Bambi is an animated comedy-drama film directed by David Hand and produced by Walt Disney. It is based on a novel by Felix Salten, Bambi: A Life in the Woods. It was released in 1942 by RKO Radio Pictures and has been included in the United States National Film Registry in December 2011.
A young deer named Bambi joins his new friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, in exploring his forest home. As a boy, he learns from his doting mother and his father, The Great Prince of the Forest, that there are dangers in the open meadows where hunters can spot the animals, and he meets a beautiful young doe named Faline. As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is tragedy as well as beauty and joy in his forest world and on the path to adulthood.
Why It Rocks
- Extremely artistic and realistic animation.
- Great development for every character. Every character is memorable.
- Thumper is a great comic relief.
- It spans from funny scenes to heartbreaking scenes (like the death of Bambi's mother) to thrilling scenes (like the forest on fire) with ease and without shoehorning them. The merit of this goes in part to the novel.
- It teaches us men to respect nature.
- The villain of the film, known as "Man" is very scary but he never appears on screen, which adds to the creepiness. The script and the plot make you hate the villain with passion, then at some point, you realize the villain...is a member of your own species.
- It has a motivational soundtrack.
- Great voice acting.
Bambi wasn't a success at all during its first release and grossed out less than it cost. This was due to WWII preventing a lot of the European market to be accessed. Critics gave mixed reviews at the time of its release but the movie gained more and more approval by critics and public starting from its re-release in 1947 and now is seen as one of the greatest and most beloved Disney classics. It currently has a 8.2/10 average rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The chipmunk and the squirrel who make a brief appearance in the film were intended to originally have a major role and are a nod to Laurel and Hardy.
- Paul McCartney claimed that he started caring for animal rights after he saw the scene where Bambi's mother gets killed off-screen by the hunter.
- The creepy music that accompanies the Man is of three notes only.
- Disney specifically stressed about animating the deers better, more realistic way than in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Eric Larson, animator at Disney Studios, claimed that the deers in Snow White were animated "like big flour sacks".