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YMMV / Bambi II

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Does Bambi realize the true fate of his mother? The midquel implies via a late night conversation between Bambi and his father that he doesn't even realize what really happened to her, and naively assumes that she's simply missing and resting elsewhere. Or, going by an earlier scene where he quietly and solemnly asks "She's never coming back, is she?" to his father, its possible that he does know and simply doesn't comprehend what death really is due to his young age. Its also possible that even after that fateful night, he's still clinging to some small hope that he'll see her again one day.
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    • A big source of why Ronno tends to get a lot of sympathetic portrayals in fanfiction. Is his bullying and fragile, haughty ego an end result of a Friendless Background preventing him from having a proper moral compass and social skills, and thus driving him to act like a braggart and do ambitious things just for attention or to get a leg up over his rival, or is it the other way around, with his situation being caused entirely by having such a bad attitude in the first place?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Despite his expanded story role and the build-up to it, Ronno's fight with Bambi is anything but spectacular. The latter actually manages to get the upper hand over him for most of it, and the fight technically ends in a draw after Ronno flees the scene due to the sudden arrival of Man (though Bambi is clearly the moral victor of it). It makes sense from a story standpoint, showing that Ronno is mostly all talk with little to show for it.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: While few were demanding a rectification, many think the midquel works well smoothing the transition between the death of Bambi's mother and birds singing gay little spring songs in the first film.
  • Awesome Art: One of the things that is always praised about the midquel is its ambitious art and animation. 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, and are at least on par with the animation of Disney's 90's features. Having Andreas Deja supervise certainly helped.
  • Awesome Music: Bruce Broughton tries his very best to match the elegance of the first film's soundtrack in the Interquel, and doesn't do too bad a job at it. The Leitmotif that represents Bambi and the Great Prince's relationship is particularly moving.
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  • Badass Decay: The Great Prince has been humanized and developed more as a character, turning into at first reluctant but later loving (and sometimes even silly) father. While many fans see this as a good thing, it did cause him to lose much of that mysterious, quiet, serious, kingly dignity and majesty he practically radiated every scene he's in the first film, which many other fans see as a loss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Ronno. Depending on who you ask, he's either a surprisingly fleshed out and entertaining rival to Bambi whose presence helps to elevate the films rather by-the-numbers story, or an unmemorable cookie-cutter kiddy bully who adds nothing of real value to the film and would have been better off removed.
  • Broken Base:
    • The midquel with many fans of the original. Is it another cheap and pointless direct-to-video cash grab movie, 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 clichés? Not to mention whether it was worth choosing a midquel when Bambi already had a sequel to adapt.
    • As stated under Fan-Disliked Explanation, the more character-driven nature of the plot is particularly contentious. Many fans of the original believe it completely misses the point of it being an intentionally vague caricature of nature driven by ambience, while others believe the more humanised character study format and World Building serves better than retreading the same steps of the first film like so many other Disneytoons sequels. In general, the preference depends on those who appreciate Bambi more as a film or a character respectively.
    • The vocal pop songs. Some fans of the film love it, while others (including some of the films staff) feel they're cheesy and painfully out of place with the films tone and otherwise orchestral score.note 
  • Cant Unhear It: Go on, just try to read the original book or adaptations of the original Disney movie now without hearing Patrick Stewart's take on the Great Prince of the Forest in this movie. Same with Alexander Gould's take on Bambi.
  • Catharsis Factor:
  • Cliché Storm: One of the main criticisms of the film is that the story is a rather by-the-numbers and overly childish take on the "Wayward son tries to earn the approval of his stern, emotionally aloof parent by maturing" plot, a story thats been done before by several other Disney cartoonsnote  and way too many live action movies to count. Not helping is that, being a midquel, a viewer would already know how its going to end, so its events are seen by some as an ultimately superflous addition to the original. The general idea of conflict being sprung by tension between the parent and their ward was absolutely nothing new for Disneytoons' films, much less animated films, in general either. Even the films most popular character, Ronno, is often seen as a rather standard bully character thats common to animated cartoons. While Bambi II is at least often praised for being one of Disney's more heartfelt examples in execution and balancing it with a few clever expansions on the original film, it still relatively feels much more formulaic than the very unique flow of its predecessor.
