name = Bambi

director = David D. Hand
writer = Felix Salten (novel)
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
producer = Walt Disney
distributor = RKO Radio Pictures
released = August 13, 1942
runtime = 70 min.
language = English
budget =
amg_id = 1:3850
imdb_id = 0034492
followed_by = "Bambi II"

"Bambi" is a 1942 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and originally released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13 1942. The fifth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film is based on the 1923 book "Bambi, A Life in the Woods" by Austrian author Felix Salten.

The main characters are Bambi, a white-tailed deer, his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother), his friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), and Flower (a skunk), and his childhood friend and future mate, Faline. For the movie, Disney took the liberty of changing Bambi's species into a white-tailed deer from his original species of roe deer, since roe deer don't inhabit the United States, and the white-tailed deer is more familiar to Americans. This film received 3 Academy Award nominations for Best Sound, Best Song for "Love is a song" and Original Music Score.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. "Bambi" was acknowledged as the third best film in the animation genre.


A doe gives birth to a fawn in the thicket whom she names Bambi. After he learns to walk, Bambi befriends Thumper, a young rabbit, and while learning to talk he meets Flower, a young skunk. One day his mother takes him to the meadow, a place that is both wonderful and frightening. There he meets Faline, a doe-fawn, and his father, the Great Prince of the Forest. It is also during this visit that Bambi has his first encounter with man, who causes all the animals to flee the meadow. During a harsh winter, Bambi and his mother go to the meadow and discover a patch of new grass, hearalding the arrival of spring. As they eat, his mother senses a hunter and orders Bambi to flee. As they run, gun shots ring out. When Bambi arrives at their thicket, he discovers his mother is no longer with him. He wanders the forest calling for her, but she doesn't answer. His father appears in front of him and tells Bambi "your mother can't be with you anymore," then leads him away.

In the spring, an adult Bambi is reunited with Thumper and Flower as the animals around them begin pairing up with mates. Though they resolve not to be "twitterpated" like the other animals in love, Thumper and Flower each leave with newly found mates. Bambi is disgusted, until he runs into Faline and become a couple. As they happily dance and flirt through the woods, another buck appears who tries to force Faline to go with him. Though he initially struggles, Bambi's rage gives him the strength to defeat the older buck and push him off a cliff and into a river below.

That night, Bambi is awoken by the smell of smoke. His Father explains that Man is in the forest and they must flee. Bambi goes back to search for Faline, but she is being chased by hunting dogs. Bambi finds her in time and fights off the dogs, allowing Faline to escape. With Faline safe, Bambi runs but is shot as he leaps over a ravine. The Great Prince finds him there and urges him back to his feet. Together, they escape the forest fire and go to a small island in a lake where the other animals, including Faline, have taken refuge.

At the end of the film, Faline gives birth to twin fawns, Bambi stands watch on the large hill, and the Great Prince silently turns and walks away.


Walt Disney attempted to achieve realistic detail in this animated film. The artists heard lectures from animal experts, and visited the Los Angeles Zoo. [Walt Disney Collection: Walt's Masterworks — [ Bambi] .] 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, was the impetus for the transformation of Felix Salten's roe deer to white-tailed deer. ["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)] The background of the film 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. [Maurice E. Day, Animator, 90; Drew Deer for Movie 'Bambi': Obituary in the New York Times, published May 19, 1983)]

Voice cast

*Bobby Stewart as Baby Bambi
*Donnie Dunagan as Young Bambi
*Hardie Albright as Adolescent Bambi
*John Sutherland as Adult Bambi
*Paula Winslowe as Bambi's Mother and the Pheasant
*Peter Behn as Young Thumper
*Tim Davis as Adolescent Thumper and Adolescent Flower
*Sam Edwards as Adult Thumper
*Stan Alexander as Young Flower
*Sterling Holloway as Adult Flower
*Will Wright as Friend Owl
*Cammie King as Young Faline
*Ann Gillis as Adult Faline
*Fred Shields as Great Prince of the Forest
*Margaret Lee as Mrs. Rabbit

oundtrack listing

# Main Title (Love Is A Song)
# Morning In The Woods/The Young Prince/Learning To Walk
# Exploring/Say Bird/Flower
# Little April Shower
# The Meadow/Bambi Sees Faline/Bambi Gets Annoyed
# Gallop Of The Stags/The Great Prince Of The Forest/Man
# Autumn/The First Snow/Fun On The Ice
# The End Of Winter/New Spring Grass/Tragedy In The Meadow
# Wintery Winds
# Let's Sing A Gay Little Spring Song
# It Could Even Happen To Flower
# Bambi Gets Twitterpated/Stag Fight
# Looking For Romance (I Bring You A Song)
# Man Returns
# Fire/Reunion/Finale
# Rain Drops (Demo Recording)
# Bonus Interview – Introduced by Richard Kiley: Walt Disney
# Bonus Interview – Introduced by Richard Kiley: Ollie Johnston And Frank Thomas
# Bonus Interview – Introduced by Richard Kiley: Henry Mancini


