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Western Animation / Bambi

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Love is a song that never ends...

Thumper: Whatcha gonna call him?
Bambi's Mother: Well... I think I'll call him... Bambi.
Thumper: Bambi... Yep, I guess it sounds alright.
Bambi's Mother: Bambi... My little Bambi...

Released on August 13, 1942, Bambi is the fifth movie in the Disney Animated Canon. It's based on Bambi, a Life in the Woods (Bambi, Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde) a 1923 novel by Austrian author Felix Salten.

Both the book and the movie are a Coming of Age Story that follows the titular character, a young deer (a roe deer in the book, a white-tailed deer in the movie), from birth to adulthood in the forests of Austria (in the book) or Maine (in the movie).

Salten's sequel book, Bambi's Children, was also considered by Walt Disney for a film adaptation, though was cancelled in early development. Disney did make an adaptation of the novel through their Dell published comic series in 1943 however, alongside one based on the first film. Nearly a decade later, a one-shot manga version was drawn by none other than longtime Disney admirer Osamu Tezuka, to tie in with the film's belated Japanese release in 1951.

Despite this, a Midquel, Bambi II, was released in 2006 (a Direct to Video release for parts of US and Asia, and theatrical elsewhere). It focuses on the period of Bambi's life immediately following his mother's death. Released 64 years after the original film, it holds the world record for the longest span of time between two consecutive installments of a film franchise.

There is a spin off series of books centered around Thumper's family when he was a baby. It's called "Disney Bunnies".

On January 24, 2020 Disney announced they would be remaking the film with the same photo-realistic animation style as The Lion King (2019). Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Lindsey Beer will write the screenplay, with Chris Weitz and Paul Weitzs "Depth of Field" producing the film.

Now has a character sheet.

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    Tropes the first film provides examples of 
  • Adaptational Location Change: Because the titular character was changed from a roe deer to a white-tailed deer, the setting was also changed from somewhere in Europe (presumably Austria) to Maine.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The hunters in the film are explicitly reckless and thoughtless — they spray the landscape with bullets while shooting at everything that moves, and their ill-tended campfire sets half the forest ablaze. Bambi's mother, shot in early spring, is clearly the victim of a poacher. A responsible hunter would never shoot a female with dependent offspring.
    • Ronno appears as a one scene character who tries to force Faline to be his mate. In the books, he starts off as Bambi's adult friend who becomes his rival once Bambi grows up (though Bambi scares him off without as much as a fight).
  • Adaptation Species Change: The original Bambi was a roe deer in Germany, but here he's a white-tailed deer to fit the North American setting of the movie.
  • Adaptation Title Change: The title is shortened from its source material, Bambi, a Life in the Woods.
  • Adapted Out: Faline's twin brother Gobo, Nettla (Bambi's surrogate mother after his mother dies), Karus, Marena, Friend Hare (replaced with Thumper), and several minor characters.
  • Age Lift: Ronno in the novel is an adult when Bambi is a fawn. In the film they're the same age.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • In some Disney websites, the cream-colored rabbit Thumper falls in love with is named "Miss Bunny". She is even called that at the Disney Theme Parks when guests meet Thumper along with her.
    • Similar to Miss Bunny, the female skunk that flirts with Flower and becomes his wife is also unnamed in the film. In the film's script and occasional merchandise she is named "Bluebelle".
    • Thumper's sisters are unnamed in the original film and its midquel. Four of them are actually given names in the album "Peter Cottontail", which was sold at Disneyland in 1963. According to the album, Thumper's sisters are named Blossom, Violet, Nillie, and Frillie. The later Disney's Bunnies storybooks rename them Trixie, Daisy, Ria and Tessie, however.
    • The deer that Bambi fights is named Ronno in the book and midquel.
  • Animation Bump: "Little April Showers".
  • Babies Ever After: The first film ends with Faline and her two new fawns in a thicket much like the one where Bambi was born, as Bambi regally looks on from higher ground.
  • Baby's First Words: Bambi learning to talk for the first time, by saying "bird".
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The animals have to hide whenever Man is in the forest, and whenever going out in the meadow. Bambi's mom is even shot.
  • Bambification: The trope namer — for people who have never sat down and watched the movie... Also known as All Deer Are Bambi and The Martyr With Antlers.
  • Book Ends: After an establishing shot, the first film begins with Bambi's mother and her new baby in a thicket, surrounded by admiring forest animals. The film ends with Faline and her two new babiesnote  in a thicket, surrounded by admiring forest animals.
