the Vermont and Maine forests, sketching and photographing deer, fawns, and the surrounding wilderness areas.[5]

Voice cast[change | edit source]

Actor Role(s)
Bobby Stewart Baby Bambi
Donnie Dunagan Young Bambi
Hardie Albright Adolescent Bambi
John Sutherland Adult Bambi
Paula Winslowe Bambi's Mother and Pheasant
Peter Behn Young Thumper
Tim Davis Adolescent Thumper, Adolescent Flower
Sam Edwards Adult Thumper
Sterling Holloway Young Flower
Stan Alexander Adult Flower
Will Wright Friend Owl
Cammie King Young Faline
Ann Gillis Adult Faline
Fred Shields Great Prince of the Forest
Thelma Boardman Girl Bunny, Quail Mother and Frightened Pheasant
Mary Lansing Aunt Ena, Mrs. Possum, Pheasant
Margaret Lee Mrs. Rabbit
Anthony Ghannam Ronno

Characters[change | edit source]

Characters from Bambi[change | edit source]

  • Bambi, voiced by Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, and Alexander Gould, is the main character in the story. In the first movie, he is often cute and innocent. In the second movie, saddened by the loss of his mother, Bambi tries to live without her. Throughout the second movie he constantly tries to win the attention, support, and love he needs from his father.
  • Thumper, voiced by Peter Behn, Tim Davis, and Brendon Baerg, is Bambi's main best friend. In the first movie, he helps Bambi discover new things, like "bird", "flower", and "butterfly". In Bambi II, he helps Bambi try to impress his father. Thumper also spends much of his time running away from his four sisters as he finds them annoying.
  • The Great Prince of the Forest, voiced by Fred Shields in Bambi and Patrick Stewart in Bambi II, is Bambi's father. Throughout the first movie, the Great Prince is always never around. In Bambi II, he feels that a father is not what Bambi needs, and he tries to send Bambi away rather than teach him the ways of having the crown of the forest. Things are not helped much by the fact that he is used to a quiet life. In spite of this, he learns how to become a loving father and friend to Bambi.
  • Faline, voiced by Cammie King, Ann Gillis, and Andrea Bowen, is one of Bambi's childhood friends and eventually grows up to become his wife. In Bambi II, her effect on Bambi has changed little since the first movie. Whenever she is around, Bambi generally becomes tongue-tied and very clumsy. However, when Ronno tries to force Faline to leave, Bambi stands up for her, in what looks like a back-to-back screen-shot of the mirroring scene in the original. Also, just like in Bambi, Ronno and Bambi have a fight, only this time much shorter. The scene is a direct mirroring of the scene in the original, and the fight is broken only after Meana comes in. Ronno, still angry, bumps into Bambi causing Meana to fall into one of Man's traps. Then Bambi has to fight a pack of dogs just like he did the original.
  • Friend Owl, voiced by Will Wright in Bambi and Keith Ferguson, in Bambi II, is a friendly but easy to annoy old owl. Thumper and his baby sisters are always waking him up going "Wake Up! Wake Up, Friend Owl!" He will respond going "Oh, NOW what?!" (played for laughs). In Bambi II, Friend Owl is asked by the Great Prince to find a suitable doe to raise Bambi.
  • Bambi's mother, voiced by Paula Winslowe, is Bambi's main parent throughout the first movie. Her death has saddened many. In Bambi II, she is voiced by Carolyn Hennes, and makes one small appearance in a dream sequence in which she talks to Bambi.
  • The Hunter, is a poacher who tries to shoot Bambi. While not successful, he instead shoots Bambi's mother, resulting in the most well known scene of the movie. He is the movie's antagonist even though he is never seen.

