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A Disney film with a lot of heart
Smells_Like_Cheese21 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
If you talk to anyone about what film messed them up mentally as a child, Bambi is a guarantee to be in that list. Who hasn't named this film as one of the saddest movies of all time? The funny thing is, this is a children's movie! It's made by Disney! I'm convinced that Disney had to tear us down just so they could build us back up, my goodness, we are Disney Marines! Bambi is one of the training videos to make us tough, because if you can make it through this film without crying that proves that you have no heart and are dead inside. Bambi despite being one of the saddest movies of all time still has a lot of heart and is one of the best in the Disney classics. With it's beautiful animation, charming characters and breathtaking story this is a movie that no one should miss.

In a forest thicket, a doe gives birth to a fawn whom she names Bambi. After he learns to walk, Bambi befriends Thumper, a young rabbit; then, while learning to talk, Bambi meets a young skunk whom he calls "Flower". After Bambi has completely learned how to talk, his mother takes him to the meadow, a place that is both wonderful and frightening. Bambi's mother warns him that deer are unprotected in the meadow as there are no trees or bushes to hide them, so they must take great care for their own safety. Bambi and his mother go to the meadow and discover a patch of new grass, 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 grows up and learns the way of surviving being an adult deer.

I do have one small problem with the film, after the tragic scene where Bambi's father tells him that his mother can no longer be with him indicating that she's dead, you're tearing up painfully and then all of a sudden it cuts to this wonderful magical music with birds and flowers! What kind of a mind screw is that?! "Be sad, be painfully sad, you are so sad that you want to fill an ocean with your tears of sadness…NOW BE HAPPY", I just don't get that part. However all that aside, Bambi is still a good Disney film, but it is a hard one to watch. I still think kids are a lot stronger than adults give them credit for, like I said, this movie may be a tear jerker, but it's a wonderful story of friendship and coming of age. Disney doesn't hold back when it comes to delivering a good message, bad things do happen, but we can still be a good person and live life like it was meant too. I recommend Bambi to anyone, it's a good movie with a lot of heart, just have a box of tissues ready when you watch it.

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The last of its kind
Spleen18 July 1999
Walt Disney didn't make another full-length animated film until 1950, by which time his golden age had well and truly passed. Was `Bambi' a quiet, gentle farewell, then? If you haven't seen it you could be forgiven for thinking so; and the slightly over-sugared opening scenes might confirm this view. But prepare to be jolted out of your seat. The forest contains darkness as well as light. The gunshots that ring out across the silences are truly alarming (and there are many ways Disney and Hand make them more alarming: consider the scene where a flock of birds are cowering in the grass, until one decides to fly into the air and risk death rather than put up with the suspense). Also worth noting about `Bambi' is its use of psychological colour. In at least three key scenes, the colour scheme shifts wildly, not because the sun has set or anything of that kind, but in order to illustrate Bambi's psychological state. Particularly fine is the scene where he is running away from the clearing in fear and the world turns into just a few pale and dirty shades of yellow.

The greatest thing is the way Disney manages to convince us that there is nothing else in the world, outside the forest. Not once do we see a horizon. Nor do we sense one. By some standards not much happens in the forest - a few deaths, a few births, what else is new? But when the forest is the whole world they matter a good deal.
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What animation can evoke when it's done just right
moonspinner5524 November 2002
Blissful, playful, moving and inspiring, Walt Disney's "Bambi" is a precious jewel that will last longer than most of us will. Indeed, it has a timeless quality, matched with a charming music score and wonderful character voices. Pauline Kael of The New Yorker poked fun at the voice-changes when the infant animals grow up over winter (sort of a puberty-in-the-thicket), but what other way was there to show the passage of time and how it changes everything, even the woodland creatures we take for granted? It's an amazing achievement. The song score never elicited a hit the size of, say, "When You Wish Upon a Star", but it does feature the sprightly "Little April Showers", which underscores the very best sequence. ***1/2 from ****
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Not at all like its sentimental reputation
heckles5 August 2000
I was staying over at the home of my three-year old niece; after everyone had gone to bed, I found and popped this title in the VCR. I had only a rough familiarity with the plot (like everyone, I knew Bambi's mother gets killed) and was also aware that "Bambism" has been used as describing a overly sentimental love of wildlife.

Oh wow. I found that while this movie certainly has a heart for its characters, it is not at all sugarcoated about the realities of animal life. Consider the following points it makes:

1) Animals do not live in nuclear families. Bambi lives with his mother only, his presumptive father is off in the background.

2). Animals often go hungry in the winter.

3). Male animals must be prepared to fight rivals as a prelude to mating.

4). Man (here assisted by canine lackeys) is easily the most dangerous threat creatures face.

Rather than putting a Hollywood gloss on animal life, "Bambi" if anything is better than what would be made today. Remember that the same studio recently put Hercules into a doting nuclear family, the actual circumstances of the hero's birth apparently thought too scandalous for contemporary children to be exposed to (though one presumes ancient Greek children handled them well enough).

