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Western Animation / Bambi II

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Spoilers for Bambi are unmarked here. You Have Been Warned!

"Who better to raise the young prince...than the Great Prince himself."
Friend Owl

A 2006 Interquel to the fifth Disney Animated Canon film, Bambi. Produced by Disneytoon Studios, it was a Direct to Video release for parts of the U.S. and Asia, and theatrical elsewhere.

Taking place immediately after the death of Bambi's (Alexander Gould*) mother and before the Time Skip in the first film, the Great Prince (Patrick Stewart) is left taking care of Bambi. With reluctance, the Great Prince decides to raise him until spring, though as he comes to bond with Bambi, and the young fawn maturing and desiring attention from his father, will the stern stag change his mind?

Released 64 years after the original film, Bambi II holds the world record for the longest Sequel Gap between two consecutive installments of a film franchise.

The film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Amalgamation: While the film is largely its own unique story, it does feature several nods to not just the first film, but the two original novels and even some earlier Disney tie-in media. See Mythology Gag below.
  • Animation Bump: Compared to most of other Direct to Video sequels by Disney, Bambi II has an impressive cinema-level animation budget. Despite the extra attention to detail however, obvious styles have changed since the original. In particular, the realism of the animal characters themselves is downplayed for more standard cartoony physics and expressions.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: As his father escorts him home, a heartbroken Bambi asks the stag a question about his mother.
    Bambi: She's never coming she?
    The Great Prince: (sadly) No.
  • Artistic License – Biology: As with the first film, numerous liberties are taken with the animals biology and behavior, although there are a few things they got right sandwiched inbetween.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In the midquel, Thumper's Sisters end up as supporting characters in the film. Throughout the film, they are constantly searching for their big brother Thumper.
    • The Great Prince also has a bigger role in the film and even has more lines compared to the first film where he only had a handful of speaking lines.
    • Ronno was just a brief rival for Bambi in one scene of the original film and had minimal characterization and No Name Given. In this film, he's a fully fledged antagonist.
  • Accidental Kiss: At the end of the movie, a porcupine from earlier decides to prick Bambi in the behind (this happened earlier, too), causing him to leap forward and end up smooching Faline. She doesn't seem to mind.
  • Always Second Best: The midquel retroactively makes Ronno's rivalry with Bambi based on this, since Bambi continuously outperformed Ronno by accident when they were fawns, furthering the latter's hatred of him.
  • Bambification: Deconstructed even further than the original film. While the film has its fair share of cutesy moments, its greater focus on Character Development leads to emphasis on the personality flaws of Bambi and the other deer characters in the franchise. Especially evident with the fawn characters, Ronno (who is a straight up ego-driven antagonist) and Bambi himself (who harbours a fair amount of angst and ultimately Takes A Level In Badass).
  • Berserk Button: Ronno intentionally pushes Bambi's to anger him into fighting him, mocking his father's disapproval and intent to send him away. It works very well.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Thumper and Ronno (though it fades for both in the presence of their mothers).
  • Brick Joke: While Bambi and friends are practicing roars, Flower sincerely says that he thinks turtles are scary. Just near the end, Ronno has an unfortunate run in with a turtle clinging to his nose, which Flower saying it proved his point.
  • Broken Ace: The Great Prince is as gallant and badass as he was in the first film, but has inner struggles due to the recent death of his mate and his concern over how to raise his son.
  • Call-Forward:
    • When Bambi and co. first meet Ronno, he nervously asks what the hurry is, "Forest fire?"
    • Near the end, Friend Owl grumpily mentions Twitterpation when Bambi and Faline kiss. When Flower asks, Friend Owl says he'll tell him about it when he's older. Before that, Friend Owl remarks to Bambi that he almost didn't recognize him without his spots, similar to a scene midway through the first film.
    • After Bambi's first encounter with the porcupine, Ronno tries to coerce Faline away as she protests. The manner in which he does this directly mimics how he tries to force her away from Bambi when they're adults.
    • In a similar manner, when Ronno finally pushes Bambi too far, several moments from the ensuing scuffle directly homage their iconic fight in the original.
    • The cast at one point burst into a chorus of "Gay Little Spring Song" from the first film, earning the same irritated reaction from Friend Owl as it did there.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: A heartbroken Bambi gets really angry when he abruptly discovers that his father was planning to send him to live with his new stepmother, and goes as far as to saying that he wish his mother was with him, and accuses him of only caring about him being the next prince of the forest, and not caring about him as a son. It also makes sense from a narrative standpoint, since Bambi had been spending a good chunk of the film trying to earn his father's approval and finally started to bond with him, only for Friend Owl to break the news to him at the worst possible time. Making matters worse is that the Great Prince had actually intended to call off the arrangement, but wasn't able to explain it to him because Bambi was too hurt to listen, making him believe he has to go through with it anyway.
