The classic 1942 animated Disney feature. The story follows young male deer Bambi from his birth and woodland childhood with friends Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk, through to his ascendancy into the tall, antlered Prince of the Forest. Along the way he tragically loses his mother to hunters (a traumatic early childhood memory for viewers of several generations!) and finds love with the beautiful Faline.
It always comes up when people are comparing their most traumatic movie experiences: "the death of Bambi's mother," a recollection that can bring a shudder to even the most jaded filmgoer. That primal separation (which is no less stunning for happening off-screen) is the centerpiece of Bambi
, Walt Disney's 1942 animated classic, but it is by no means the only bold stroke in the film. In its swift but somehow leisurely 69 minutes, Bambi
covers a year in the life of a young deer. But in a bigger way, it measures the life cycle itself, from birth to adulthood, from childhood's freedom to grown-up responsibility. All of this is rendered in cheeky, fleet-footed style--the movie doesn't lecture, or make you feel you're being fed something that's good for you. The animation is miraculous, a lush forest in which nature is a constantly unfolding miracle (even in a spectacular fire, or those dark moments when "man was in the forest"). There are probably easier animals to draw than a young deer, and the Disney animators set themselves a challenge with Bambi's wobbly glide across an ice-covered lake, his spindly legs akimbo; but the sequence is effortless and charming. If Bambi himself is just a bit dull--such is the fate of an Everydeer--his rabbit sidekick Thumper and a skunk named Flower more than make up for it. Many of the early Disney features have their share of lyrical moments and universal truths, but Bambi
is so simple, so pure, it's almost transparent. You might borrow a phrase from Thumper and say it's downright twitterpated. --Robert Horton
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.