Plus when you consider that a large sector of the populace takes a "humanity couldn't possibly be at fault" attitude toward the decimation of animal populations, you know that Point 4). above would today be softpedaled if not entirely neutralized by the addition of sympathetic human characters. Look what happened with the otherwise excellent TBS production of "Animal Farm."

And the animation!! The gorgeous, pencil-drawn Impressionistic renditions of the rhythms of the woodlands makes you wonder if modern animators haven't been spoiled by computer graphics. I'm only sorry I probably won't ever see this film in a theatre, as it was meant to be seen.

As cliche as it may sound, this is a timeless film for all ages. I cannot praise it highly enough.
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Disney's Truest Masterpiece--Man Is In The Forest!
Doylenf18 March 2001
From the opening scene where the multiplane camera glides through a quiet forest until the stirring forest fire climax, a viewer has to be aware he is watching one of the all-time great films. So much of the cycle of life is covered that it's hard to realize the film is a mere 69 minutes. In a book called 'The Making of Bambi', Ollie Johnston reveals that originally there was much more footage that Disney eventually trimmed, cutting out whole sequences before the film previewed. Obviously, he made a wide decision.

There is no extraneous scene here, it moves seamlessly through its cycle of life story with the charming animal creatures carrying the story to its logical conclusion. The background music complements all of the drama and comedy. The storm sequence is the most beautiful blend of music and drawings ever achieved by the Disney artists. The naturally drawn deer are the result of months of careful preparation and study, giving the entire film the feel of a nature study as well as giving the audience great entertainment.

The choral work is extremely effective, particularly on songs like 'Love Is A Song' (Oscar nominated), 'I Bring You A Song' and 'Little April Shower'. The impressionistic forest glows with a life of its own and is the real star of the film, thanks to the influence of Japanese artist Tyrus Wong. No wonder this was Disney's favorite film. It will stay fresh and young forever. An awesome achievement!

In conclusion, having done some choral work myself as a glee club singer, I especially appreciated the great contribution made by the mixed chorus (male/female) that does such a wonderful job on all of the choruses that blend so seamlessly with the rich background score. Truly exceptional choral vocals conducted by Charles Henderson.
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Excellent Disney classic
pmcollectorboy22 September 2000
This is one awesome animated movie. If there are people out there who don't love this movie, they either have hearts of stone or bricks for brains. This is a simple, charming and heartwarming tale of innocence and the joys of youth. It doesn't need slam bang violent action or hokey bad humor. This movie, instead, flows naturally. The songs are also great, not the big, overblown affairs that modern Disney likes to do nowadays. They are charming, well sung and well scored, and more than one is about love. The movie itself seems to glow with a light so pure, it's almost angelic. The characters are also great. Bambi, Thumper, and Flower are adorable and well developed characters. The things they do and say will melt your heart. And not a stupid sidekick in sight. While this movie might not be as popular or as grand as Snow White or Pinocchio, grandness isn't usually such a good thing. Both of those movies don't have quite Bambi's charm or innocence, and both stop just short of being rather sadistic, Snow White especially. This is my second favorite animated movie, with only The Fox and the Hound topping it in my heart. I recommend Bambi to any Disney lover. They don't make them like this anymore. This is a perfect family movie. Modern Disney can never touch this. 10/10
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A Timeless Masterpice ...
ElMaruecan829 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Hard to believe that "Bambi" is already 70 years old and yet no other pieces of animation ever came close to it. You can mention "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King", any Disney's acclaimed masterpiece, still, nothing can beat the good old animation drawn by hand and on that level, watching "Bambi" is like admiring the 'Mona Lisa' of Animation. The American Film Institute recognized "Bambi" as number three in its Top Ten Animated films right after "Pinocchio" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". I guess, the pioneer deserved the top spot if only because without "Snow White", there wouldn't have been "Bambi".

And the progresses made between the two films are tremendous; look closer to the animal designs, in the former they look like animated creatures from short cartoons, while "Bambi" doesn't focus only on aesthetics but also on scientific exactitude. The film doesn't forget to be simply Animation, but the realism of the landscape, the drawing, everything makes it hard to believe that it was made only five years after "Snow White". "Bambi" is a tribute for the inspiring level of perfectionism that elevated its animated movies at the same level of Hollywood's greatest masterpieces, it's a tribute to Disney's ambitions as a true film-maker, as he never took anything for granted. Every successful film was an encouragement for making a better one and after "Bambi", it was naturally impossible to make something better. It's not surprising that the film closes what we refer now as Disney's Golden Age.

I don't want to make "Bambi" sound only like a technical achievement, after all, even as a kid, my eyes and my heart were grabbed by the story. But now, as a grown-up, more familiar with today's animated films, I see "Bambi" with constant marveled eyes, I can turn off the sound and never cease to be amazed by how it look, or I could close my eyes and simply let myself transported by the music. "Bambi" would never work today, because animated films are marketed for a different audience, eager to see fast-paced action, hilarious sidekicks, lager- than-life villains and catchy songs. These are the must of Animated films and it's interesting to note that "Bambi" handle these elements with a sober maturity that would put most kids to sleep now. I can't believe I'm saying this, me who is 40 years younger than the film.

