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Bambi's Mother faked her death.She realized that having Bambi become overdependant on her would be detrimental to him growing up to become the next Prince of the forest, so she abandoned Bambi at just the right time, knowing that the Great Prince would find him and care for him. In fact, her abandoning of Bambi may have been a Batman Gambit to get the Great Prince to break out of being The Stoic and care for someone, like he did when she and him cared for each other in the past before they drifted apart.
- Note: that version of the theory is easiest with the interquel as canon, since the formation of the father-son relationship is the driving force of that film.
- In the book, she actually abandons him a couple of times before she dies and is gone for good.
The midquel is set in a timeline similar to, but ultimately distinct from the original film.This would explain the more humanized personalities of the characters and general nature of the forest being somewhat different from that of the original film, but the events before and after the midquel still play out similar or identical to how they did in the original film, so that the two films could technically still work in tandem as a continuity and not have to worry about sweating the differences between them too much. Alternatively...
The midquel is only Semi-Canon to the original film.The general events of the midquel technically happened in some form, but how it literally played out would end up being different from how It was depicted in the film, and certain elements of the midquel would be considered either apocryphal or flat out non-canon to the overall timeline.
Bambi has a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and / or has Survivors Guilt and Chronic Hero Syndrome.
- Given that he's been through a life threatening situation that costed him his mothers life due to her wanting to protect him, and he may even hold himself responsible for her death. This would also explain why he mans up in the midquel and saves Mena from a pack of hunting dogs at the risk of his own life, since he never, ever wants someone to die for his own sake again.
Bambi or the other animals don't wish any ill on man.Bambi is far too compassionate and graceful to wish vengeance on anyone, and the forest sees man as an impersonal force of nature to put up with, and something to be feared and respected as just another part of their lives.
Thumper's Father abandoned his family/went missing.
- While he was still with them around the day when Bambi met Faline, his father abandoned them or went missing at one point, which explains why he is never seen on screen, and why his mother keeps mentioning his sayings.
- He could've died. Remember when Man came to the meadow, and you heard a gun being shot? Maybe it was poor Thumpy's dad Man got.
Thumper's Sister died/went missing during the winter.
- Which would explain why only four of Thumper's sisters are present in the midquel.
- Maybe man got more than Mama Bambi that winter.
Bambi and Faline aren't cousins after all.
- Could be "Aunt Ena" is just a very good friend of Bambi's mother and the title was honorary.
Bambi: Look over there.Bambi's mother: I see. That's my sister, and sure enough she has a baby too, now. No, she has two of them. To think that Ena has two babies.
Flower's mate is male.
- Flower was simply the second most effeminate male skunk in the forest, and happened to run into the first. Their kit is adopted.