  • Central Theme: The main theme of the film is coming to terms with one's fears, accepting them and overcoming them, and not trying to be something you're not to become better. The main contrast between Bambi and Ronno highlights the theme.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The Great Prince makes it very clear from the get-go how big of a responsibility being a prince is to Bambi, and its clear the Great Prince takes his job very seriously at the expense of anything else. This plays a big part of the midquels conflict and eventually even causes a riff between Bambi and his father.
  • Character Development: While the midquel humanizes the characters more than the original, it also makes the characters personalities a little more rounded and three dimensional than previously. Bambi becomes more assertive, but without losing his demure qualities. Thumper becomes more of a Bratty Half-Pint with a Motor Mouth (his friendship with Bambi also spotlighted more) and the Great Prince becomes less cold and distant and more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Even characters who barely had any characterization in the first film, such as Faline, Flower, and Ronno, are fleshed out in it.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Bambi's pathetic "roar" and Thumper's "grr" faces. In the climax, when Flower makes his "scaredest" one he actually sprays into a hunter dog's face, leaving Bambi with one less enemy to run away from. Bambi uses his bleating to distract the hunter dogs from Mena.
    • Also the "Feel the forest" tactic the Great Prince taught Bambi which allows him to feel the presence of other animals through the ground vibrations. Also used in the climax to evade to hunting dogs closing in on him.
  • Cold Open: Besides that the film literally starts off in the dead of winter, it takes place immediately after the midway point in the first film where Bambi's mother dies, setting up Bambi moving in with his father, and Friend Owl persuading him to take care of Bambi until he can find a suitable doe, taking several minutes before we even get to the title.
  • Continuity Snarl: A minor one in the ending. In the original film, Friend Owl remarks to the adult Bambi that he has never seen him without spots before. In the midquel's epilogue, Friend Owl is present when the group first sees the slightly older Bambi without his spots for the first time, though at the very least, Bambi is much easier to recognise here than he is as an adult.
  • Cringe Comedy: Bambi has quills in his butt from the Porcupine, and his pained howling brings Faline running. He tries to avoid letting Faline see where he's hurt, while Thumper tries to pull out the last quill. Embarrassed, he reassures Faline that he’s fine…but shouts out as Thumper removes the quill.
  • Cue the Shooting Star: After the climax, when it's revealed to his father and to his friends that Bambi survived Man's dogs as well as falling off a small cliff, he and the Great Prince properly reconcile and nuzzle each other. And as the storm clouds fade in the background, a shooting star goes past.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to most previous Disneytoon Studios projects, which were often Denser and Wackier against their source material. While the film maintains the original's whimsicality and cuteness and even adds some goofier humour, it also follows its darker subject matter and atmosphere and also gives far more psychological focus on the cast, in particular Bambi and his father coming to terms with the death of his mother.
  • Deconstruction: Of the original Bambi. While the first film had somewhat human characterizations for the animals with sapient gestures and expressions and implied behavior not natural to their real life counterparts, the element was still kept vague and did not deter too much from the naturalistic flow of the story. Bambi II by comparison develops on the traits of the cast implied in the original to give them agency to the story (without betraying the universe's realism to a drastic degree) and even delves into the psychological effects of events in the first film (in particular the death of Bambi's mother), making the film more of a character study. Doubles as a Reconstruction given it's a Midquel for the same plot as the first film and thus will lead to the same circumstances that occur in it regardless.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Quite literally. As a result of his traumatic experiences with Man, Bambi is left paralyzed with fear whenever he spots hunters or dogs closing in on him. He overcomes it in the climax.
  • Disney Death: After managing to fend off all of the hunting dogs, Bambi falls off a breaking ledge straight afterwards and seemingly perishes. Obviously, being a Midquel, he survives after all.
  • Disney Villain Death: Not a conventional villain per se, but as Bambi tries to escape a pack of hunting dogs up a cliff during the climax, the remaining dogs fall or slide off and are not heard from again.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Ronno is a bully to Bambi and some of the younger animals but as a Deer, he is also hunted by Man.
  • Fear-Induced Idiocy: When Bambi and The Great Prince are confronted by hunters, Bambi goes into a literal state of Deer in the Headlights and is unable to move from his spot, resulting in him nearly being caught. The Prince yells at him for just standing there.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Handled quite realistically. Bambi goes through denial, is nearly killed as a result, and comes to terms with his mother's death, while his father spends the movie struggling to bottle up his own grief.