"Bambi" was made in a time where people had a reason to see movies that was beyond the idea of entertainment. Audiences wanted to be transported in another dimension and to be emotionally engaged, their eyes marveled by a dreamlike world that transcends the banality of their life. Just look at the beginning of "Bambi", certainly the most haunting of all Disney overtures. From the first frames, it feels like a camera is filming a forest, it's a long traveling shot in a foggy, misty, dark setting we would never leave until the end. The audience is respectfully invited to penetrate the world of Bambi, quietly discreetly, until the first animals wake up to see the New Prince, then we follow them with excitement. "Bambi"'s opening sequence echoes the beginning of "The Lion King" in a much more intimate way, and when we discover the newborn Bambi sleeping beneath his Mother, we share the same impression than the animals.

In many ways, "Bambi" reminds of "The Lion King" and vice versa, but while "The Lion King" was a sort of Disney take on typical Shakespearian themes, "Bambi" doesn't embarrass itself with a specific plot, but for me, what has often been pointed out as a flaw happens to be the film's most defining force. "Bambi" doesn't tell a story because "Bambi"s main protagonist is not Bambi, but Time, Time is as present as Man although both can't be seen, and the whole film consist for us to witness the passing of time in Bambi's. Bambi is the central character but not the core of the film, which helped to deal with a story without needing pointless foils. His best friends, Thumper and Flower are real friends not supporting sidekicks. "Bambi" is a movie about time, inviting us to contemplate time's effect on animals, nature. The way each season is portrayed through music and colors is simply magical.

And "Bambi" ends just like it started, it's indeed the 'circle of life' with a scope so large that we can't even talk of a coming-of-age story: from the beginning, Bambi learns how to walk, to talk, he discovers this strange feeling we call love. And the toughest lesson the Prince of the Forest had to face is the one forever engraved in the traumatized minds of generations of children and adults. "Bambi" doesn't have a plot, which makes every piece of action absolutely powerful. After the first entrance of Man that interrupted the deer's ballet, there is one 'bang' that warns us about his presence. And when the Mother, who tutored Bambi for the two thirds of the film, feels Man's presence, she immediately covers her son by running behind him. The last shot of Bambi jumping followed by the fatal sound is one of the most brutal, shocking and admirably powerful displays of violence in a film, and the sadness that comes after the beautiful sacrifice is impossible to describe.

This is the most disturbing death in a Disney film, and probably in any film, a necessary pivotal device in 'coming-of-age' stories but never equaled with this intensity. Disney created a villain even scarier because he was off-screen and his presence only identifiable with an ominous theme, doesn't that ring a bell to you, cinematic fans? Well, I guess no one can review "Bambi" without evoking the most characteristic and memorable part of the film, but needless to say that "Bambi" is more than that, a unique experience to be enjoyed because there would never be another film like it...
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Best classic Disney in my opinion!
joaosantos-078772 May 2016
Bambi is simply amazing , fun , beautiful and inspiring , it was surely a film that marked my childhood and even today admire , the soundtrack is incredible and unique , the characters are very charismatic , and especially the own protagonist is too cute , enchants anyone, even being a cute movie , it has its serious and extremely sad parts , also has romantic parts that are very pleasant , Bambi matures over the film along with the other characters , I love with all my heart all of them, this film for me has no defect , Bambi is charming, exciting and fun , any child would love this movie that deserves to continue passing from generation to generation , a work of art like this deserves to never be forgotten
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The last film of Disney's Golden Age
MissSimonetta6 September 2013
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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A classic that will never be forgotten
Funkypizza20013 January 2003

A Helpless little deer is born by the name of Bambi. He is born among the forest to a grateful Mother. Bambi meets some animal friends for himself, A rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower. Bambi falls in love while he grows up along side his friends. The troubles of the wild life strike when a hunter kills Bambi's mother.The troubles of the emotional for every animal in the forest. A beautiful ending concludes this masterpiece.

This Disney movie has been passed from from one generation at a time. "Bambi" captures your heart and it's one of those movies you can't wait for your own children to see, and then they pass it down to their children and so on. "Bambi" is one of Disney's best and an American treasure.

I give it ***** stars out of *****.
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Observational and thoughtful
tomgillespie200226 August 2016
When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released back in 1937, Walt Disney proved not only that there was vast commercial potential in animation, but that it was also a credible art-form. Disney, the great innovator, toyed with surrealism in Pinocchio and created a sublime blend of music, dance and visual splendour in Fantasia, both released in 1940. With Bambi, Disney observed the quiet balance of the natural world and the troubling emergence of man. While it may contain an ensemble of cutesy talking animals with kids' voices and scenes that will have you saying "awww!" out loud, Bambi is pretty heavy stuff at times.

We begin with the birth of a young prince, the wide-eyed, white- tailed deer Bambi (Donnie Dunagan), and while this opening may ring a bell with anyone who has seen The Lion King (1994) - which is everybody - Bambi is not near-mythical royalty with a destiny laid out for him. He is viewed with extreme curiosity by the other woodland animals, including enthusiastic young rabbit Thumper (Peter Behn), and they giggle as they watch the awkward deer try to stand up. As his protective mother teaches him of the dangers of the forest, his new friends teach him how to leap over fallen trees and ice-skate. Bambi doesn't so much have a plot with a beginning, a middle and an end. Instead, it's simply a portrayal of life, and the discovery, learning and danger we all come to face.

