Movie Review: Bambi


Would you believe me if I said I never cried at his mother’s death as a kid? True story. Watching this as a kid, I never understood the gravity of that scene. More or less, it kept me entertained then because it was a Talking Animal movie. Now, I wonder what was wrong with me when I didn’t elicit the “right” emotion at that scene. Apparently, something’s amiss according to friends. Oh well, to each their own.

What’s great are the multi-plane backgrounds as nature is depicted as it really is, well at least the flora. The fauna are, well, Disneyfied but in a more down-to-earth style. After all, they did bring the actual animals in as reference for the animators.

It’s a charming tale of the life of the young Prince of the Forest. While the time spent with him in his youth takes half of the film, it sets up the second half. The death of his mother, the meeting of Faline, and the encounters with Man are all tied together for Part II.

Bambi and Co. become twitterpated and fall in love. But wait! An unknown side villain wants to fight Bambi for Faline! He fends him off but Man has taken a liking to burning the forest. Gasp! Do they survive? Of course they do, it’s a Disney film (though that excuse doesn’t always work).

The opposing deer that fought Bambi for Faline is apparently named Ronno. Never mentioned in the film but he’s portrayed and named as an obnoxious jerk in the unnecessary midquel where we learn that Bambi has met him a few times before. That’s nice.

Great music, beautiful visuals, charming story, it’s a movie that’s a necessary inclusion in anyone’s collection. I still have the 1997 print. I intend to update it but for now, the VHS still works, even if the quality has gone down and some lines dance across the screen.


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