  • Bowdlerise: When this movie is aired on TV in some foreign countries, they completely remove the entire scene of Bambi's mother's death even though it's the most important part of the movie.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Thumper and his sisters.
  • Clever Crows: Everytime The Man is present a flock of black crows sound the alarm in order to alert the animals of The Man's presence. It's obvious that they watched The Man's movements all the time and thus they are the first ones to know when he (The Man) will go hunting.
  • Connected All Along: The Great Prince reveals to Bambi he's his dad, shortly after revealing his mother died.
  • Crossover: The old comic story "Thumper meets the Seven Dwarfs", where Thumper encounters the Seven Dwarfs from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Friend Owl and Flower also appear, and they even encounter the giant from Brave Little Tailor!
  • Deer in the Headlights: Literally! When man comes to the meadow, the Great Prince warns the herd. When they flee in droves, Bambi and his mother get separated. Not knowing of the danger, Bambi tries to spin around and call for her but doesn't know he needs to get out of the meadow. His father has to come and urge him to move.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: When Bambi gets twitterpated after getting kissed by Faline, the entire background turns into clouds, up until the jealous Ronno appears.
  • Disneyfication: Even with the inclusion of Bambi's mother dying, the film's tone is significantly lighter than the novel's (it was written for adult audiences), which was much darker and more brutal, including graphic death scenes:
    • First off, in the original novel Bambi and Faline are cousins, but in the film it was changed so that they're not blood-related. However, Faline's mother is still called "Aunt Ena" for some reason. Weirdly enough, this has been included in a few storybook adaptations of the movie.
      • Calling Ena "Aunt" is less problematic today, when it has become fairly common practice, at least in the US, for children to refer to their parents' close friends as "aunt" or "uncle".
    • Thumper, Flower, and Friend Owl were created entirely for the film (although Thumper may have been inspired by Friend Hare from the book). Walt wanted to tone down the dark, brutal mood of the novel in the adaptation to allow it to appeal to a wider audience, so he brought Bambi's friends in as comic relief to make the film Lighter and Softer.
    • In the original version of the aftermath of the death of Bambi's mother, they were going to have Bambi find the impression where his mother fell and show that her body had been dragged off, but Walt Disney cut this from the film as he thought it would be too much for the younger audience to handle.
      • An even darker example would be near the end, when they were going to have a scene similar to the novel where Bambi and his father find the corpse of a man whose gun backfired on him, but when an early version of this was shown to a test audience, "400 people shot up into the air when the corpse appeared". Needless to say, it never made it beyond a test screening.
      • Even more interesting is that in the infamous death scene, they were also going to show Bambi's mother getting shot onscreen. However, this never made it beyond a few sketches, as the scene was dark enough as it was.
    • The omission of Faline's brother Gobo, who is killed because of his trust for humans.
    • A non-gory example: Bambi and Faline are not so much in love as they are habitually attached. They separate whenever it's not mating season and Bambi watches her age and become sad and lonely from afar and thinking about the sweet, happy little fawns they once were. Curiously this was a change apparent not just in the Disney film but the direct sequel of the book, where Bambi is also rewritten as closer towards his mate and children.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Watch the scenes of the forest animals fleeing for their lives while their home burns and collapses around them, desperately seeking shelter, calling for loved ones... then remember the year this came out.
  • The Dreaded: Humans, full stop. Every single animal is absolutely terrified of them, and with good reason: they will hunt and kill any animal, big or small. One particularly chilling scene that really hammers this in is when a pheasant hen goes crazy with fear of the approaching humans and bolts into the air. She becomes their first victim.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The Great Prince appears in the middle of Bambi experimentally prancing. He stands regal and stoic, as a ruler should be. Bambi shies away from him and returns to his mother. Then man comes to the meadow, and the Great Prince not only warns the herd but also personally escorts his son out of the danger zone when Bambi freezes in the panic and confusion, showing that he's the Big Good and a Papa Wolf to boot.
  • Eyelash Fluttering: Miss Bunny notices Thumper and tries to catch his eye by slinking up to him and fluttering her eyelashes. It works, and she gets a kiss from him.
  • Face Death with Despair: When the birds are hiding from the hunters, one pheasant gets so freaked out at the prospect of being killed that she tries to make a break for it, only to be shot instantly.
    Pheasant: He's almost here! I can't stand it any longer!!