The seasons change along with the film's tone and Bambi's increasing maturity, and the colder it gets, the closer you get to that scene. A few near-misses practically confirm that the doting mother isn't going to be around for long, but the moment still packs a punch even on repeat viewings. Brutally, the incident happens off-camera, and Bambi is informed of her death matter-of-factly by his stoic father. It's an incredibly brave and creative approach, and one that deals with the harshness of real life with incredible maturity. It also sums up Bambi perfectly - observational, unpatronising and thoughtful - but it will certainly warm your heart as well. Disney is frequently criticised for sugar-coating and over-simplifying our world, but I would point anyone in the direction of the corporation's earlier works, particularly Bambi, for elevating animation to a cinematic art-form.
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An enduring classic
goya-422 September 2000
Bambi is one of Disney's greatest...About the life of a young newborn deer and the triumphs and tragedies it endures from birth until adulthood..Quintessential Disney that is a must see..Released in 1942 so there are some WW 2 metaphors if you read between the lines (or it may just be me) One of the greatest family films of all time..on a scale of one to ten...10
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Unique Animation That Still Looks Great
ccthemovieman-14 May 2006
The watercolor-type animation in here is tough to beat, even almost 65 years after it was made. It still looks good, very good. I don't know if this kind of artwork was ever duplicated so the film is worth owning for that alone.

The story is as simple: a deer's life, from birth to experiencing life in the forest and then having a fawn of his own. He has two cute friends: "Thumper" the rabbit and "Flower," the squirrel. Liberal critics all love this film because it had a strong anti-hunting message Even though they are never shown, the hunters kill the nice animals and set fire to the forest! However, to be fair, they don't dwell on this. Overall, it's a positive film with the usual happy ending.
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My third favourite Disney classic - a gorgeous, heart-warming story! :)
Mightyzebra23 February 2007
This film is receiving a lot of bad reviews on this website. WHY? "The cover will gather dust" indeed! Not while I'm around!

Anyway, this famous and popular film is about a little fawn/calf (young red deer are called calves and he might be a red deer) called Bambi, who is learning to live in the forest with his mother and two main friends to play with, Thumper and Flower. Also, Bambi is not just any fawn/calf. He's the young prince! Will he manage to take his rightful place as great prince of the forest?

I love and have loved this film for about 90% of my life. It is a beautiful classic, has stunning animation, a good story and I love all of the characters, except for the baddie dogs at the end. They are the only baddies you see on screen - and I like that.

So if you haven't watched this classic, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING THEN? Watch it, you're guaranteed to love it! :) ;) :()
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Appealing, Thoughtful Animated Classic
Snow Leopard10 March 2005
The characters and story from Walt Disney's adaptation of "Bambi" still hold up as well as they ever did. The animation, likewise, still looks very attractive and detailed. It's understandable if the animation in itself doesn't strike everyone now as being particularly impressive, given the many recent achievements in animation, but in itself it is an excellent job with the resources of its time. It all makes for an appealing and thoughtful classic that is still well worth seeing.

The main characters are well-chosen, especially Bambi himself and the always-engaging Thumper. Some of the best scenes are simply those of the various animal friends playing together – the scene of Thumper and Bambi on the ice being perhaps the most endearing of all. The change of seasons is used to great effect, both aesthetically and in advancing the story and its themes.

It's pretty interesting to contrast "Bambi" with "The Lion King", by no means to decide which is 'better', but rather to take note of the slightly different ways in which they handle some very similar material. Both present the story of a young animal 'prince', the way he explores and learns about his world, and the ways that he must adjust to the tragedies and challenges of adulthood. There are also a number of other interesting similarities. Bambi is at once the more innocent, yet also the more somber of the two.

One very interesting difference is that the greatest threats in "Bambi" come from humans, who are wholly external to the world of the characters, and over whose actions the animals have no control, whereas in "The Lion King" the threats and conflicts are all amongst the animal characters themselves. Both movies deserve to be ranked among the very best animated features of their eras, so there's no need to prefer one over the other – it can just make for even more interesting viewing to notice how these differences help to give each of the two movies its distinctive character.

"Bambi" is the kind of movie that can stick in your mind for many years, especially if you first saw it when young. The characters and many of their adventures make it very appealing, often even adorable, and yet it also portrays some of the most serious (and frightening) things that can happen in the lives of the young. It's a fine movie that accomplishes a lot, and it has held up quite well over the years.
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One of Disney's greatest animated classics
gab-fan227 August 2013
Bambi is a remarkable film that captures the innocence and beauty of life, its challenges as we get older and nature being disrupted and damaged by "Man." Bambi is one of the shortest feature films ever but what it lacks in length it makes up for in depth. The animation in this film is extraordinary every setting looks like oil pastels on canvas as we see the wonder of nature with its waterfalls, trees and beauty of animals and plants during the various changes in nature.

