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File:Walt Disney's Bambi poster.jpg
Original theatrical release poster
Directed bySupervising director
David Hand
Sequence director
James Algar
Samuel Armstrong
Graham Heid
Bill Roberts
Paul Satterfield
Norman Wright
Produced byWalt Disney
Story byStory direction
Perce Pearce
Story adaptation
Larry Morey
Story development
Vernon Stallings
Melvin Shaw
Carl Fallberg
Chuck Couch
Ralph Wright
Based on
StarringBobby 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
Music byFrank Churchill
Edward H. Plumb
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
August 9, 1942 (1942-08-09) (World Premiere-London)
August 13, 1942 (1942-08-13) (Premiere-New York City)
August 21, 1942 (1942-08-21) (U.S.)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$267,447,150[2]

Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama movie. David Hand was the head director (he was in charge of other directors, each of whom worked on parts of the movie). It was produced by Walt Disney. It is based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The movie was sent to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13, 1942. It is the fifth movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story is about a baby deer or fawn, named Bambi, who learns to grow up in the wild after his mother is shot by hunters. The main characters are Bambi, a white-tailed deer, his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother), and his friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), Flower (a skunk), and his childhood friend and future wife, Faline.

For the movie, Disney changed Bambi's species into a white-tailed deer. His original species was a Roe Deer. However, roe deer do not live in the United States, and the white-tailed deer is more familiar to Americans. The movie earned chances for three Academy Awards: Best Sound (Sam Slyfield), Best Song (for "Love Is a Song" sung by Donald Novis) and Original Music Score.[3] In June 2008, the American Film Institute presented a list of its "10 Top 10"—the best ten movies in each of ten classic American movie genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Bambi placed third in animation.[4] In December 2011, the movie was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

The story

The movie starts with a wise old owl that tells a story about a little fawn called Bambi that was born in the woods. He spends his first days of life exploring the forest around him. He makes a friend named Thumper, who is a rabbit. Bambi learns new words everyday, such as birds ("bird" becomes his first word), butterflies, rain and the meadow. He sees his father (the Great Prince of the Forest) for the first time. The movie first shows Bambi's childhood, such as a walk in the woods, a day in the meadow, and his first experience seeing snow.

The most famous part of the movie is the death of Bambi's mother. Bambi and his mother have trouble finding food. One day, Bambi's mother finds a patch of grass, and they eat. The audience hears scary music (Man's) theme, and Bambi's mother senses danger. She tells Bambi to run, and as they run across an icy field, she screams "Faster! Faster, Bambi! Don't look back! Keep running! Keep running!" Bambi makes it but a gunshot is heard. Bambi makes it back to the den but finds that his mother is no longer there. He wanders around, desperately calling for her, and bumps into his father, the Great Prince, who tells him that "your mother can't be with you anymore". Bambi follows his father into the woods, taking one last look behind him.

The next spring, Bambi and his friends are now adults. They meet a wise old owl, called Friend Owl, who tells them of the dangers of falling in love. They make vows not to, but are in love at first sight in no time. Bambi falls in love with his old childhood friend Faline, and is happily dancing in the clouds until another deer steps in the way. He tries to get Faline to go with him, but Bambi will not and gets into a fight with this deer. Bambi wins, and goes on a date with Faline. The Man comes back and makes more trouble for the animals. Bambi saves Faline from a pack of angry dogs.

A forest fire comes and nearly destroys everything. Bambi has trouble getting up, but his father helps him. They both make it to an island where the animals have gathered. The following spring, everyone goes to see Bambi and Faline's new fawns (baby deer), with the wise owl saying that Bambi should be proud. The Great Prince steps down from his current place as king, and Bambi is left standing proudly. The beginning song, Love is a Song, is sung again by a chorus.


Walt Disney wanted to achieve realistic detail in this animated movie. The artists heard teachings from animal experts, and visited the Los Angeles Zoo.[5] 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, gave the company the idea to change Felix Salten's Roe Deer to a white-tailed deer.[6] The background of the movie 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.[7]



Characters from Bambi

  • Bambi, voiced by Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, and Alexander Gould, is the main character in the story. In the first movie, he is often cute and innocent. In the second movie, saddened by the loss of his mother, Bambi tries to live without her. Throughout the second movie he constantly tries to win the attention, support, and love he needs from his father.
  • Thumper, voiced by Peter Behn, Tim Davis, and Brendon Baerg, is Bambi's main best friend. In the first movie, he helps Bambi discover new things, like "bird", "flower", and "butterfly". In Bambi II, he helps Bambi try to impress his father. Thumper also spends much of his time running away from his four sisters as he finds them annoying.
  • The Great Prince of the Forest, voiced by Fred Shields in Bambi and Patrick Stewart in Bambi II, is Bambi's father. Throughout the first movie, the Great Prince is always never around. In Bambi II, he feels that a father is not what Bambi needs, and he tries to send Bambi away rather than teach him the ways of having the crown of the forest. Things are not helped much by the fact that he is used to a quiet life. In spite of this, he learns how to become a loving father and friend to Bambi.
  • Faline, voiced by Cammie King, Ann Gillis, and Andrea Bowen, is one of Bambi's childhood friends and eventually grows up to become his wife. In Bambi II, her effect on Bambi has changed little since the first movie. Whenever she is around, Bambi generally becomes tongue-tied and very clumsy. However, when Ronno tries to force Faline to leave, Bambi stands up for her, in what looks like a back-to-back screen-shot of the mirroring scene in the original. Also, just like in Bambi, Ronno and Bambi have a fight, only this time much shorter. The scene imitates the scene in the original, and the fight is broken only after Mena comes in. Ronno, still angry, bumps into Bambi causing Mena to fall into one of Man's traps. Then Bambi has to fight a pack of dogs just like he did in the original.
  • Friend Owl, voiced by Will Wright in Bambi and Keith Ferguson, in Bambi II, is a friendly but easy to annoy old owl. Thumper and his baby sisters are always waking him up going "Wake Up! Wake Up, Friend Owl!" He will respond going "Oh, NOW what?!" (played for laughs). In Bambi II, Friend Owl is asked by the Great Prince to find a suitable doe to raise Bambi.
  • Bambi's mother, voiced by Paula Winslowe, is Bambi's main parent throughout the first movie. Her death has saddened many. In Bambi II, she is voiced by Carolyn Hennes, and makes one small appearance in a dream sequence in which she talks to Bambi.
  • The Hunter is a poacher who tries to shoot Bambi. He fails, but he instead shoots Bambi's mother, beginning the most well-known scene of the movie. He is the bad guy of the movie, even though he is never seen.

