A lyrical parable of growth and maturity set to the changing seasons of the forest. And it’s a cartoon. With talking animals. Bambi was certainly not an easy film to tackle, but Disney dove right in and came up with a classic.
The title character is a deer growing up in the forest with his kind mother and stern, but wise father. The young Bambi, still unsteady on his feet, makes friends with a shy skunk named Flower and an impulsive rabbit named Thumper.
The three friends go through the ups and downs of life, learning the dangers of man and of fire, and what it’s like to be “twitterpated” over a pretty young thing. Some of the lessons are more painful than others, and Bambi goes through his share of heartache before starting a family of his own.
Bambi’s pace was slower than that of most Disney animation. There was comic relief (mostly from the lively Thumper), but the overall mood was lyrical, fitting with the film’s pastoral themes. None of this prevented Bambi from reaching Disney’s core audience of children and families, remaining a beloved classic decades after its initial release.