Bambi is born in Spring a time of rebirth and beauty as leaves come return, flowers bloom and the world awakens from winter's cold grip. We see Bambi struggle to walk as he always falls down and as he tries to talk which are extremely humorous and give him the characteristics of a baby. We see his friends Thumper and Flower interact and have fun w/ Bambi and their innocence also builds up their happiness and bliss as their like young kids wandering around in the beauty of spring and the forest around them which protects them from harm. The dynamic Bambi and his mother share are poignant also as we see her nurture and instruct her son on how to act, walk and be around other animals and the love they exude for each other is also a shining staple of maternal love which again gives us a genuine attachment to this story .

However, as Bambi grows his mother takes him to the meadow where we 1st observe the threat of "man." His mom warns him not to rush onto the meadow and soon we 1st hear "Man" coming as the colors in the scene suddenly shift from light to dark as the forest are suddenly being overwhelmed by fear and chaos. Man's theme is a haunting piece of music that can only be matched with its power and intensity by Bernard Herrman's extraordinary score in Psycho and Carpenter's Halloween. Both movies capture horror because we don't know who is behind the actions in the film and why they're happening. By not showing "man" the viewer is terrified cause man's identity is unknown and they kill and torture animals for no apparent reason.

As we move to Winter, the animation is gorgeous particularly the scene of Bambi and Thumper on ice. The wonder of this scene is the use of snow which is striking much like the thunderstorm sequence in how nature can be so beautiful and dangerous at the same time at different times. It's also ironic that in winter, as Bambi and his mother are out grazing at grass that man's theme comes and as his mother realizes what's going on she orders Bambi to the thicket. He makes it but as we discover she doesn't murdered by "man".

While this scene is tragic and sad, it's a bit over-hyped as the "most tragic moment in film." The fact that this was the 1st time Disney showed us a realistic moment in life when someone dies and nothing can alter this and that it occurred just as winter was ending perhaps gives this scene the tragic feel and notoriety it's gotten over the years. The fact that Bambi's mom ran behind him intentionally so to shield her son from harm is the true heartbreak of this scene : Sacrificing your own life so your child can have a future.

As Spring comes again, we see Bambi ,Thumper and Flower as adults terrified of falling into "twitterpating" or love as owl describes it. Sure enough they all do and in Bambi's case its with faline the doe he met in the meadow as a child. We soon see the spring breeze of petals and song cascade as Bambi and Faline fall in love and Spring again gives birth to something love and beauty. But as the warmth continues, Man appears again with their campfire and Bambi is warned by the prince of the forest that man is back in greater numbers. Here man's theme becomes so unnerving as the sound grows louder and louder as the animals flee into the forest and it's as though we hear the footsteps of man creeping in to kill anything in their path.

The gunshots come and once more the color scheme changes as nature is being killed and hurt by "man. The fire which may have been intentionally set by man wipes out the forest and nearly Bambi and his father who barely escape along with other animals in the forest. At the end, Spring returns and bliss and happiness return as leaves and trees are growing back, and a new generation is coming to see Faline give birth to 2 new fawns .

Bambi isn't a perfect film and its flaws are somewhat stark especially how Bambi becomes and adult full of bliss only months after his mom dies. This simply makes no sense and for me damaged my connection to these characters and kills the film, until it picks up when man returns to the woods. Also the scene where Bambi and the other deer fight over Faline while dramatic, is odd because we have no background to who he is(Bambi 2 explains this.) Also after her death, Bambi's mom is never mentioned again which is odd cause Bambi seems to have no issues dealing with her demise. It's a shame cause up to the death of his mom, Bambi is a perfect film and these flaws make this a very good, but not GREAT film.

However, this is a shockingly simple moving and poignant film of human innocence, growing up, sacrifice and the horror of people who'll murder and destroy nature and humanity out of greed or sport. If someone ever asked me to see a film that captured the fear of how "man" is corrupting the world around us, Bambi would be my unanimous choice.
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For its outstanding music, animation, characters, and storytelling, "Bambi" is arguably Walt Disney's crowning achievement
cmcrazy813924 August 2013
Whenever I go on a hike or take a walk in any national parks or any forest areas, there are only two things that I think about. The first thing I think about is absorbing the beautiful scenery surrounding me, whether it's with the various amount of trees, or with the cool and cleansing waterfalls, creeks and bodies of water that I encounter. The second thing I think about is if whether or not I'll come across any friendly forest animals along the way and maybe even feed them any food I couldn't eat. I guess you could say that I'm into the outdoors. One film that has contributed significantly to my love of the outdoors would have to be Walt Disney's 5th full-length animated feature, "Bambi" (1942), arguably the finest accomplishment of Walt Disney's career which has already seen many impressive achievements.

The film begins with the birth of a fawn named Bambi who will one day become the Great Prince of the Forest just like his father and protect the other forest creatures from any trespassers. In the meantime, he figures out how to walk and talk and learn more about the world around him. During his childhood, he forms a close bond with his mother and makes many lifelong friends along the way. Among the friends he makes are an energetic rabbit named Thumper, a friendly skunk named Flower, and a female fawn named Faline, who eventually becomes Bambi's future mate. This film essentially tracks his life from birth to adulthood when he starts to assume his duties as Prince of the Forest.