Bambi was released in theaters in 1942, during World War II and was Disney's 5th full length animated film. 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. [ How They Restored Bambi] , Monsters and Critics.] The Platinum Edition DVD went on moratorium on January 31 2007. [ IGN] .] The Masterpiece Version was the first Disney Video to be THX certified.


Although the film 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 forest fire climax. During its original release, it did poorly at the box office. In 2006, a straight-to-VHS/DVD midquel titled "Bambi II" was released. It picks up from just after Bambi's mother is killed and he follows his father into the forest.

The death of Bambi's mother is one of the most famous moments in American film history, a moment so upsetting to certain children that they had to be carried sobbing from the theater; the scene was even satirized in a Slappy Squirrel segment on "Animaniacs", titled "Bumbie's Mom". For this reason, along with Bambi's brutal fight with a rival buck and the horrific climactic hunting/forest fire sequence, many critics question whether "Bambi" is suitable for very young audiences. When Bambi was shown during the Christmas period in December 2006 on UK channel ITV 2, the death scene of Bambi's Mother and the Prince telling Bambi she was dead was deleted. [Kevin Jackson ' [ Tears of a fawn] ', The Independent, Feb. 6, 2005.] It was nearly 40 years later before Disney again featured a parent's death in an animated movie (Tod's mother in "The Fox and the Hound"). The off-screen villain "man" has been placed #20 on AFI's List of Heroes and Villains. Former Beatle, Paul McCartney has credited the shooting death of Bambi's mother for his initial interest in animal rights. [ ‘Bambi’ was cruel] 12 December 2005. Retrieved: 29 January 2007]

Soon after the film's release, Walt Disney allowed his characters to appear in fire prevention public service campaigns. However, Bambi was only loaned to the government for a year, so a new symbol was needed, leading to the creation of Smokey Bear.

In 2006,the Ad Council, in partnership with the United States Forest Service, started a series of Public Service Announcement ads that feature footage from "Bambi" and "Bambi II" for wildfire prevention. During the ads, as the "Bambi" footage is shown, the screen will momentarily fade into black with the text "Don't let our forests...become once upon a time", and usually (but not always) ending the ads with Bambi's line "Mother, what we gonna do today?" followed by Smokey Bear saying "Only you can prevent wildfires" as the Smokey logo is shown on the screen.

The ads air on various television networks, and the Ad Council has also put them on Youtube.

Despite it's initial slag, the film is today viewed as a classic. Critics Mick Martin and Marsha Porter call the film "...the crowning achievement of Walt Disney's animation studio." In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. "Bambi" was acknowledged as the third best film in the animation genre. [cite news | publisher = American Film Institute | title = AFI's 10 Top 10 | date = 2008-06-17 | url = | accessdate=2008-06-18]


The copyrights for "Bambi" were inherited by Anna Wyler, Salten's daughter, who renewed them in 1954. After her death, Wyler's husband sold the rights to Twin Books, which subsequently filed a law suit against Disney, claiming Disney owed it money for the continued licensing for the use of the book. Disney countered by claiming that Salten had published the story in 1923 without a copyright notice, and was thus immediately entered into the public domain. Disney also argued that if the claimed 1923 publication date was accurate, then the copyright renewal filed in 1954 had been registered after the deadline and was thus invalid. The courts initially upheld Disney's view, however in 1996, the Ninth Circuit Court reversed the decision on appeal. [Cite web |title = Bambi, the Austrian Deer |url= |last=Schons |first=Paul |publisher=Germanic-American Institute |accessdate=2008-08-26]


"Bambi II" was released as a midquel sequel to "Bambi". Set in middle of "Bambi", it shows the Great Prince of the Forest struggling to raise the motherless Bambi, and Bambi's doubts about his father's love. The film was released direct-to-video on February 7, 2006.


External links

* [ Official Disney "Bambi" DVD website]

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