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Towards the end of the film, and not a typical one, anyway.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Bambi's mother is shot dead when she and her son are looking for food in the winter snow. A whole generation of kids was traumatized. Now, movies for kids should not be all sanitized pink happy affairs. But the death of a parent is quite disturbing to any six-year-old. This one is fairly famous for all the denial associated therewith. It gets worse. Originally, Bambi was going to go back later, and find his mother lying in a pool of blood, but the idea was scrapped, both because it was too cruel and because it wouldn't make sense for a hunter to score a deer and then just leave it in the woods.
    • A panicking pheasant flies in the climax when they hear man coming. Her friends urge her not to fly, but to stay still, but she can't take the suspense. A bang, and her body falls to the ground. You know, for kids!
  • The Film of the Book: Although many people aren't aware of this.
  • G-Rated Sex: Plays quite a prominent part in the story, given the natural setting. With springtime comes mating season ("nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime"), with mating season comes fighting for a mate, and the end result is a new generation of animals.
  • The Great Fire: The forest fire sequence at the film's climax, starting out as a simple campfire and quickly spreading out of control until soon the entire forest is ablaze.
  • He Didn't Make It: The Great Prince's way of breaking the news to Bambi: "Your mother can't be with you any more."
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: After the fire, grass and flowers are seen growing amongst the charred, blackened tree trunks.
  • Humanlike Hand Anatomy: Largely averted. Aside from Friend Owl, who switches from regular wings to Feather Fingers when needed, the only characters to have human-like hands are Flower and his girlfriend, and that is mostly based on a real skunk's anatomy.
  • Ignorant About Fire: The hunters leave their campfire unattended, starting a blaze that nearly destroys the whole forest. We never know their ultimate fates, though a cut scene would've shown that they were killed in the forest fire.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Happens twice:
    • In the meadow, the herd panics when man comes and separates Bambi from his mother by accident. He doesn't know that he needs to run as well and starts calling for her. Fortunately, the Great Prince sees him and urges Bambi silently to go with him and start moving. This time, his mother reunites with them and they make it out of the danger area.
    • When the first spring grass appears, Bambi's mother orders Bambi to run for the thicket and not look back. He makes it turns around to tell her with exhilaration. But she's not behind him. Where is she? Bambi goes out into the cold, calling for his mother. The Great Prince tells him solemnly what happened, looking guilty that he didn't make it in time.
  • Jump Scare: Twice by Friend Owl, when he leans toward Bambi to greet him (unintentionally scaring him and the audience), and when he tries to scare off the birds singing "Let's Sing A Gay Little Spring Song" to get some rest.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Man. Once he enters the story, Bambi's happy forest home no longer feels safe.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the original novel. Among other things, the Disney adaptation cuts the Gobo subplot, where a young buck who gets too friendly with humans meets a terrible end, and the scene where the Great Prince shows Bambi that humans can die too.
  • Loud Gulp: Thumper when he's being seduced by the female bunny.
  • Meaningful Name: Bambi is derived from Bambino, the Italian word for baby. The names Thumper, Friend Owl, and Flower speak for themselves.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The opening scene is after Bambi's birth.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "Your mother can't be with you anymore." ...It's spring again! Birds are singing!
      • The midquel takes place in-between this gap.
    • Bambi is twitterpated with Faline...all of a sudden, a rival encounters him.
  • Musical Number Annoyance: Friend Owl is driven nuts by "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song" when he's trying to sleep.
  • No Body Left Behind: Crossed with Sound-Only Death. The body of Bambi's mother is never seen after being shot.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Old: Friend Owl doesn't age one bit between the Time Skip to when Bambi, Thumper and Flower become adults.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: As mentioned above, Bambi never finding his mother nor her killers, instead only being lost in a snowstorm, is scary by implication.
    • Man himself is never seen or heard, other than gunshots. We see his camp, but no one is in it.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted at the end. Flower names his son Bambi in honor of his friend and prince.
  • One-Word Title: Also a Protagonist Title.
  • Oh, Crap!: That infamous scene in which Faline disappears into the cloud during Bambi's fantasy, and then Ronno emerges from the cloud in her place, wanting to fight.
  • The Oner: The iconic, spectacular opening shot done completely with Disney's multiplane camera.
  • Papa Wolf: He may be a bit stiff and stern, but not even the threat of guns or a forest fire will stop the Great Prince from rescuing his son. The Great Prince will help Bambi step up on his two feet and shield him at the same time.