  • Fooled by the Sound: Bambi is lured into a hunter's trap with a deer call. This is in fact Truth in Television, as deer hunters utilize such weapons to emulate a deer's bray near perfectly. Rather tragically however, from Bambi's perspective the call is humanized to sound like his mother.
  • Foregone Conclusion: During the climax Bambi falls off a cliff and seemingly dies. The scene exists solely to galvanisze the bond between him and his father from this near loss, since everyone in the audience knows Bambi has to live past half of the original film's chronology.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point, Thumper laments that Bambi's new life with his father means he never has time for his friends anymore. Without a trace of sarcasm, Faline calls this "wonderful." Adulthood will find Bambi observing Faline and their new fawns from a distance, with Faline apparently fine with this.
    • When Faline and Ronno hear Bambi's squeals of pain, Ronno dismisses it as “some poor dumb animal caught in a trap”. In the climax, Ronno is completely at fault for Mena getting caught in a snare.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Towards the second half, there is a quick father and son bonding moment between Bambi and his dad, the Great Prince, when the latter blows a raspberry on Bambi's belly while they are rough-housing.
  • Guile Hero: Bambi takes on a pack of hunting dogs like in the first film. Since he is too young to fight them here though, he relies on leading them into whatever traps the forest provides. He even uses the same trick of dislodging a rock slide onto some of them like he does in the original.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bambi literally freezes in terror at the sight of Man's hunting dogs, but the Great Prince snaps him out of it just in time before the hunter can shoot him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bambi willingly puts himself in danger by distracting a pack of hunting dogs away from Mena and having them chase him instead.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Bambi and Thumper. This was already heavily implied in the first film, but it's in full throttle here. Thumper does everything to help Bambi connect with his father and greatly prefers his company over his sisters.
  • History Repeats: The scene of Bambi and his father running from Man is shot in nearly the exact same way as it is in the first film. The gun is even fired at the same time; only here, it misses.
  • I Can Explain: The Great Prince may not say the exact phrase, he has this moment when Bambi finds out about the arrangement of living with his new stepmother and tries to explain his motives to Bambi, but Bambi is too heartbroken to listen.
    Bambi: (to his father) You're sending me away?
    The Great Prince: No! Just... just let me explain.
  • Ignored Enemy: Despite being the closest thing the film has to a villain, Ronno is barely acknowledged by the other characters whenever he isn't onscreen. Ronno is clearly far more passionate about his rivalry with Bambi than Bambi himself is.
  • Immediate Sequel: Or rather, Midquel. The film starts right at the midpoint of the first film where Bambi's mother dies and he finds the Great Prince.
  • Internal Homage: The film does several as a Foreshadowing to the later events of the first film. Bambi's fight with Ronno in particular is practically a tamer recreation of their fight as bucks, completely with shot and lighting similarities.
  • Interquel: The movie takes place in-between after Bambi's mother's death and before the Mood Whiplash to spring.
  • Jerkass: Ronno and the Porcupine, the latter of whom is exclusive to Bambi II. In the porcupine's case, he's just very grumpy and territorial, while Ronno is an out and out bully.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Ronno makes up a story about Man, he wasn't wrong when he points out that Man has a deer whistle and says I'm here, which is why the Great Prince calls Bambi out for falling for Man's trick when he thought it was his mother.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: Ronno's a bully and a braggart who can't back up his claims, so naturally, whenever he boasts or is mean to Bambi, he will be knocked down a few pegs shortly afterwards.
  • Kick the Dog: Ronno does this to Bambi just near the climax of the film, deliberately goading him into a fight by openly mocking him by insinuating that he's such an embarrassment to his father that he would "give him away" to another doe. Bambi does not take it well.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Bambi's mother's death, since the entire plot of the midquel is centered on the consequences of it, and the fact that the Great Prince is his father.
  • The Lost Lenore: Implied with the Great Prince over Bambi’s mother. He doesn’t want Bambi to mention her, to “leave the past in the past”. Every time Bambi recalls his mother, The Prince looks sad and wistful, as well as when he brings Bambi to the spot they first met.
  • Luring in Prey: An especially creepy version as the monster in question is Man: Bambi is drawn to what he hears to be the sound of his dead mother's voice, but it's not until he steps out of the forest that he realizes it's from humans using what the audience can recognize as a deer call, ready to sic their guns and hunting dogs on him.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The dream sequence where Bambi sees his mom leaves it ambiguous as to whether or not it really is her coming back from the afterlife to see him one last time, or if its just a despair induced dream instead.
