With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
It's spring, and all the animals of the forest are excited by the forest's latest birth, a buck fawn his mother has named Bambi. The animals are more excited than usual as Bambi's lineage means he will inherent the title of prince of the forest. Along with his mother, Bambi navigates through life with the help of his similarly aged friends, Thumper, a rabbit kit who needs to be continually reminded by his mother of all the lessons his father has taught him about how to live as a rabbit properly, and Flower, a skunk kit who likes his name. As different animals, they have their own issues and challenges which may not translate to the others. Being similarly aged, Bambi, Thumper and Flower may have to experience the uncharted phases of their lives without the knowledge or wisdom unless gleaned from those who have gone through them before. Bambi has to learn early that the lives of deer and of many of the other forest animals are not without their inherent dangers, for deer especially in ...Written by
One of the reasons for the film's initial failure at the box office was that it was released in fewer markets than its predecessors. Events of the European theatre of World War II and severance of relations of the United States with Axis Powers members resulted in the film not being released in most of Europe and Japan. See more »
When Bambi looks in the pond while in the meadow and sees Faline's reflection, he repeatedly looks at both his and her reflections. After Faline giggles, Bambi stops in awe and blinks twice. On the second blink, the reflection's eyes do not blink with Bambi's eyes. See more »
Bambi (1942) is often sneered at by contemporary film goers my age. In their minds, outside of the death of Bambi's mother, the film is a cutesy little joy ride about a happy little deer and his happy little forest friends frolicking about grassy meadows. They also find it much too slow and lacking in plot for their interests, instead switching on the film's spiritual successor The Lion King (1994), which most of my generation holds up as the greatest animated film of all time.
No offense to The Lion King, but it doesn't even come close to touching the greatness of Bambi. Outside of a few whimsical moments, this is a dark film about the cycle of death and life. It's more of a meditative piece than a traditional narrative, which will not appeal to those who absolutely require a detailed plot. The animation and backgrounds are breathtaking. Like the other early Disney features, there's strong traces of German expressionism in there (ex. the fight between Bambi and a rival deer is mostly shown in silhouette and violent colors, Bambi and Faline's dreamlike run through the meadow, etc.).
The atmosphere is not as cutesy as people recall. There is an undercurrent of dread to the whole thing, a sense of danger. As beautiful and enchanting as the forest can be, it is also dangerous. The way man is handled in the film is surprisingly mature: instead of putting the main characters against a laughable caricature, mankind's presence is unseen and feels more like a natural disaster than a living entity. In fact, Bambi might be one of the most adult films in the Disney animated canon. Ignore its saccharine reputation and give it another look.
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