  • Passing the Torch: The film's conclusion. Bambi and the Great Prince stand watch on the cliff-top, then the Great Prince turns to his son and share a silent look before the former walks away, thus leaving Bambi alone as the new Great Prince.
  • Pop Culture Osmosis: It helps to be one of the oldest Disney films in the canon. Also, there is probably not a single person in the western world that does not know Bambi's mother dies.
  • Princesses Rule: A rare male version of this: Bambi's father is explicitly called the Great Prince, not a King, and Bambi is implied to take up the same mantle in the end.
  • Protagonist Title: The first film and the novel on which it's based are called Bambi. The novel does also have the frequently omitted secondary title, "A Life in the Woods".
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: A.K.A. "Bambi Eyes" in the film's case. Especially when he learned his mother is gone.
  • Random Events Plot: The film eschews traditional narrative in favor of episodic mood pieces with an overarching theme of friendship, love and growing up tying it all together. Considering the film is meant to be a naturalistic portrayal of nature, this works perfectly in the films favor.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: The films generally down to earth tone is occasionally cast aside for cartoonish gags, such as Flower turning stiff and completely red all over while falling in love and Friend Owl doing physically impossible actions like literally walking on air and contorting his head well beyond 360 degrees like his neck is made of rubber. The dream sequence when Bambi first meets the grown up Faline also counts as this.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • Sort of. Disney occasionally likes to recycle and will reuse animation if they need to. This has prompted the Fandom saying, "Bambi's mother lives!!!" Also, Bambi and his mother made a brief speaking cameo in the Donald Duck short "No Hunting".
    Bambi's mother: Man is in the forest. Let's dig out.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Faline doesn't really have much in the way of personality other than being a Genki Girl as a fawn, but even that is lost when she grows up. The midquel fleshes her out. Likewise, neither Thumper's nor Flower's love interests have any personality, though they only appear very briefly.
  • Sequel Hook: The scene with Faline and her fawns at the end of the first film was originally intended to set the stage for an adaptation of the sequel novel, Bambi's Children. Disney shortly canned the project however.
  • Serendipitous Symphony: "Little April Showers".
  • Sexophone: During the scene where Thumper gets twitterpatted by a lovely female rabbit. (Though, technically, it's played on a slinky clarinet.)
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Subtly. In "I Bring You a Song," the newly-paired Bambi and Faline frolic in the meadow by night. A gust of wind kicks up a burst of leaves and flower petals and the camera follows those while the song hits its climax... and when they finally settle we are back to the new couple, now calmly grazing.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Thumper and Flower both vanish from the film in the scenes preceding the winter storm and Bambi's mother getting shot.
  • Shown Their Work: The crew studied real deer and other animals so they could properly incorporate the behavior into their animal characters.
  • Silence Is Golden: The film is surprisingly light on dialogue, only having around 950 lines in the entire film. A fan analyzed the film and discovered that (not counting the non-diagetic songs and non-speaking voice effects), the film only has around 11 minutes of dialogue total out of its 1:10 runtime. The midquel has loads more dialogue, however.
  • Snow Means Death: A heavy snow begins falling as Bambi searches through the woods for his mother. By the time his father finds him and delivers the bad news, it's so thick we can barely make out either of them.
  • Something Else Also Rises: During the Twitterpated scene. First Flower the skunk becomes red and stiff as a board upon his encounter with a lady skunk; as he falls over the sound effects are certainly wooden. And then there's Thumper, whose romantic encounter leads to stiff ears, a stiff body, repeatedly appearing/retracting claws, and a madly thumping foot.
  • Sound-Only Death: We hear the fatal gunshot, but we don't actually see Bambi's mother die. Even Bambi is unaware of what's happened until he turns around and realizes she's not behind him.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the original novel, the only movie-shared characters to survive are Bambi, Faline, and their two fawns.
  • Stylized for the Viewer: The butterfly has no legs, not even when it lands on Bambi's tail.
  • Time Skip: After the infamous death scene, the next scene shows Bambi as a young adult, presumably during the second spring following. note  The midquel helps to patch up this gap.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Averted somewhat. One of the birds was so scared and desperate she tries to fly away as Man comes closer. She ends up getting her headshot off (at least, that's how it seems). Also Gobo was this in the book as previously mentioned.
