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FAQ for
Bambi (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Bambi can be found here.

Yes. The movie is based on Bambi, A Life in the Woods (1923) by Austrian author Felix Salten.

About 42 minutes into the film.

Neither the movie nor Salten mention a specific time. In the special-documentation Inside Walt's Story Meetings (2005) on the 2005 DVD-Edition of Bambi, there was mentioned at least one year. However, in the 'Spring' chapter of the book Walt Disney's Bambi - The Story and the Film (1990), Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, two of the leading animators of Bambi, mention three years: "Winter had come and gone three times and now once again the last patches of snow had melted reluctantly away".

The simple (but wrong) answer is that Walt Disney never shows blood in his movies. The correct answer is, that the hunters are chiefly hunting for small game, like pheasants, rodents, quails etc. and are armed with shotguns, not rifles, and likely loaded with birdshot. This evidenced by the typical shotgun blasts on the ground, the branches, and the pheasant. When Bambi jumps over the chasm, a trigger happy hunter fires at him from a distance [listen to the dull sound of the shot that indicates a shotgun, not a rifle]. Small game will be killed by the multiple hits of the birdshot, but larger animals like deer will be only stunned for a short time when they are hit by birdshot at that distance due to lack of penetration.

Data in different publications differs a lot, commonly from 5 to 7 years, but if you start from the very beginning, it took almost 9 years: The very first work was not done by Walt Disney, but already in 1933 by MGM director Sidney Franklin, who had bought the film rights to the story and planned to put it into a live action picture. Sydney searched for the right voices and recorded Margaret Sullivan and Victor Jory as the two last leaves and tested several outstanding voices for the Great Prince, but Franklin realized early that the spirit of the book cannot be captured that way as a live action film and so he contacted Walt Disney to realize the movie as a feature film. Disney starts to concentrate on "Bambi" in December 1936, and in April 1937 the contracts were set. Franklin was engaged to collaborate on the film for three and a half years. (finally it took far more than three and a half years to finish the picture, but friendship between Franklin and Disney prevailed beyond the limits of the contract. Disney expressed his thanks to Franklin with the line "To Sidney A. Franklin - our sincere appreciation for the inspiring collaboration" in the opening credits of "Bambi"). Early in 1937 Walt chose Perce Pearce and Larry Morey to head up the story crew for "Bambi". Although "Bambi" was discussed as early as 1936, actual groups of story men were not assigned to the picture until the Autumn of 1938, when three distinct story groups were put on the project.

First animation: January 1940

First animation clean-up work: June 1940

First effects animation: July 1940

First inking and painting: August 1940

First scene sent to camera: September 1940

Final animation: May 1941

Final clean-up work: August 1941

Final effects animation: October 1941

Final inking and painting: January 1942

Final scene in camera: February 1942

First test-screening (today called a sneak-preview) was on February 28, 1942 in a theater in Pomona, some forty miles east of Los Angeles.

World premier was on August, 8, 1942 in London.

US-premier followed on August, 13, 1942 in the "Radio Music City Hall" of New York.

Animal rights activists, as well as some hunters, condemned "Bambi" as an anti-hunting movie. Some claim, without any citation, that Felix Salten, the author of the book on which the movie was based, was an avid hunter and that he got the idea for "Bambi" during one of his hunting tours. The book's story was set in an Austrian forest which is far more under human influence than the wild and remote US forest in the movie. In it, both legal hunters and poachers are portrayed. In the movie, however, humans are only called "Man." There is no proof that they are hunting legally. In spite of that, the American Film Institute ranked "Man" in his "100 Greatest Heroes and Villains" List, ranked #20 on the villains-list. It was never Walt Disney's goal to condemn hunters as evil. In almost every movie, the villain has a goal, e.g., to take over a kingdom, to rule the world, to get immortal etc., but "Man" in "Bambi" was quite different: "Man" simply is. He was depicted like a natural disaster for the animals, almost akin to an earthquake, a hurricane, or a volcano.

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