Characters from Bambi II[change | edit source]

  • Ronno, voiced by Anthony Ghannam, fights Bambi for the love of Faline and is generally full of annoyence. According to production notes, Ronno was the unnamed deer who fought Bambi in the original movie for Faline as well.
  • The Groundhog, voiced by Brian Pimental (who also directed Bambi II), is the focus of the forest's Groundhog Day celebrations. On February 2 each year, the Groundhog comes out into the forest square and determines whether or not winter will last a few more weeks. Yet, he hates the job and is scared of his own shadow, complaining that "my nerves just can't take it any more."
  • The Porcupine, voiced by Brian Pimental (again, director), is a minor character who is extremely protective of his land. As the forest's troll, he takes joy in keeping animals away from his log home. Bambi's first encounter with the Porcupine ends in a painful and humiliating defeat for Bambi. Their second confrontation leads to the Porcupine being used to fight of the dogs. The porcupine also causes Bambi to accidentally kiss Faline at the end of the movie.
  • Mena, voiced by Cree Summer (who also voiced Kida in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire), is the doe Friend Owl finds as a mother for Bambi, in order to allow the Great Prince to focus his attention on protecting the forest. Friend Owl found her just when Bambi and the Great Prince were beginning to bond, nearly ruining the relationship. She grew up with Bambi's mother.

Release history[change | edit source]

Bambi was released in theaters in 1942, during World War II, and was Disney's fifth full-length animated movie. The famous art direction of Bambi was due to the influence of Tyrus Wong, a former painter who provided eastern and painterly influence to the backgrounds. Bambi was re-released to theaters in 1947, 1957, 1966, 1975, 1982, and 1988. It was released on VHS in 1989 (Classics Version), 1997 (Masterpiece Collection Version), and digitally remastered and restored for the March 1, 2005 Platinum Edition DVD.[2] The Platinum Edition DVD went into the "Disney Vault" on January 31 2007.[6] The Masterpiece Version was the first Disney Video to be THX certified. In the 2005 Platinum Edition DVD, the RKO logo was replaced by the cut-short 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo with RKO music.

Release dates[change | edit source]

United States of American[change | edit source]

United Kingdom[change | edit source]

Home Video Releases[change | edit source]

International[change | edit source]

Soundtrack listing[change | edit source]

BAMBI AKA BAMBI THE HERO (with the Great Prince's Green Eyes)

  1. Main Title (Love Is A Song)
  2. Morning In The Woods/The Young Prince/Learning To Walk
  3. Exploring/Say Bird/Flower
  4. Little April Shower
  5. The Meadow/Bambi Sees Faline/Bambi Gets Annoyed
  6. Gallop Of The Stags/The Great Prince Of The Forest/Man
  7. Autumn/The First Snow/Fun On The Ice
  8. The End Of Winter/New Spring Grass/Tragedy In The Meadow
  9. Wintry Winds
  10. Let's Sing A Gay Little Spring Song
  11. It Could Even Happen To Flower
  12. Bambi Gets Twitterpated/Stag Fight
  13. Looking For Romance (I Bring You A Song)
  14. Man Returns
  15. Fire/Reunion/Finale

BAMBI THE HERO 2 (with the Great Prince's Hazel Eyes)

  1. "There is Life" (Alison Krauss) – 2:19
  2. "First Sign of Spring" - (Michelle Lewis) – 3:49
  3. "Through Your Eyes" - (Martina McBride) – 4:07
  4. "The Healing of a Heart" - (Anthony Callea) – 2:43
  5. "Snow Flakes in the Forest" - (Bruce Broughton) – 1:40
  6. "Bambi's Dream (Broughton) – 1:27
  7. "Being Brave (Part 1) (Broughton) – 1:22
  8. "Being Brave (Part 2) (Broughton) – 1:13
  9. "Bambi and the Great Prince/End Credit Suite" (Broughton) – 3:34

Titles in other languages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kevin Jackson 'Tears of a fawn', The Independent, February 6, 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 How They Restored Bambi, Monsters and Critics.
  3. Walt Disney Collection: Walt's Masterworks — Bambi.
  4. The Trouble with Bambi: Walt Disney's Bambi and the American Vision of Nature by Ralph H. Lutts: From 'Forest and Conservation History' 36 (October 1992)
  5. Maurice E. Day, Animator, 90; Drew Deer for Movie 'Bambi': Obituary in the New York Times, published May 19, 1983
  6. IGN.

Other websites[change | edit source]