  • Weird Crossover: There is an very old Disney comic story called "Thumper meets the Seven Dwarfs", where Thumper the rabbit encounters the Seven Dwarfs from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Friend Owl and Flower also appear, and they even encounter the giant from a Mickey Mouse cartoon Brave Little Tailor!
  • Wham Line: "Your mother can't be with you anymore."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Thumper's sisters for some reason aren't present during the final scene where Faline's new children is born, let alone shown as adults. Instead we see Thumper and Miss Bunny with their newborn children. They were last seen eating greens with Thumper when they encounter Bambi for the second time and don't show up for the rest of the film.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Friend Owl describing being "twitterpated" to the adult Bambi, Thumper and Flower.
  • Wing Shield: Two mother birds shield their young from the rain during the Lil' April Showers segment, the first being a red-headed robin who uses her wings to keep her young dry, though one sticks his head out and immediately gets hit by a raindrop in the face. Meanwhile, on the ground, a mother pheasant keeps her wings outstretched so her chicks can remain dry while they hurry home.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Bambi screams this when he's just about had enough of Faline's exuberance.

    Tropes the series as a whole provides examples of 
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the original novel, Bambi and the other deer were Roe Deer, but in the films they were White-Tailed Deer because the films were set in North America where there are no Roe Deer.
    • Upon the re-translation into German however, the terminology for the deer was completely mixed up, leading to what is commonly known as the Bambi-Lüge or Bambi-Irrtum. The German m/f/child terms for deer in general are Hirsch/Hirschkuh/Hirschkalb, while those specific to the Roe Deer species ("Reh") are Rehbock/Reh(geiß)/(Reh)Kitz. The German film translation however reverted to calling Bambi and his mother by the roe deer terms, while the father was left with the Hirsch befitting his looks. This resulted not only in people confusing what the respecive species looked like, but more importantly in thinking that the terms for a deer nuclear family were Hirsch/Reh/Kitz; generations of people were thusly miseducated, and it keeps on spreading, while often refusing correction.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Ronno in both films. In the novel, he's actually friendly to Bambi in the first part of the story and has a larger role. In the first movie, he appears in only one scene as a random, non speaking antagonist. The midquel expands his role, but also portrays him as a cowardly bully and Attention Whore who is an out and out enemy of Bambi.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Despite being featured in a more down to earth setting, it is very difficult if not impossible to pin down a specific point in time in the series. There is no indication of what time the film or its midquel take place or where beyond the general depiction of an eastern American forest. The stories do not feature any (on-screen) humansnote , only animals in the wild who have basic, symbolic personalities, and there are zero pop culture references, so there's hardly anything within the setting that could ever become dated. Even the characters more humanized behaviour in the direct-to-video midquel is just detached enough from any specific human culture to remain rooted outside of any specific time or place.
  • Animation Bump: The first film, and surprisingly the second, had some of Disney's top notch animation. However the studio's artstyle change over six decades is evident in areas, even with the second film making some effort to emulate the original. Generally the first film focuses more greatly on elegance and scenery, while the second has a wider emphasis on character acting and expressions and is often more frenetic.
  • Anti-Villain: According to animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in their book The Disney Villain, Man, the villain of Bambi, is this, simply because he had no comprehension of the pain and terror he was inflicting on what he simply thought were mindless animals.
    "The biggest threat, of course, is from the predator, man, and his gun. As victims, the deer have no way of combating this foe and must suffer the consequences. Man, for his part, has no thought or understanding of the pain he has inflicted on the wild animals by pursing his own personal desires. There is no villainy in his heart when he kills Bambi's mother, yet to the audience, this is an event that stays with them for the rest of their lives."
  • Artistic License Biology:
    • Aside from the well studied movement and anatomy of the animals, there are very, very few things that are accurate to the real life behaviour and biology of the animals in both of the Disney films and their tie-ins, especially in regards to the deer themselves. There are so many liberties or inaccuracies, that the series has its own subpage for it.
    • Generally averted with the original Felix Salten novel. While it is not void of its own liberties and it does humanize the animals to a point, it presents the specific behaviours and biology of the animals much more accurately. Bambi's Children tones this down by humanizing their behaviour even more, but not to the extent of the Disney series.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Both Bambi and his father do this in both films.
    • Bambi saves Faline from a pack of hunting dogs by his late in the first film.
    • The Great Prince saves Bambi from getting shot by a hunter and his dogs in the midquel.
  • Big Good: The Great Prince of the Forest and later Bambi himself.
