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Trivia / Bambi

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For trivia about Bambi II, see here.

  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains:
    • #20 Villain, Man
  • AFI's 10 Top 10:
    • #3, Animation
  • Cast Incest: Paula Winslowe, the voice of Bambi's mother, was married to Bambi's adult voice actor, John Sutherland, and stayed together until the former's death in 1996.
  • Children Voicing Children: The younger voices of Bambi, Thumper, Flower, and Faline are from actual children.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: This is said to have been Walt's personal favorite of his films.
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  • Cut Song: The soundtrack to the first film has an early version of "Little April Showers" called "Rain Drops", which was more of an Andrews Sisters-esque swing number.
  • Defictionalization: The phrase "Man is in the forest" was used as the code phrase around the studio to indicate that Walt was on his way. This was demonstrated in the film Saving Mr. Banks.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Felix Salten conflicted with his American publisher, who made alterations to his second novel Bambi's Children for a Lighter and Softer tone (the English translation removes a lot of dark or graphic elements from the original German edit). Salten did not want his work advertised as a children's story. He also expressed regret about selling the film rights to Bambi to Disney, though his opinions on the film itself are mostly unknown.
  • Dueling Dubs:
    • The film has been dubbed in Finnish twice. The first dub was released in 1969 and the second dub was made in 2005 for the DVD release.
    • The film has been dubbed twice in Sweden and Germany.
  • Dub Name Change: In 1969 Finnish dub Thumper became Kalle and Faline became Minna.
  • DVD Commentary: The 2005 DVD release of Bambi had re-enactments of the story meetings between Disney and his story men as one of the several bonus features. The movie itself played in a window on the corner while the rest of the screen showed preliminary artwork.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Peter Behn (young Thumper in the first film) was only four during the recording phase, and couldn't read the script. Instead, he mimicked the director until each line had the vocal inflection that was needed. The loud bursts of vocalization he used to play Thumper were also completely unscripted; that was literally how he talked.
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  • Genre-Killer: The film's poor box office returns, along with the studio's involvement in the war, put an end to Disney's lavish and expensive features. The studio only produced package films for a few years and their only attempt to return to this form didn't fair any better; it wouldn't be until the early 90's with the Disney Renaissance that they would go for movies with this type of punch again, although a handful of other classics came about in the meantime.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Though a Bambi's Children Animated Adaptation never came to be, Disney did release a comic book of the novel in 1943 that has never been reprinted. Good luck finding a copy now.
    • The film was dubbed three times into Brazilian Portuguese, but the first two dubs are now lost.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Felix Salten's key reason for giving Disney the film rights to Bambi, since he was in exile during the war, he was in desperate need of money to finance a new life, and expressed his regret at it later on. To add further insult to injury, Salten got no royalties for the film upon it's release.
    Felix Salten: I have been delivered over to Disney with my hands and feet fettered, and a gag in my mouth.
  • No Export for You: Thanks to a little thing called World War II, Bambi originally didn't get released in Japan until 1957, and received a redub in 1993. However, Osamu Tezuka made a manga adaptation of the film during the 60's after getting permission from Walt himself when they met each other at the World Fair of the time.
  • Old Shame: A more pragmatic case. During his days in the Marine Corps, Donnie Dunagan kept his role as the voice of Bambi a well kept secret for the majority of his employment, knowing no one there would take him seriously as "Major Bambi". He had fond memories making the film however, and following his retirement he came to embrace the connection.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Osamu Tezuka was a major fan of this movie and saw it 80 times. Disney hired him to write a manga adaptation in 1951.
  • Sequel in Another Medium: The Disney adaptation of Bambi's Children was initially planned as a movie follow-up before getting canned due to the original movies poor box office returns, though it eventually got a Comic-Book Adaptation published via Dell.
  • Trope Namer: For Bambification. "The Bambi Effect" is also an alternate name for What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to the book "Mickey and the Gang: Classic Stories in Verse", a film adaptation of the sequel novel "Bambi's Children" was actually planned but never got beyond the early stages of development.
    • Bambi's design was initially intended to be more realistically proportioned, going from this these test cels for the film.
    • In the production of the first film, it was debated how to show the death of Bambi's mom: originally, she was to be shown collapsing into the snow after jumping over a log and hearing the sound of a shotgun, but it was decided the scene would be more effective emotionally if she was not shown.
    • Walt Disney was also eager to show Man burned to death by the fire that he inadvertently started. Trying to maintain a lack of gore and Man's ambiguity, Disney suggested a silhouette of some form. A rough cut was shown to a private audience with the proposed scene in animatic form. A enormous portion of the audience shot up at the sight of the dead hunter, driving Walt to cut the scene entirely from the final film.
    • Thumper was originally named Bobo and to be a minor character. An ornery grasshopper was also planned as a supporting character at one point, but the team considered him unlikeable and merged his Grumpy Old Man persona into Friend Owl.
    • Thumper's father was planned to appear in person, though the character never gained a role outside some Disney storybooks.
    • The film was originally going to be the studio's second animated film after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but Walt's goal of animating the deer realistically proved to be more challenging than anticipated, so it was moved down the production line, and Pinocchio became their second feature instead.
    • As charted through the Making of documentary, Walt Disney went through endless brainstorms for scenes and gags consisting of, but not limited to, a Laurel and Hardy-esque squirrel and chipmunk duo (these characters appear in the final film, albeit with a very small role and only one line), the plight of a nest of ants that Bambi tramples, and Bambi swallowing a live bee that communicates to the other animals through his ears. All of these dropped as the creative team realised they had barely any bearing to the actual main plot.
    • They also planned to recreate more elements of the original novel such as that of a conversation between the sentient leaves.
    • In the mid-80s, Disney brainstormed several plans to make Thumper a Breakout Character. There were plans for a spin-off film, starring Thumper, as well as a cartoon series planned for the Disney Afternoon lineup "Thumper's Thicket". Neither got off the group though two decades later, the Disney Bunnies books and merchandise line did finally launch.


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