Release Date: August 21, 1942
Director: David Hand
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
When I was just about 2-years-old, my costume for Halloween was Bambi. Not coincidentally, I learned that Bambi was re-released to theaters that same year. I’m not sure if I saw the movie at the time, but I was familiar with the characters, and remember really liking Thumper and Flower.
Nevertheless, it’s most likely that at the age of 45, I’ve just watched Bambi for the first time. Bambi is an episodic film featuring vignettes of Bambi’s first year or so of life, as he learns to walk, makes friends, and learns to do things deer do like find food. More seriously, he has to deal with the threats of Man which come in the forms of gunshots, packs of hunting dogs, and wildfire.
It’s an endearingly sweet film with some notably tear-inducing heartbreak. And while the animals may be too anthropomorphized to be lifelike, I think the creators of this film really did capture the essence of human toddlers in the actions of Bambi and his friends. The animation is beautiful, with backgrounds that look like oil pointings, albeit they are also too static to represent a real wilderness.
Anyhow, Bambi is a classic for a reason. Don’t wait too long to watch it. And keep some tissues handy.