Thumper with Bambi (right)
Bambi, based on the 1923 book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten, is a Disney cartoon movie that debuted on August 13, 1942. The main characters are Bambi, a deer, and his friends Thumper (a rabbit) and Flower (a skunk).
Viewers of this movie created the term "Bambi eyes", to describe an innocent look that people can make with their eyes, to generate sympathy.
This film never quite develops a plot. However, it is a delightful story that uses the life of a fawn, Bambi, to parallel human existence. It is a case study in the very basics of life: the ‘doe-eyed’, innocence of childhood; parental love; discovering and learning about the world around us; loss and grief; developing friendships; loyalty; balancing risk and need; growing toward independence; being at one and in harmony with nature; and romantic love.
The death of Bambi's mother
Unlike later Disney films, "Bambi" did not shy away from tragedy in storytelling. A seminal scene in the movie involved Bambi's mother being shot by a hunter, albeit off_screen. However, it was immediately obvious to young audiences what had happened, especially when they saw Bambi's reaction. This particular scene was sometimes so upsetting to children that, even as adults, they could recall the intense emotions the scene evoked in them.
Recently, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior has criticized the movie "Bambi" for propagating the idea that the best way to manage the forest resources within the U.S. was to fight forest fires. The Secretary of the Interior points out that controlled burning is now recognized as more beneficial, and that forest animals, such as Bambi, simply move out of the way of forest fires and, in general, are not killed by them.
Bambi was released in cinemas in 1942, during World War II and was Disney's fifth full length animated film. It was an advance over the previous movies in sophistication of the animation, partly due to the expereince gained, and partly due to the influence of Wong, a former painter who provided eastern and painterly influence to the bakgrounds. It was released on VHS video in the 1990s and remastered on to DVDin 2005.
- Internet Movie Database listing: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034492/