  • Contested Sequel: While it's near unanimously agreed that the first Bambi is a far bigger milestone as a film and an animated work, some fans contest they prefer Bambi II story-wise due to its more uplifting tone and rounded characters. Others detest it for that very reason, deeming it a more childish Cliché Storm compared to the more nuanced and artistic direction of the first film. It is at least often regarded as one of Disney Toon Studios' most effortful attempts at a follow-up film, though whether that is saying much is also up for debate.
  • Crack Ship:
    • There are fans who ship young Ronno and Faline together, even though the two dont interact much in-canon and what little interaction there is shows that Faline at most grudgingly tolerates Ronno's precense and at worst is outright repulsed him (and to say nothing of him trying to rape her when they're grown ups).
    • Shipping young Bambi and Ronno together is a surprisingly popular fan pairing, even though it makes no sense whatsoever due to the two hating each others guts by the end, with Ronno in particular having nothing but absolute contempt for his rival.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Due to his significantly expanded character, Ronno tends to get portrayed a lot more sympathetically, sometimes being turned into a Jerk Ass Woobie or Anti-Hero, in fanfiction than he is in the movie, where he's an unsympathetic bully who only got worse as he got older.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Next to the Great Prince, the movies portrayal of Ronno as a fawn is probably the most popular (if divisive) part of the film and has spawned a fairly large amount of fanart and fanfiction.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Bambi II caused a lot of attraction towards the franchise in this regard, since while it filled in parts (but not all) missing in the original storyline, it also made the previously vague work much more character driven, leaving broader archetypes and relationships for fan writers to play around with (particularly regarding Bambi and his relationships with his father and Ronno).
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Most detractors of Bambi II criticize the films more thorough Character Development of the cast (especially of the Great Prince and Ronno), arguing that it misses the entire point of the first film, which was primarily a nuanced environmental perspective piece with sparse dialogue and elements and characters intentionally left ambiguous and vague. The broader characterizations have some fans on the other hand, with some of them believing it to be an improvement on the original film's.
  • Faux Symbolism: 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: If you mute the audio, it often looks as if Ronno is hitting on Bambi. Hell, the audio has plenty itself, given how Ronno calls Bambi "Princess" in a sing-song voice that seems more like playful flirting than bullying.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: It's fairly popular in fanart and fanfics to ship Bambi and Ronno together, even though the two get along like a forest on fire in the movies.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Prior to Bambi II, Patrick Stewart had wanted a role in a Disney film for nearly two decades, but other projects got in the way. He ended up voicing a character from one of Disney's most iconic franchises.
    • Remember how Captain Picard had trouble dealing with kids? Not so much this time!
  • 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."
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Great Prince. He genuinely wants what is best for his son, but 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.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Bambi's Disney Death in an interquel to a wildly successful movie. 'Nuff said (however, the scene may be a Tear Jerker while it lasts, at least in-context, due to the Great Prince's genuinely heartbreaking reaction to it).
  • Love to Hate: The films take on Ronno gets this reaction from fans. He's an obnoxious jackass at best and a throughly despicable sociopath in the making by the end of it. But he's also considered by some viewers to be a surprisingly rounded and entertaining take on the bully-type character, and he's just so unlucky and pitiful, that you can't help but love him regardless.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The shot where Bambi attempts to roar (making a bleat instead) is a fairly popular video to use for editing in different sound effects over Bambi's bleating, such as Godzilla's roar or another character swearing.
    • "A prince does not 'woo-hoo'."explanation 
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm:
    • The one thing that salvages the above scene is the Great Prince's genuinely heartwrenching reaction to it (sure, the audience knows Bambi is going to live, but the Prince doesn't) and him and his son finally bonding for good after Bambi reveals he survived.
    • The birds' "MAAAANNN" crow is kinda cheesy in concept, but the voice distortion making it sound like a proper bird call gives it a genuinely creepy touch.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The Deer Call scene tends to be the most remembered part of the film due to its downright eerie atmosphere and surprisingly tense tone.
    • The scene with Bambi's pathetic attempt at roaring, due to it being a somewhat popular meme.
  • 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. Generally the animation and premise are often praised, but the midquel as a whole is considered to lack the artistic ambition of the original, being a more formulaic Disney story, with tweaks like the altered characterisations, larger reliance on dialogue, and contemporary pop songs being very divisive. In short, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who truly loves or hates this film.
