YMMV / Bambi

  • Adaptation Displacement: Par the course for just about anything adapted by Disney, the film is much more well known than the original Felix Salten book. It's rather strange that few people know it was based on a book since it mentions in the opening credits that the movie was based on Felix Salten's story (then again, most people don't pay much attention to credits in the first place). Not only that, it's a serious, gritty book. Most people, though, would assume that it's a pop-up book or something. The poster for the movie was even a picture of the book.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The hunter. A bloodthirsty Evil Poacher who hunts for the fun of killing animals, an ordinary sport hunter with no evil intent (less likely, given how it was and still is illegal to shoot deer out of season), or just a poor, hungry man desperate to fill the cooking pot?
    • We never see them so...maybe it's not even a man?
    • For that matter, is it even the same hunter(s) from one encounter to the next?
    • The midquel elevates Ronno potentially from merely a sinister looking stag whose out to mate (if forcefully), to a jealous rival of Bambi in almost every area. Does he genuinely target Feline as a mate, or does he take her out of spite or even intentionally to anger Bambi into another tussle as he did the midquel?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Bambi's mother's death. Bambi and everyone else seems to get over it pretty darn quick, especially since right after Bambi's father tells him of her death, it instantly cuts to spring with birds singing happily. Bambi's mom is never even brought up again. The midquel tries to avert this, but both Bambi and his father seem to be past the grieving stage by the end of the story, which takes place over about five days.
  • Awesome Art:
    • This was one of the first Disney movies to have animals (in this case, deer) brought to the studio for the artists to closely reference for more accurate depictions of their movement, as opposed to the deer in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which look like flour sacks with long legsnote . The result is easily one of the most beautiful films Disney ever made.
    • The midquel had a surprisingly large budget for most DTV fare (enough to gain a theatrical release in several regions), resulting in animation and visuals that can almost match the original. Having Andreas Deja supervise certainly helped.
  • Awesome Music: A killer combo of Frank Churchill's unforgettable songs and Edward Plumb's mantovani cue-filled score results in Bambi having a very memorable soundtrack.
  • Badass Decay: Either the midquel did a pretty good job of doing this to the formerly solemn and dignified Great Prince, or it makes him more badass by boosting his Papa Wolf tendencies and having him directly take on a pack of vicious hunting dogs to save his son, all the while voiced by Patrick Stewart this time round.
  • Broken Base: The midquel with many fans of the original. Is it another cheap and pointless direct-to-video abomination, or is it one of few Disney sequels that is up to par with the original? Is the plot and character handling more depthful and fill loose ends of the first, or is it derailment of the original's artistic approach in favour of contemporary cliches?
  • Contested Sequel: Bambi II, while rarely considered better than the original film, tends to be rather divisive with fans. It is at least often regarded as one of Disney Toon Studios' best attempts at a follow-on film.
  • Ear Worm: "Drip drip drop, little April showers..."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Thumper got his own merchandise line. At one point during the eighties he was even given consideration as a Breakout Character for his own feature film.
    • Same goes for his mate, Miss Bunny, who also has her own merchandise line in Japan, especially at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Evil is Sexy: Ronno. Especially in Bambi II.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In the original novel, Bambi learns that he must live all alone to live long and safe. He learns this one from the (supposedly) wise Great Prince, of all deer.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Most detractors of Bambi II's more thorough Character Development of the cast (especially of the Great Prince and Ronno) stem from the fact that the first film was primarily an environmental perspective piece with elements and characters intentionally left ambiguous and vague. The broader characterisations have some fans however, making it Better Than Canon for them.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    • The scene where Bambi goes with his father after learning about his mother's death symbolizes the end of his childhood and innocence. This was exactly what Disney was going for with that scene.
    • It was revealed in the "Making of Bambi II" that the butterflies seen in Bambi's dream sequence and at the end of the movie are meant to symbolize Bambi's love for his mother in the former and his father in the latter. D'awww.
  • Foe Yay: In Bambi II. If you mute the audio, it often looks as if Ronno is hitting on Bambi.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While obviously suffering far less from Disneyfication than either two films, Felix Salten's sequel book Bambi's Children is also Lighter and Softer from the original novelnote  and even mildly betrays some elements of realism for the sake of characterisation (Bambi for example is characterised as a warmer and less distant father, much as the Great Prince was in Bambi II). It even goes a step further than the films do by humanising Man.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The cream-colored rabbit named Miss Bunny who Thumper falls in love with is surprisingly popular in Japan. With tons of merchandise featuring her (sometimes even alongside the child Thumper).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In 2002, Saturday Night Live TV Funhouse lampooned Disney's infamous direct to video sequels by having a skit about "Bambi 2002". Fast forward to 2006, and Disney would release a direct to video Bambi follow up (albeit a midquel, not a sequel). In a later skit, they acknowledged the midquel along with their Bambi 2002;
    "Bambi II is going into the Disney Vault. After just 70 days on sale, the glorious Bambi II goes into the Disney Vault for 10 years along with Cinderella II, Bambi 2002, Sleeping Beauty III: Lil' Sleepy Meets Aladdin, Hunchback VI: Air Dog Quasi, Mulan VIII: The Prozoids Strike Back, Jungle Book 3.0: Jungle Blog, and 101 Felations."