  • The Cameo: Being an iconic Disney character, Bambi and other characters have made multiple reappearances in Disney media:
    • Bambi himself actually makes an appearance in person in the crowd of toons in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and in one scene early in the film, Thumper is mentioned by Roger himself to be his uncle.
    • Also, Judge Doom was originally planned to be the killer of Bambi's mother in a shocking revelation. It ultimately never made it into the final film, unfortunately.
    • Also, Bambi makes a cameo (as a silhouette) in the end of The Lion King 1 .
    • A cell of Bambi is used to document Disney's ink and paint department in The Reluctant Dragon, after which it briefly springs to life in proper animation.
    • Bambi and his father also make a cameo in The Simpsons Movie.
    • Bambi's mom's head is mounted on Gaston's wall.
    • Bambi and his mom cameo in the Disney Classic Short No Hunting.
      "Man is in the forest. Let's dig out."
    • As with many characters of Disney Animated Canon, Bambi and other characters from the original film frequently cameo as audience members in House of Mouse.
    • Bambi's mom can also be seen as the deer Shere Khan is hunting in his introductory scene in The Jungle Book (1967), to the bottom right in the first frame of the prologue to Beauty and the Beast, and her and Bambi both shows up during the song "Someone's Waiting For You" in the first Rescuers movie. All of these appearances are the animation of she and Bambi eating grass before the infamous death scene.
    • There's something eerily familiar about Kay aiming his bow at a deer in The Sword in the Stone...
  • Carnivore Confusion: Salten addresses it a bit more directly than Disney does. In the Disney film, the only predators are Friend Owl and Flower (not counting the hunter's dogs), and neither is actually shown eating anything (or anyone). In fact, the worst Friend Owl does to a squirrel is that he gives it an angry glare when it doesn't want to go away from looking at Bambi.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Both films, particularly the first one, vary between being some of Disney's most lighthearted, sentimental and cutesy animation and some of their darkest, most brutal animation.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Along with not one but two comic book retellings of the film itself, Disney also published a comic of the original novel's sequel Bambi's Children. Though still using the film's mythos and cast, it follows the story of the second novel closer than the film did the first.
  • Coming of Age Story: Bambi, and to a lesser extent his friends, goes from a child to a mature adult and then a father over the course of the film.
  • Cowardly Lion: Bambi in the midquel.
  • Crossover: Some of the old Dell comics have crossovers with other Disney series, such as "Thumper Meets The Seven Dwarves" and an issue where Bambi (as a yearling) meets Chip N Dale.
  • Crown-Shaped Head: Deer are treated as royalty (for example, Bambi is often referred to as Young Prince, and Bambi's father carries the title Great Prince). Their antlers form a natural crown over their heads.
  • Disappeared Dad: The Prince of the Forest barely interacts with Bambi, only showing up at important moments when his son needs help. This is consistent with nature, as fawns are raised exclusively by their mothers. However, Bambi's father dropped the disappearing act and took over the parenting duties after the death of his mother, as confirmed years later in the midquel Bambi II.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ronno naming his antlers...
  • Dub Species Change: A weird case happened in the German translation, where Bambi's father is referred to as a red deer while Bambi himself and his mom are referred to as roe deers. As a result, this created a common misconception in Germany that red deers are the adult males of roe deers.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the first half of the film doesn't invoke this trope, the second half plays it brilliantly. First loses his mother; later he goes through a tough fight for his mate (but wins). Then he gets chased after by dogs, gets shot...AND has to get back up and run. And his home gets destroyed by a forest fire. But the film ends with a healthy new forest some time later, the birth of Bambi's children, and Bambi finally assuming the mantle of The Great Prince of the Forest, the latter done without any words being spoken. This trope is played to such an extent that it's likely this is one of the films that particularly inspired Don Bluth, practically the king of said trope in animated movies.
    • The midquel only extends these hardships to greater heights! Bambi is forced to cope with the loss of his mother and he tries to earn the love of his father, only to be given away to a stepmother (on the grounds that his father believes that he has no business raising children, ironically). He also ends up getting stung by a porcupine, and he risks his life to save his would-be-stepmom from a pack of hunting dogs, and after a long chase scene it ends with the dogs defeated...and him falling off a high cliff. Despite early impressions, he survives and finally earns the love and affection of his father, who finally accepts Bambi as his child, without any words being spoken. The film also ends with Bambi getting an accidental smooch from Faline, and his father showing him where he and Bambi's mother first met.