When talking about what makes "Bambi" a colossal movie going experience, the first thing I would talk about would be the musical score by Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb. I can say without any doubt in my mind that it is one of the best musical scores I have ever heard in any American motion picture I've seen in my entire life. It easily qualifies in my top five favorite film scores of all time I love it that much. Aside from contributing so much to the atmosphere of the forest in this film, the musical score adds a tremendous amount of emotion to the narrative due in large part to the heavenly choir. Whenever I hear that choir, I automatically feel better it's so soothing and healing. Say what you will about the songs not being household names. When the opening song "Love is a Song" plays during the opening credits, my spirits couldn't be raised any higher.

The animation and backgrounds in "Bambi" are some of the studio's best. Walt Disney and his talented staff of animators took special care and effort into the drawing of the animals for this film. They had to study real-life animals and do the best that they could at capturing the realism of their movements, behavior and personalities. The end results are so superb that even the more unrealistic stuff such as ice skating seems credible in its realism. Much like the film's music, the visuals here are so well drawn out and detailed that you feel like you're in the forest throughout the duration of the picture. Remember the shot where Bambi is looking into a stream during the autumn and leaves are falling into the stream and making growing circles? That was a beautiful shot, and luckily for us, there are more shots like that which have similar beauty to them. Because the passion is so strong and present in both the music and animation, it's hard not to be thankful for the devoted artistry that was put into every scene.

Along with the strong visuals and music, another reason I think "Bambi" holds up very well today is because of the characters. Even though the characters are talking animals, they're all very likable and worth caring for. I love how curious Bambi is about his surroundings. I enjoy how Thumper speaks before he thinks ("If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all"). I was highly amused by how cynical and optimistic Friend Owl was both at the same time. I was also very touched by the strong bond between Bambi and his mom and the meaningful relationship they shared with each other. By the time the picture's most famous scene comes around (which was known to ruin many childhoods, so I won't delve deeper into it), whatever tears are shed are all warranted because that's how special these characters are even if we're only 45 minutes in.

I also love how the writers handled the film's influential message of how much man's presence can affect the wildlife. They made the wise decision of not making it overly preachy on how much turmoil man is causing to these animals. Instead, the writers simply track the lives of these animals and the biggest events that occur in each of their lives in a non-conventional way. By making this narrative choice, we're able to love the characters as much as we do and be more involved in the nonlinear and direct narrative. Most importantly, we're able to obtain the message about respecting the wildlife better because we're enjoying how happy these creature's lives can be as opposed to being given a guilt trip about humanity's past mistakes.

With "Bambi", Walt Disney proves once again that he's a master at storytelling. He keeps the stories simple, entertaining and straight to the point as great storytellers should. There's no way to avoid the subject matter that the most famous scene of this film tackles. But if it's handled as well as it is here, then it's all the more reason to appreciate films like this even more. "Bambi" is unpredictable, unforgettable, well-drawn, well written, and well-orchestrated. It also remains the greatest film that Walt Disney had ever produced and remains one of my all-time personal favorites.
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Life In The Forest
AaronCapenBanner8 December 2013
Walt Disney's classic animated film about a young deer named Bambi, the prince of the forest, who tries to find his legs(and place) in the forest with the help of his friends Thumper(a rabbit), and Flower(a skunk) and of course their female counterparts to be enchanted by. Seasons come and go, while Bambi and his friends grow up, though a group of careless(and faceless) hunters intrude on their idyllic life, ending the life of Bambi's mother, and forcing his busy father(the king) to teach his son the proper ways of the forest, and how to deal with humans... Beautifully animated film filled with unforgettable characters and music, and a timeless pro-nature message make this the finest animated film ever made.
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Bambi - the real Disney treasure
StartingAllOver1420 August 2007
As a kid I was a huge fan of "Bambi" because of it's sincere and simple story, it's great nature settings and it's lovable characters. I still enjoy this movie now as an adult. The animation is absolutely stunning, especially the forest. The characters are lovable (especially Thumper) and Bambi is a simple character that you really can relate to.

The score is great. The songs may not be Disney's most memorable tunes, but I liked the song in the rain sequence, "Little April Shower". Although the story is quite simple, it's still a story that everybody can relate to, with romance, humor, sadness (although I didn't cried) and good excitement. But the ending is a little bit sentimental, so that's why this movie doesn't get a higher vote from me. But still, "Bambi" certainly is a Disney classic in my eyes.
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Why can't they make more of these?
thniels14 February 1999
I will not comment on the plot or the philosophical aspects of this movie - I will simply ask this: Why can't they make more of these?

It is very beautifully drawn. No attempts to make fire or water or panoramas look real. They are simply drawn in that beautiful pencil characterizing the entire movie. No happy songs or foolish games. Just a life-cycle portrayed in it's blinding realism.