Characters from Bambi II

  • Ronno, voiced by Anthony Ghannam, fights Bambi for the love of Faline and is generally full of annoyance. According to production notes, Ronno was the unnamed deer who fought Bambi in the original movie for Faline as well.
  • The Groundhog, voiced by Brian Pimental (who also directed Bambi II), is the focus of the forest's Groundhog Day celebrations. On February 2 each year, the Groundhog comes out into the forest square and determines whether or not winter will last a few more weeks. Yet, he hates the job and is scared of his own shadow, complaining that "my nerves just can't take it any more."
  • The Porcupine, voiced by Brian Pimental (again, director), is a minor character who is extremely protective of his land. As the forest's troll, he takes joy in keeping animals away from his log home. When Bambi first meets the Porcupine, he leaves humiliated and in pain. When Bambi confronts the Porcupine again, the Porcupine ends up being used to fight off the dogs. The porcupine also causes Bambi to accidentally kiss Faline at the end of the movie.
  • Mena, voiced by Cree Summer (who also voiced Kida in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire), is the doe Friend Owl finds as a mother for Bambi, in order to let the Great Prince keep the forest safe without being distracted. Friend Owl found her just when Bambi and the Great Prince were beginning to bond, nearly ruining the relationship. She grew up with Bambi's mother.


Bambi was released in theaters in 1942, during World War II. It was Disney's 5th full-length animated movie. Bambi was re-released to theatres in 1947, 1957, 1966, 1975, 1982, and 1988. It was then made available on home video in 1989. Even in home video, Bambi has seen multiple releases, including two VHS releases, in 1989 (Classics Version) and 1997 (Masterpiece Collection Version), and a digitally-remastered and restored Platinum Edition DVD.[9] The Platinum Edition DVD went on moratorium on January 31, 2007.[10]

Bambi was released in Diamond Edition on March 1, 2011,[11] consisting of a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. According to Cinema Blend, this release is set to include multiple bonus features that were not previously included in Bambi home releases: a documentary entitled Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – Enhanced Edition, two deleted scenes, a deleted song, an image gallery, and a game entitled Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge: Bambi Edition.[12] The release also marked the first use of "Disney Second Screen",[13] a feature which is accessed via a computer or iPad app download that syncs with the Blu-ray disc,[14] allowing the viewer to follow along by interacting with animated flip-books, galleries and trivia while watching the movie.[11] A UK version of Diamond Edition was released on February 7, 2011.[15]


Bambi II is a story which takes place after Bambi's mother dies, but before Bambi becomes an adult. It shows the Great Prince of the Forest struggling to raise Bambi, and Bambi's doubts about his father's love. The movie was released direct-to-video on February 7, 2006. While the movie was a direct-to-video release in the United States and other countries, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan, it was a theatrical release in some countries, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Dominican Republic, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom and some other European countries.[source?]

Titles in other languages


  1. Barrier, J. Michael (2003). "Disney, 1938–1941". Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press. pp. 269–274, 280. ISBN 0-19-516729-5 .
  2. "Bambi". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  3. "The 15th Academy Awards (1943) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  4. "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. June 17, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  5. Walt Disney Collection: Walt's Masterworks — Bambi.
  6. 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)
  7. Maurice E. Day, Animator, 90; Drew Deer for Movie 'Bambi': Obituary in the New York Times, published May 19, 1983
  8. Tom Heintjes (May 24, 2012). "Ani Ideas: The John Sutherland Story". Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  9. Wray, James (February 26, 2005). "How They Restored Bambi". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  10. McCutcheon, David (September 29, 2006). "Disney Closes the Vault". IGN. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "'Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition)' Blu-ray Fully Detailed". High Def Digest. December 10, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  12. Grabert, Jessica (December 8, 2010). "Bambi Returns From The Forest on Blu-Ray". Cinema Blend. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  13. Snider, Mike (February 24, 2011). "Second Screen creates a 'Bambi' for multitaskers". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  14. Lawler, Richard (December 8, 2010). "Disney announces Bambi Blu-ray/DVD combo for March 1st, debuts new Second Screen PC/iPad app". Engadget. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  15. "Bambi – Diamond Edition Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)". February 7, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2014.

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