  • Enclosed Space: The story is set entirely in the boundaries of the forest, which the characters never leave. Justified as the Maine woods, especially in the 1940's (and still somewhat even today) are quite extensive.
  • Expanded Universe: Along with the midquel, the film has a relatively modest one, mainly composed of vintage comic books and many miscellaneous comic stories scattered throughout various Disney magazines, as well as various childrens storybooks published throughout the years, like the Disney Bunnies spinoff books. While many of these comics are non-canon crossovers with other Disney series that often blatantly contradict the films, a few of them manage to remain consistent with the tone and feel of the films (with the midquel even making some subtle Mythology Gags). One of the old Dell Comics notably did an adaptation of the novels sequel, Bambi's Children.
  • The Ghost:
    • Thumper's father, who never once appears on-screen in either films, even though Thumper's mother constantly brings up one of his Green Aesops if Thumper is ever giving her trouble or causing it. This is later averted in one of the Disney Bunnies storybooks, where he finally appears in person.
    • Man is also included, except in Bambi's Children, where their presence is open and clear.
  • Humanlike Foot Anatomy: Flower the skunk has feet that look like human feet and Thumper and other rabbits have footpads.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: To the forest animals, Man is a horror beyond understanding, let along fighting. They flee and hide at the mere hint of a human presence.
  • Interquel:
    • Bambi II, a direct to video film made by Disneytoon Studios, which is, despite its title, a midquel set after the death of Bambi's mother midway through the first film and before the Time Skip to Bambi as a yearling. Notably, it is one of the very few offshoots of the first film where the plot is centered on what happened after the film's midway point.
    • "Bambi's Winter Trail", a children's storybook, is a minor one that is set after the day Bambi first sees snow, but well before the fateful day where his mother dies.
    • There are also many other children's storybooks set during Bambi's infancy (e.g. the Little Golden Book "Bambi: Friends of the Forest"), and thus set between events of the first film.
  • Jerkass: Bambi's father, mainly in the original film. He says barely five sentences to his son throughout the entire film and all of them make him sound distant, demanding and utterly disappointed in his son. The midquel still has traces of this, but makes it a plot point that his character softens throughout the film.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has shades of this in both films, but it's much more obvious in the midquel.
  • Kissing Cousins: Bambi and Faline in the original novel. Bambi and Faline are still listed as cousins in some licensed books based off the Disney version. Whether or not it's canon in the movies but never mentioned is unknown.
  • Language Barrier: It is implied that humans cannot hear animals speak English (or any human language).
  • Leitmotif: Love is a Song and a snippet of I Bring You A Song in the original film. Love is a Song also pops up as a leitmotif in the midquel, as well as an all new leitmotif (entitled "Bambi and the Great Prince" on the soundtrack disc) for scenes with Bambi and his father.
    • "Man"'s presence is only indicated by a three-note motif that plays over and over and gets louder and louder, until a gunshot is heard. Supposedly, this was the inspiration for the minor-second motif for the shark in Jaws.
  • Lighter and Softer: The original film when compared to the original novel, and the midquel when compared to the original film. Tie in material to the films usually play up the more cute, sentimental elements of them, leaving out the darker elements.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: Despite the many, many liberties taken with the animal's specific behavior and biology, the films otherwise treat the animals as if they are in a real life forest, with cartoonish exaggeration only sparsely being used in the animation. In short, Bambi isn't at all realistic in its presentation of wildlife, but it treats its world of caricatured animals with believable conviction.
  • Loose Canon: Some of the spinoff comics and storybooks—the ones that don't contain elements that blatantly contradict the films, such as any issue with a crossover with another Disney property—fall into this. They stay consistent with the tone and nature of the films, but they also don't influence or add content onto them in any significant way either, barring showing what Thumper's father actually looks and acts like, and naming a few of the more minor characters.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: California Quail in the Maine woods. Also, a surprising example of artistic license in a movie which is otherwise amazingly accurate to the nature and animals (see Shown Their Work above) it's based off of...for the most part anyways.
    • Also, the quails' calls are wrong; they sound more like Bobwhite Quails instead...
  • Mood Whiplash: "Your mother can't be with you anymore. Come with me, my son." This line cuts directly to the most happiest song of the movie. The midquel (which takes place within the Time Skip) serves largely as a smoother transition point between the two scenes.
  • Musical Spoiler: Man's presence in the film is represented only be a recurring three note leitmotif.