  • Midquel: This movie takes place in-between the Mood Whiplash of the first film, following the death of Bambi's mother before the Time Skip to spring years later.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Ronno. When he first appears, he boasts that he crept up on Man and attacked him with his "trusty antlers". In the climax, when Mena stumbles into a trap that alerts Man, and his hounds are fast approaching, Ronno instantly bails, screaming for "Mommy".
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Being a midquel set between the second and third act of the first film, the story doesn't add much new content to the Bambi universe or the first film's story, aside from expanding on some of the characters personalities and some minor Worldbuilding. It works as a side story that you don't need to see in order to follow the original. Some of the story beats of the original are reused in the context of Internal Homage. The more character-driven narrative is generally a fair bit different from the original film however, still giving the midquel a somewhat unique tone and direction, especially in how it contextualises some characters and how they grow between the Time Skip.
  • Mocking Sing-Song: Thumper. When Bambi is trying to improve his jumping skill to impress his father, Thumper mocks him to ensure he'll make the jump.
    Thumper: You're too afraaaiid, you cannot juuuuummmp, na na na na na, na, na, na, na na...
  • Moose Are Idiots: A grouchy porcupine insults the Great Prince by calling him a "Big Moose".
  • Mythology Gag: The midquel has a few, not just to original film and its development, but the original novels and even some of Disney's spin off material:
    • The scene where Bambi falls for the hunter deer call and his dad saves him, resembles a moment in the original book, where The Great Prince saves Bambi's life after he nearly runs towards a hunter imitating a doe's call.
    • Bambi's experience with the porcupine may also be a nod to recurring entries in the novels concerning an ornery hedgehog that pricks the fawns. The porcupine's design also looks heavily based on one used in the Little Golden Book "Bambi: Friends of the Forest".
    • The Annoying Younger Sibling dynamic Thumper has from his baby sisters was also previously used in Disney storybooks.
    • A quarrelling squirrel and chipmunk provide comic relief in the "There Is Life" sequence. The original film had the two animals plotted for a similar role, but most of their scenes were deleted besides silent background appearances.
  • Never Say "Die": "Bambi! I'm surprised to see you moving."
  • Never Trust a Title: Much like Disney's other midquels, Bambi 2 is not chronologically correct. Curiously, the film went by the more accurate title, Bambi and the Great Prince of the forest during production stages.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Friend Owl eventually finds a suitable doe to raise Bambi far away, but unintentionally drops the news to Bambi and his father at the worst possible time, just when they started bonding, which causes a brief rift between Bambi and his father before he sends him away. Bambi does reconcile and accept his fate, even before his father sends him off though. In Friend Owl's defence, it was him that advised the Great Prince to look after Bambi in the first place.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Ronno hadn't goaded Bambi into fighting him, which in turn unintentionally caused Mena to fall into a hunter's trap and prompt Bambi to rescue her by distracting a pack of hunting dogs at the risk of his own life, Bambi wouldn't have reunited with his father and friends.
  • No Fathers Allowed: Deconstructed. Like in the original novel, the Great Prince lives mostly in seclusion, watching the herd from afar. When his mate is killed by a hunter, he is wary about raising Bambi himself since general order of things is that he doesn't care for the young. As time passes, however, he grows a bond with Bambi and relents.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Most of the cast lack the Southern dialects the original cast had. Patrick Stewart voices the Great Prince with his natural British accent.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Great Prince when he sees the glare of a hunter's rifle scope in the distance.
  • Parental Title Characterization: Throughout the film, Bambi refers to the Great Prince as "Sir" to reflect the latter's distant and somewhat intimidating nature to him. Them fully developing a loving bond is culminated by Bambi finally calling him "Dad", an even less formal term than his "Mother" whom he had a far more relaxed and affectionate relationship with beforehand.
  • Parents as People: Adding onto Bambi's life lessons is realising this. Compared to the harmonic relationship he had with his mother, his father, though genuinely wanting what is best for him, has problems connecting with him due to his aloof demeanour, and is not remotely prepared to care for Bambi since it is not the natural approach of things.
  • Plot Armor: Being an interquel set between the midpoint of the first film, Bambi was guaranteed to survive the high fall that seemingly kills him.
  • Post-Game Retaliation: Ronno after Bambi finally knocks him down during their tussle. Mena intervenes, but a seething Ronno bucks Bambi from behind, knocking Mena into a trap and setting off the climax.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: While the plot was directly kicked off by Man's actions in the first film, they only get one scene in focus early on. The conflict is mostly Bambi trying to bond with his father, with Ronno being the closest thing to an antagonist for the bulk of the film until the climax, where Man's precense is implied due to the pack of hunting dogs going after Bambi, but they don't directly take part in it.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • In a less conventional sense, for certain shots throughout the film, the movie's background artists scanned and modified art from the original Bambi for authenticity purposes.
