It’s hard to believe that one of the most beloved Disney films of all time is already turning 80 years old. Bambi was released in 1942 and has since become a timeless classic. The story of a young deer learning to navigate the forest after the death of his mother is one that has resonated with generations of children and adults alike. As we approach the film’s milestone anniversary, we take a look at the films history and legacy, and we also look at some of the collectables released to celebrate.
Bambi was based on the 1923 novel by Austrian author Felix Salten called Bambi, A Life in the Woods. Walt Disney purchased the rights to the book in 1937 for $1000, and work on adapting it into an animated film began immediately. The film went through several title changes during production, including Young Prince of the Forest and Growing Up, before finally settling on Bambi.
Bambi was released in August 1942, just a few months after America’s entry into World War II. Given the timing of its release, the film’s themes of loss and survival took on new meaning for audiences during wartime. The film was initially met with mixed reviews, with some critics praising its artistry and others finding it too slow-paced and depressing. However, over time Bambi has come to be recognized as one of Disney’s best-ever works, both artistically and emotionally.
The film features some of Disney’s most iconic characters, including Bambi himself, his best friend Thumper, and the wise old owl Friend Owl. The voice cast for the film included several future stars, such as Don Ameche and Sterling Holloway. The film was also notable for its use of traditional hand-drawn animation rather than the newer technique of cel shading which was becoming popular at the time.
One of the things that makes “Bambi” so special is its depiction of nature. The film’s visual style is based on the work of British artist and naturalist Eric Rohmann, and it shows. The forests and meadows of “Bambi” are colorful and beautiful, but they’re also realistic. This attention to detail helps create a believable world for the characters to inhabit. In addition, the film’s use of music is crucial in conveying the emotional power of nature. From the famous opening sequence set to Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” to the tragic death of Bambi’s mother set to Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Aquarium,” the film’s score expertly enhances its emotional impact.
Another reason why “Bambi” continues to resonate with audiences is its themes of friendship and family. Bambi starts off the film as a lone deer, but he quickly meets other forest creatures like Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk. These friendships are crucial to Bambi’s development as he grows from a fawn into a buck. In addition, his relationships with his mother and father are realistically portrayed; we see both the joys and challenges that come with being part of a family. It’s these relatable themes that helped make “Bambi” a classic, and they continue to resonate with audiences today.
Bambi remains one of Disney’s most beloved films even 80 years after its release. It is a timeless classic that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. If you haven’t seen it in awhile (or if you’ve never seen it at all), now is the perfect time to revisit this beautiful film and appreciate it anew.