Look, the water is stiff!
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One of Walt Disney's most essential and fundamental classics with a lot of unforgettable and heart-warming scenes
ma-cortes6 April 2019
Enduring , overwhelming Disney's true vintage film about the moving adventures of a charming fawn , being a colorful and brilliant description of the changing seasons , Woods life and weather conditions notably leading to the attractive snowy , winter season. It is a heart-rending as well as heart-warming story of a young fawn growing up in the forest , concerning his adventures , fríenships , pursuits , fights and distresses . And , describing the often harsh education of a newborn , especially dealing with his friendship with an equally young rabbit called Thumper, a ground-drumming hare that unexpectedly proving to be the star of the show, and both of whom accompanied by a sympathetic skunk .

Superbly made action scenes with spectacular scenarios and breathtaking chases along with a witty dialog , all of them combine to provide an excellent movie and impressive appeal . Beind based very loosely on the book by Felix Salten , taking parts here and there . While the likeable animals are all given attractive human traits , as Bambi, Thumper the rabbit that still steals the show and Flower the Skunk , all of them are like members of rogue gangs of teens usual in the forties . Babycham shots occupy only a fraction of the running time in this flick , the remaining results to be a strikingly impressionistic renditíon of life in the meadows and Woods, and other rest containing some extremely sentimental set-pieces . Silhoutte , bizarre scenes , panorama , glmmer shades , some dark images and the cod use of classy soundtrack recall the best moments of another vintage Disney : "Fantasía" .

It contains wonderful and delightful songs composed by Frank Chuchill and Edward Plumb , including the following titles: Let sing a gay little spring song , Love is a song , Little April Shower , Twitter, The Thumper song .This enchanting motion picture , only released in video in 1994 , was very well realised with great sensibility and dignity , and from Disney's richest period , when produced such great hits as Snowwhite , Pinocho , Dumbo , Fantasía , Cinderella and subsequently Peter Pan , Sleeping Beauty , Jungle book , Aristocats , 101 Dalmats and many others. This Bambi displays splendid and colorful frames , interleaving magnificent animation with vulgar Americana style.

Rating 8/10 . It stands as one of the greatest kiddies' movies all of time , a genuine perennial tale from generation to generation. It proves that Disney animation is still the best to be found , here including some unforgettable and immortal images. As the movie turns out to be still an altogether a gorgeous and overwhelming experience to watch. This top-notch , irresistible tale is recommended for both , children and adults , but tinies should have an adult standing for their reactions to the fate of Bambi's mummy .
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A powerful classic
thomas219322 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Disney wasn't doing strong business in the early 1940's. Films like Pinocchio and Fantasia had cost the company a lot of money due to the unavailability of the European market because of the ongoing World War II. The budget for Bambi wasn't as large as it had been for Pinocchio, but Bambi also didn't do well in the box office upon its release in 1942. Although Pinocchio received a lot of praise from critics at the time, Bambi wasn't received well. Critics noted that Bambi didn't feature enough fantasy elements, which was something Disney films were most known for. The film also wasn't received well amongst hunters. Raymond Brown, editor for the magazine 'Outdoor Life' stated in a 1942 edition of the magazine that Bambi was the worst insult ever offered to American sportsmen, due to the portrayal of 'men' as the villain in Bambi. Does that mean that the 5th Disney full-length animated feature is a bad film? Absolutely not!

Bambi is based on the book 'Bambi, A life in the woods' by Felix Salten. The film starts with the birth of Bambi, the prince of the forest. Bambi meets some new friends like Thumper and Flower. Thumper is a bit of a rebellious character who attempts to learn Bambi how to make as much fun as possible. The film focuses a lot on the changing of the seasons. Bambi's born in the spring. In the summer, Bambi's mother takes Bambi to the meadow for the first time. Bambi isn't aware of the dangers that await him there, as his mother warns him to always be careful. Bambi is introduced to a female deer named Faline. He encounters his father, the great prince of the forest. The great prince discovers that the hunters have come into the meadow. The deer flee back into the forest. By the time winter arrives, Thumper attempts to learn Bambi how to ice-skate, although without much success. The food for the deer starts to become scarce, as a hungry Bambi asks his mother why winter seems to last so long. When the first grass pops out from under the snow, his mother takes Bambi to the meadow to eat some of the new spring grass. However, men arrives in the meadow again and while Bambi keeps on running back to the forest, he's unaware that his mother has been shot. His father meets him and tells Bambi his mother will not return. By the time Bambi returns, it's spring again, although it's unclear how much time has passed since the last scene. He's now an adolescent and meets his friends again. They eventually all fall in love. Bambi, of course, falls in love with Faline. Men shows up again and they set some parts of the forest on fire. Bambi has to escape, but he wants to find Faline first. He gets attacked by a pack of hounds. His father ultimately manages to save him and tells Bambi he must get up and so he does. The film ends with Faline giving birth to twins as Bambi takes his father's place as the great prince of the forest.