    • Though the entire cast are given new voice actors for the Interquel, the recreation of the first film during the Cold Opening uses clips of Bambi and the Great Prince's original actors.
  • Retcon: The opening, which recreates the scene of Bambi finding his father after his mother died, deliberately leaves out the line of dialogue from the original that has him call Bambi his son, for the sake of the film's narrative.
  • Scare Chord: During the scene where the Great Prince rescues Bambi from a pack of hunting dogs, this is used when he sees a glint on the targeting lens of the hunter's rifle way off in the distance.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: Bambi has jumped across the chasm, and Thumper takes the opportunity to taunt Ronno for his hesitation. Ronno abruptly sees something offscreen and begins to shrink back. Bambi and Thumper, assuming he’s afraid of the jump, triumphantly turn to walk away… and that’s when they see the Great Prince.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: At one point, the trio gets chased away by a swarm of bees, and The Great Prince has a near encounter with a hornets nest (but Bambi points it out to him, saving him the trouble of dealing with those pests).
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Subverted; Thumper and Flower play a small, but important, role in the climax by using Flower's musk to scare off some of the hunting dogs chasing Bambi. They're also present when Bambi has seemingly fallen to his death.
  • Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue: Compared to the first film, which was renowned for having less than 900 spoken words of dialogue, the midquel has far more extensive amounts of conversation, though it still retains a larger amount of quiet, visual heavy moments than a standard Disney film.
  • Smug Snake: Ronno when he's teasing Bambi, especially near the end of the film.
  • Start of Darkness: Ronno gets this due to his expanded role compared to the first film. He starts off as a bratty Attention Whore, and escalates into a bully and full blown rival to Bambi.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Thumper and the Porcupine compare Bambi to a squirrel when he tries to act intimidating.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Bambi's upbringing becomes this as a result of his mother's death, due to tradition and his standard stoic disposition, his father is completely unadjusted to raising him, leading to a much more contentious relationship between father and son.
  • Tragic Dream: Bambi early on has some hope of seeing his mother alive again, but it crumbles when it nearly gets him killed by a hunter.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The film focuses on Bambi's transitioning of such as a fawn, starting off a timid, bumbling child crippled by fear, to stealthy, bold and heroic as he is as a stag in the first film. This comes to a full display when he risks his life to save a trapped doe from hunting dogs.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Ronno has green eyes in this film, and is driven by wanting to be better than Bambi. He's a quite literal Green-Eyed Monster.
    • When learning how to be brave, Bambi is briefly shown having a pair of large rabbit like teeth to grit with (which is something real deer don't have). In other words, he's buck-toothed.
  • Weaponized Stench: While Thumper is trying to teach Bambi how to be brave, they discover that Flower unleashes his odor when he attempts to growl. When Bambi is being chased by a pack of hunting dogs in the climax, Thumper tells Flower to make his "brave face". He sprays one of the oncoming dogs, throwing the pack into disarray.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Bambi deeply wants to impress his father.
  • Worldbuilding: The midquel has bits of this as a byproduct of humanizing the animals more than they had already been in the original film (which isn't a new idea in the Bambi universe per se, as it was sometimes present in the comic book tie-ins, it was just the first time it was applied to an actual movie). It adds new characters and locations in the forest that weren't seen before, and builds on an idea that the animals have a primitive form of culture (i.e. celebrating holidays like Groundhog Day, the characters briefly singing an actual song with lyrics in-universe, the Prince's beliefs of how he and his son should conduct themselves being firmly rooted in a tradition as opposed to just being driven by animal instinct). However, aspects of it manage to stay consistent with the original film's naturalistic depiction of nature, such as the plot point of the Great Prince ordering Friend Owl to find a doe to adopt Bambi instead of having him raise him, which of course is rooted in the fact that stags never have anything to do with raising their fawns (which was already strongly implied in the first film, but not outright stated).
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Early in the film, Bambi still believes there's a chance his mother is still alive, and this causes him to fall for a hunter's deer call, which almost gets him killed and shatters any hope he previously had about it, and earns him a harsh dressing down by his father for falling for it.


Video Example(s):



Bambi and the gang encounter the bullying fawn Ronno, who turns out to be the rival he fights when older.

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Main / TheBully

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