  • Special Effects Failure: Late in the film, in a scene shortly before Friend Owl introduces Bambi to Mena, theres a shot where Bambi freezes alert in front of the Prince when he senses danger (who is just doing it to mess with Bambi) but the large size of Bambi's drawing combined with the even perspective of the background ruins the forced perspective and unintentionally gives the impression that Bambi suddenly grew to a size even larger than his dad!
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Elements of the midquel that seem like new additions to the series, such as humanizing the characters personalities more, were already present not only in older spin off materials of the film (e.g. the many Dell comics and storybooks starring the characters and Osamu Tezuka's manga adaptation), but even in Felix Salten's own sequel to the original novel, Bambi's Children.
    • Also, while the story is mostly original, a lot of scenes serve as Mythology Gags to the original novels and Disney tie-in material as well. Both the deer call scene and the younger animals' incidents with an ornery porcupine are loosely based on moments from the novels, while the Annoying Younger Sibling characterisation of Thumper's sisters first appeared in Disney storybooks.
    • Many viewers think that Ronno is a Canon Foreigner. They don't recognize him as the buck that Bambi fought in the original film, namely due to a slightly different colour palette and the fact he was voiceless and nameless in the original. Also, this was not Ronno's first appearance as a fawn; that would be in Osamu Tezuka's manga adaptation of Bambi, which predates the midquel by several decades.
    • The midquel seemingly retcons the events of the original film by having the spring where Bambi is a yearling take place at least another year after his mother's death instead of the immediate Spring after. But the newspaper comic adaptation of Bambi clarifies that this was always intended to be the case with the first film, pointing out that the later part of it did in fact take place over a year after that fateful winter.
  • Popular with Furries: Ronno and the Great Prince. Bambi himself also has quite a number of fans due to his more fleshed out characterisation.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: While the first Bambi was infamously cloying, it was partially down to "Weird Al" Effect, with the film relying on more subtle imagery and at times becoming much darker. Bambi II however, while similarly rounded, amps up the cutesy cartoon animal behaviour and dialogue in some parts of the story, particularly the "Being brave" montage and the opening scenes with the groundhog.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many fans of the midquel prefer the film's more relevant production name Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest, finding the finalised title Bambi 2 to be a more generic cash-grab moniker (and also chronologically inaccurate anyway).
  • 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. But even those who love the Interquel, and hell, even some of the actual creative team, will often admit it couldn't hope to match one of Disney's first and most iconic animated films.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Ronno to a fault. Yes, he's clearly meant to be an unlikable jackass, being a cocky bully and lying coward who deserved to be taken down a peg or two and absolutely crossed the line by goading Bambi into a fight by making fun of his dad sending him to live with a stepmom, which indirectly nearly got both Bambi and Mena killed. But he's also playing second fiddle to a younger fawn who, in his eyes, was born with a silver wheat in his mouth and seemingly ups him at everything he does without effort, and it's implied that his bullying and fragile, haughty ego is a result of a Friendless Background (however, it's entirely possible it was the other way around and his attitude as is isn't helping his case). And the aforementioned bit of nearly getting Bambi and Mena killed by hunting dogs was a complete accident on his part and him running off, while cowardly, was something he was specifically told to do by Mena. Heck, if he wasn't so obnoxiously self-centered and egotistical, he'd be an outright sympathetic, if still heavily flawed, character. While it does not excuse any of his actions, it's at least somewhat understandable why he'd act like such a horse's ass, hence why he tends to get more sympathetic treatment in fanfiction.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Mild case for the hunting dogs, since while they are still a terrifying menace, many are taken out through rather slapstick methods by the child versions of the protagonists in this instance (some even making some comical expressions as they retreat) while the first film's dogs were persistent and utterly ferocious against even the fully grown Bambi with no goofy qualities whatsoever.
    • Deconstructed for Ronno, with his fawn counterpart portrayed as a loudmouthed, cowardly bully who sours over Bambi constantly upstaging him. Of course this takes place before his role in the first film, so it varies whether it's more or less unsettling that this Ronno will still become the sinister, eerily silent menace he is as an adult.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: 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.
  • The Woobie: Bambi infamously losing his mother as a fawn already solidified him as one of Disney's codifying Woobies. The Interquel only furthers this due to his somewhat contentious upbringing by his father afterwards.


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