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Bambi (1942) Movie Review

Bambi movie poster

Bambi the fifth animated feature film created by Disney. After the commercial success of their earlier movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Dumbo, you know that Disney will not stop there.

A coming of age movie, except the main character here is a deer.

The movie starts with a mother doe giving birth to a fawn named Bambi. She prophesized that her son would soon become the Great Prince of the Forest, which his father owns. Bambi struggles with his first attempts at standing up and walking. He is befriended by an energetic rabbit named Thumper, who teaches him how to walk and speak. Like his name, he loves to thump his feet whenever he gets too excited. Bambi meets a skunk he calls Flower and another young female fawn named Faline. He is curious about the forest and the environment. One day he sees the Great Prince and warns them of the hunter. Bambi gets separated from his mother but is escorted back by his father.

During Bambi's first winter, he and Thumper have fun playing in the snow. They discover Flower hibernating. One day, Bambi's mother takes him to gather food, but the hunter spots them. He fires a couple of shots while they escape. Bambi's mother gets shot and killed. The Great Prince arrives and reveals to Bambi that he is his father.

Next year, Bambi matures along with his friends. The Owl warns them that they will eventually fall in love. Bambi, Thumper, and Flower don't take the Owl's statement seriously but soon find their partners. Another stag challenges Bambi for Faline. He manages to fend the challenger off and win her.

One day, Bambi awakens to the smell of smoke. He and his father discover that the hunters are gathering. He returns to Faline only to find her missing. He searches for her and finds her surrounded by the hunters. He fends them off and gets shot but survived. The hunter's campfire spreads to the trees and creates a wildfire. Bambi, Faline, and his father manage to reach the shelter near the riverbank. The movie ends when Faline gives birth to twins, and Bambi becomes the new Great Prince of the forest.

Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, you cannot expect much animation-wise for a film created in the 1930s to 1970s. But I think that this film's creativity is way ahead of its time. From the animal designs and movements to the setting, everything looks brilliant. It may not be as smooth as today's standards, but I still think it is pretty okay.

Like old animation films, this one is also pretty short. The movie spans 70 minutes, so the story moves fast.

I like the characters. Thumper is my personal favorite. His personality brings joy throughout the movie. Plus, you can't help but want to pinch his massive cheeks.

The story is simple yet very sweet. Bambi starts as a very curious young fawn and learns most things from his friends, Thumper, Flower, and Faline. His curiosity brings him to realize that humans are hunting them. When he matures, he becomes more responsible for his actions and prioritizes his family over others. It's a typical coming-of-age film. Maybe during this era, these kinds of genres are not popular.

This movie premiered while World War II was happening. It did not perform well at the box office because Disney could not market the film in Europe. It bounced back on its rentals.

I will give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars for this sweet and heartwarming flick.

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