AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Director: David D. Hand (Supv dir)
Release Date:   21 Aug 1942
Duration (in mins):  69-70
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Cast: Peter Behn  (Voice of young Thumper)
  Hardie Albright  (Voice of older Bambi)
  Ann Gillis  (Voice of older Faline)

Summary: One April morning, the animal inhabitants of the forest welcome a new fawn, the son of the Great Prince of the Forest. Especially interested in Bambi, the new arrival, is young rabbit Thumper, who watches the fawn take his first awkward steps. Later, Thumper accompanies Bambi on a walk, teaching him how to say "bird" and introducing him to the beauties of the wilderness. While learning to say "flower," Bambi is confused when a young skunk emerges from a patch of blossoms and assumes he is being named, but the skunk is pleased by his new moniker. Bambi and his mother lead an idyllic life, cuddling to ward off April showers and enjoying the protection of the forest. One day, Bambi's mother takes him to the meadow to graze, but warns him that he must be careful as the meadow is without sufficient cover. Bambi and Thumper play and eat clover, although Bambi is overcome with shyness upon meeting a pretty little girl fawn named Faline. The Great Prince then walks through the meadow, and Bambi is awed by his father's majestic bearing. The Great Prince senses danger, however, and helps Bambi and his mother reach the forest as a gunshot echoes through the meadow. Bambi is mystified by the occurrence, and his mother explains that "Man was in the forest." Later, in the winter, Thumper and a clumsy Bambi ice skate on a pond covered with "stiff water." The season is harsh, however, and Bambi's mother diligently forages for food for her hungry son. Soon the grass begins to grow again, and Bambi and his mother return to the meadow to graze, but there, Bambi's mother becomes alarmed and orders him to run. Bambi races ahead as gunshots ring out, and upon reaching the thicket, is terrified to realize that he is alone. The Great Prince arrives and tells the grieving fawn that his mother cannot be with him anymore, then urges his son to follow him. Later, Spring comes again to the forest, and the adolescent Bambi, Thumper and Flower are scornful of the silly antics of the birds. Friend Owl warns them that all animals become "twitterpated" during the Spring, and soon his words are proven true as a pretty girl skunk and a lovely little bunny mesmerize Flower and Thumper. Left on his own, the disgruntled Bambi is drinking from the stream when he once again meets Faline. Faline flirtatiously licks Bambi, and the young couple chase each other and play. Bambi is challenged by another young buck but triumphs in battle, and soon is gamboling across the meadow with Faline. Later, Bambi is disturbed by the sound of hunting horns, and the Great Prince warns him that Man has returned in great numbers, and that they must retreat deep into the forest. Faline is separated from Bambi during the confusion, but when she is cornered by a pack of dogs, Bambi rushes to rescue her. Faline escapes from the dogs, but Bambi is shot as he jumps across a ravine. He falls unconscious as a fire, sparked by the hunters' campfire, begins to spread, but the Great Prince arrives and urges Bambi to flee. The animals dash through the forest as the fire races along behind them, but eventually the Great Prince and Bambi reach safety, and Bambi is reunited with Faline. More time passes as new growth appears in the burned-out areas, and one day, Flower and Thumper, who have families of their own, proudly watch as Faline introduce her twin fawns to the other forest animals. Bambi, who is standing with his father, oversees the gathering, then takes his father's place as the Prince of the Forest. 

Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director: David D. Hand (Supv dir)
  Perce Pearce (Story dir)
  James Algar (Seq dir)
  Bill Roberts (Seq dir)
  Norman Wright (Seq dir)
  Sam Armstrong (Seq dir)
  Paul Satterfield (Seq dir)
  Graham Heid (Seq dir)
  Jack Atwood (Asst dir)
  Mike Holoboff (Asst dir)
  Bob Ogle (Asst dir)
Producer: Walt Disney (Pres)
Writer: Larry Morey (Story adpt)
  George Stallings (Story dev)
  Melvin Shaw (Story dev)
  Carl Fallberg (Story dev)
  Chuck Couch (Story dev)
  Ralph Wright (Story dev)

Subject Major: Animal culture
  Forest fires
Subject Minor: Death and dying
  Family relationships
  Gunshot wounds
  Ice skaters and ice skating
  Rabbits and hares

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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