  • Ho Yay: Between Bambi and Flower when they were little. They even have a Meet Cute, for God's sake, as explained by Unshaved Mouse here. Flower even named his child after Bambi, the guy he, as far as we know, only shared two scenes with (in the first film, at least).
  • It Was His Sled: Bambi's mother dies.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Great Prince in the Interquel. He genuinely wants what is best for his son, unfortunately his aloof, unaffectionate nature and insistence on tradition leads him to be unintentionally rejectful towards Bambi emotionally at first. Being pained by the death of his mate helps matters even less.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Even those who didn't like the Interquel will admit enjoyment in hearing Patrick Stewart's portrayal of The Great Prince.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Thumper's "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all," line is used a lot nowadays, for obvious reasons.
    • Within the studio, the line "Man is in the forest" became a tongue-in-cheek code amongst the animators for when Walt Disney was coming by to look at their work.
  • Moe:
    • Bambi (and by extension Faline, the two fawns they have as adults, and even Ronno to some degree) is likely the cutest white-tailed deer fawn you'll ever see. There's a reason Osamu Tezuka used him as the basis for the distinctive large eye style of anime.
    • Thumper and Flower are also adorable Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • Narm Charm: The child voice actors aren't the best actors, but their performances are certainly cute.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Ronno in the original film. He comes literally out of nowhere, has no dialogue, no real characterization and isn't even named, and only has a couple minutes of screen time—but what a scene it is!
    • Also, the poor bird that gets frightened out of her hiding spot when the hunters arrive, pretty much for the same reason.
    • The scene where the cream-colored rabbit flirts with Thumper. While both return in the ending, the rabbit named Miss Bunny is surprisingly popular in Japan and despite only being in a short scene.
  • Periphery Demographic: It's well documented that his film was popular with, of all people, men shipping out to fight in World War II. Pictures of the characters were common as the nose art of planes and tanks. A few munition factories even stamped pictures of Thumper to blockbuster bombs.
  • So Okay, It's Average: While Bambi II is considered among the better Disney sequels, few consider it to be as good as the original movie and it is usually seen as average at best. The main complaints stem from that it either adds too little to the Bambi universe, or the changes it did make (i.e. Playing up contemporary humor, humanizing the characters personalities and using pop songs) were not for the better.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Disney using the trope at its most extreme. The midquel, with more humanized characterizations and 'zanier' humor, is toned down slightly, though it's hardly even close to a subversion. This is considered the draw appeal to many fans.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Unlike most of Disney's sequels, Bambi II has garnered something of a Cult Classic reputation due to much better animation and story direction. Even those who love the Interquel however will often admit it couldn't hope to match one of Disney's first and most iconic animated films.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Like you cannot even imagine. It can be especially easy to miss the single reference to Flower's gender early on. And then puberty kicks in, and their genders are much more obvious.
    • Bambi, because of his feminine appearance. However, all gender confusion about him is cleared up when he gets older, due to getting horns. His gender confusion is even lampshaded by Ronno in the Midquel:
      Ronno: Bambi? Isn't that a girl's name?
    • There is the picture book of the Disney movie that actually called Flower a female, and made "her" a ''mother''!
  • Vindicated by History: Thanks to extremely mixed reception from critics of the time period, and the war going on at the time, Bambi, along with Fantasia and Pinocchio before it, was a huge box office flop when it first unspooled in theaters. Nowadays, it's one of Disney's most financially successful and critically well received movies.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Bambi had more multiplane camera shots than any other film in Disney's history, and they are used to stunning effect, especially during the final shot of the opening, the "Little April Showers" sequence, and the ending. And then there's the painstakingly elaborate effects animation of the climatic forest fire...
    • The midquel also set itself apart from most Disney sequel fare by having an impressive animation budget. Some of the forest shots are as lush as the original film and some impressively animated panning shots are used.
  • Wangst: Bambi has this moment in Bambi II when he discovers his father was planning to send him off to live with another doe. And this is after they actually began to develop a bond with each other! And why? All because it's "what a prince would do." It actually gets Bambi so upset that he tells his dad:
    Bambi: I wish Mother was here instead of YOU!
  • The Woobie: Bambi infamously losing his mother as a fawn solidified him as one of Disney's codifying Woobies. The Interquel only furthers this due to his somewhat contentious upbringing by his father afterwards.
  • Woolseyism: The Norwegian re-dub changes the line Thumper says in the beginning from: "Sure, let's go with that." to "Sure, that would rather fit!" Giving a plenty better reason to use the "Bambi" name.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Bambi