Bambi is one of the most realistic features in the Walt Disney collection. The portrayal of the forest animals seems to be very realistic. That's probably because Disney's team observed wild animals to get an accurate idea of how they live their lives. That's exactly what a lot of critics disliked about Bambi. They found it too realistic without enough fantasy in it. I disagree with them. The simplicity of the story and the realistic imagery is exactly where Bambi's strength lies. Bambi is quite dark compared to the earlier Disney classics. Everybody knows the infamous scene where Bambi's mother gets shot. It is a powerful scene and something you usually don't see in a Disney film. Well, you don't really see it, but you know it when it happens. Men is the villain in Bambi and that's also very unique and strikes a chord with reality, because to these animals, the hunters do form a big threat. The characters are simplistic yet very likable, the songs are really good and story works really well. Bambi might not be the best film produced by Disney, but there's no doubt it's one of animations finest.
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A love story
petersj-212 September 2008
People frequently say that the death of Bambi's mother is the scene most people cry in. You would have to be to be incredibly shallow and insensitive not to cry. Its a pretty good test of a person and I am so pleased that all these years later I still blubbered like a baby. Bambi looks wonderful and time has treated Walt's favourite film very well.Visually the movie is stunning. All the more remarkable in that it was made in 1942. The scenes of the animals in the meadow enjoying the airy freedom away from the safety of the forest lifts your spirits; it is just beauitiful. The music is brilliant and that rain drop song with the beautiful visuals is a glorious moment in film making. Indeed all the music is wondrous; the score for the fire is rich and exciting. The characters are wonderful. I love the much malinged American skunk, a truly remarkable little creature.I love Flower but Thumper is worthy of the recognition he has got over the years as one of Walt's greatest creations. There are so many wonderful scenes in the film. I love the raindrop scene, the parade and introduction of the stags. Bambi's father is a great creation, almost spiritual. The movie never speaks down to children and the final scene as Bambi's dad disappears is so gracious and beautiful. I love the images in the courting of Bambi and his girl friend. Bambi is a love story and its impossible not to be touched by this magical story. It has always struck me as odd how any one could kill or shoot wild animals and call it sport. Such people are obviously mentally unstable and certainly uncivilised. I dream of a day that recreational hunters get what they deserve. They are the most unworthy people on the planet.Bambi is a lesson in life and its a film that will live for ever as a masterful example of great animation. I really prefer it to the Pixar of today.
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A real tearjerker!
TheLittleSongbird25 February 2009
Bambi is short, but I don't care, because so was Dumbo, which is also very sad but beautiful, however I have always preferred Bambi despite the fact I could really empathise with Dumbo. Bambi is a gem, and overshadowed slightly by the flawless Beauty and the Beast and the stunning Lion King. This classic is right up there with the greats, and was coincidentally Walt Disney's personal favourite. The animation is unparallelled. Those shots of the forest at the beginning were just extraordinary, and it was so colourful and stylised. Another plus was the orchestral score which was so beautiful, that alone reduced me to tears. It matched the animation beautifully, which seldom happens in animation. The characters were both funny and touching, and the story simple and timeless. I laughed so much at Thumper, when he was teaching Bambi to speak. Bambi was great to watch too and so adorable, and I was among the majority who cried when his mother died, because this film was so educational thanks to her. The animals as adolescents aren't quite as appealing as when they were children, but Bambi and Faline's romance was one of the character highlights. The best aspect for me, was that they made the enemy so mysterious. We hear about them, and see what they do, but we don't see them face to face. That is what made the characters so appealing to the audience. This is one of the few films, where you care for everybody you are introduced to. In conclusion, a funny and ever-touching underrated classic. 10/10. Bethany Cox
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Walt's crowning achievement
wildanimals16 July 2007
You'd have to have a heart of stone not to fall for Bambi. For me, it's Walt's crowning achievement, and when I watch it today, it still gives the same feeling of nostalgia as it did when I was six years old. In fact, I find even more thought-provoking than I did when I was a child.

But what is it that makes Bambi stand out for me? There's magic here alright, but not the fairy magic like in so many other Disney films. There's humans, but they never appear on screen. I think that I was captivated by the way the musicians, the animators and the artwork all become synchronised, like the natural sounds of a real forest. What makes Bambi so wonderful is the feel of being so close to nature. During the scene where it starts to rain, we see Bambi's fascination with the little raindrops. As each little drop lands softly on something, we hear a little note from the orchestra. It is just so well synchronised, and it shows just how much love and dedication was put into it.

Also, Bambi flawlessly flips from mood to mood. We watch a scene that is sad, dark and melancholy. It all fades to black, and we are greeted with something light hearted, colourful and joyful. In many other films, something like that would stick out like a sore thumb, but somehow, in an almost magic way, that does not happen with Bambi.

What really annoys me is when I see people bash Bambi and call it 'anti-hunting pro-PETA trash.' I'm sure that when dear old Walt made this, he had nothing of the sort in mind. It also annoys me when I see people making a big deal out of one of the most touching and heartbreaking scenes in Bambi. (you know the one I'm talking about!) Sure, it's a poignant scene, but it is also only one tiny fraction of the actual film. So why must people take the Mick out of it, if there is no Mick to take? (That doesn't sound right!)

If you are fed up of the huge amount of CGI that's lost its novelty years ago, then pick up a two disc Special Edition DVD of this lovable classic, before Disney locks it up again.
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