  • Never Say "Die": The line, "Your mother can't be with you anymore." Also in the midquel, when the Great Prince outright restrains himself from saying "killed" or "die". This is Truth in Television, as many people find it hard to apply these words to people they love. Especially if it was recent and sudden.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters' parents have actual names.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: You never once see Man in either of the films (although he/they are seen in the novels on occasion) but that makes him (they?) more terrifying than your usual Disney villain. Man is the second highest-ranking Disney villain in "AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains", surpassed only by the Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and is also the only villain on the entire list who is never seen.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Zig Zagged. Faline plays this trope straight as both a fawn and a doe, while Bambi's mother averts it, being colored more or less the same as The Great Prince. Then there are several background bucks that invert the trope by being colored lighter than the others as well.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: There are many, particularly Thumper and Flower.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds of the movies look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Perhaps the best known example is the long forest pan at the very start of the first film.
  • Shown Their Work: When it comes to the movement of the animals, Disney pulled out all stops to get it accurate — Disney had a pair of live baby deer shipped down from Maine so the animators could study their movements first hand, and one animator even pulled apart the corpse of a dead fawn he acquired to study how the skeleton and muscles of it worked. They also had a small zoo of other animals on hand to help with their studies as well. But when it comes to the specific biology and behaviour of deer and other animals? Lets just say there's a very good reason Bambi has its own subpage for Artistic License Biology.
    • Not only that, but he sent his artists to camp out in the Maine woods and take hundreds upon hundreds of photographs to recreate the environment exactly. That clearing where Bambi is born? Really exists.
    • The portrayal of how bucks begin fighting over a doe is accurate by showing a buck (Bambi) following a doe in heat (Faline) into the territory of another buck (Ronno).
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification:
    • The first film is a type 2 (Recognizable Adaptation).
    • The comic adaptation of Bambi's Children hovers between a type 3 (Pragmatic Adaptation) and a type 4 (Near Identical Adaptation). Some story elements are changed and condensed and it follows the mythos of the first film, but its much more faithful to its source material than the first movie was to its respective novel.
  • Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue: The first film leans firmly on the Visuals end of the scale. The film notably has less than 900 lines of dialogue in the entire film. The midquel has far more conversation scenes, but still quiets for visual elements more than most other Disney films.
  • Spin-Off: Thumper received his own series of books called "Disney Bunnies" in the 2000's.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Despite being the Trope Codifier for many cutesy baby forest anima] franchises, the first film was noticeably ominous and dark in many areas, especially after the Time Skip where upon Bambi is no longer an innocent fawn but a badass stag constantly under threat of predators and hunters. The midquel is Lighter and Softer, though still stays loyal to the dark undertones and showing Bambi's maturing in parts.
  • Unnamed Parent: All of them.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Twitterpated" for "smitten".
  • Urban Legends: There is a rumor that they were trying to imply in Beauty and the Beast that Gaston killed Bambi's mother. Evidence for this is that she can be seen in the opening, and that there is a mounted doe head visible during one of Gaston's Villain Songs. Evidence against this is that Bambi takes place in North America, whereas Beauty and the Beast takes place in Francenote .
  • Voodoo Shark: The series has a minor one in the form of how fast the characters age. The original movie implies that the Spring after Bambi's Mother died is the immediate Spring afterward, making it rather strange that Bambi has suddenly undergone a big growth spurt when we had last seen him as a scrawny fawn (to say nothing of how Bambi should have already been close to that large by winter if real life deer aging is taken into account). At least one of the Dell Comic adaptations of the first movie, as well as the midquel movie, tries to Hand Wave this by stating that the spring we see Yearling Bambi in is actually takes place a year after that fateful winter and isnt the immediate spring, which gives a much more plausible length of time for Bambi to grow so much. But then another Disney comic adaptation also stated that it was the immediate Spring and not a later one. And then the Dell comic book adaptation of Bambi's Children throws a wrench into all of this by having the eponymous fawns abruptly shown grow up after winter via a Time Skip—but this time, the narration explicitly points out that its the immediate spring and not a later one!
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Friend Owl describing being "twitterpated" to Bambi, Thumper and Flower.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The forest appears to be set somewhere in North America, but its exact location is never identified in either of the films or their tie-in materials.
  • Wild Wilderness: The forest of both films.
  • Woodland Creatures: Whereas in most Disney movies woodland creatures are background characters, in this one they are the stars of the movie.



Bambi's mother tells him to stay put while she checks if the meadow is safe to visit.

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