Movie Title: Bambi
Release Date: August 9, 1942
Based On: Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten
Meh. That was pretty much my first impression of this when I watched it. I think I was too old to really care about cutesy animals and too young to appreciate some of the darker moments in this. Much like Dumbo and Pinocchio, this is one of those movies I watched because my mom loved it. But I’d already seen things like The Lion King, Pocahontas, and Aladdin then and Bambi was fairly unimpressive in comparison.
I do remember being scared of this goddamn owl, though.
My Impression Now
If I wanted to describe this movie in one word it would be ‘inoffensive’. I’ve watched it three times in a twenty-four-hour period and I’m still not entirely sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. I feel I have so little to actually talk about with it. Mostly because, say what you will, I don’t feel like Bambi holds up as an actual story. It’s more like cute animal clips with random moments of things happening in between.
Now, I will give it this much… The animation is miles above and beyond Dumbo. Everything in this movie screams ‘effort’, every character is extremely expressive and it is rather easy to connect with them because of it. However, considering the whole of what this movie is, it kinda feels wasted. I get that this is supposed to be something like a coming of age story but it also feels like it got distracted from actually telling it at some point along the way because the part where Bambi actually gets to grow up… Is just skipped over. His mother gets shot, his father takes him… SPRING! And he’s a teenager now. Oookay.
And yes, let’s talk about that transition, everyone loves to. I get that from an adult point of view it’s jarring. Heck, I actually laughed out loud when it went from “Your mother can’t be with you anymore, Bambi” to the happiest fucking birds you’ll ever see in animation, but you know what? It’s very clearly a “Look, small children in the audience, everything is okay, please stop crying now, we’re sorry” on the part of the movie. And honestly, considering the number of people who I’ve seen mention being traumatized by Bambi’s mother getting shot as a child, I’m okay with that. It was clearly necessary.
The climax of this movie suffers the same problem as the rest of it; the animation is impressive, but from a story standpoint, I don’t care enough. There is a lot of death of background characters and it builds a good level of tension, but at that point, I felt like I still knew next to nothing about anyone involved considering that, aside from Bambi himself, his father, and his soon-to-be mate, none of the main cast was actually involved. There was no Flower, no Thumper, not even that stupid fucking Owl.
This is the second time I break my own rule for this series, but I was curious to look at the plot synopsis for the book this was based on and yeaaah… I get that Disney couldn’t go all out on how every day in a deer’s life is constantly trying not to get shot, but the book actually has something this movie lacks. It shows Bambi actually learning what he needs to survive from his father. And this is the reason Bambi 2 is going to be one of a few ‘sequels’ I’ll eventually cover in this series. Because apparently, it covers that missing chunk of the story. Sadly, it’ll take a while to get there chronologically. It came out in 2006. That’s 60+ years after the original Bambi. That’s a lovely time to wait for the greatest question about this movie to get finally answered, huh?
The songs were kinda forgettable in this. Think one of them might have been about love. And one about the spring rain or something. They were pleasant on the ears, but I don’t really remember them anymore.
Overall song rating for Bambi: 3/10
Racist Moment Spotlight
I can’t say I actually found anything in this movie. Huh. Wait, can calling a skunk ‘Flower’ be considered racist? Food for thought there.
So, there you have it, guys. My review of Bambi. And, full disclosure, this was the fastest I’ve written a review for this series. It took me five minutes. The reason it took me this long to post it was that my co-writer, Mr.Doomed (aka Plotstains), was supposed to come in and collaborate with me on this. And, hopefully, he will on the following entries in this series. However, right now, his computer died. So he wasn’t able to deliver his part of the review. And the reason it took me this long to post this is that I’d been waiting to see if his computer would be fixed. As you guys may be aware, that’s a pain I’m very familiar with.
Since making this series a collaboration is something I was looking forward to doing, I may give it more time before the next entry comes out, but I’ll find other things to look into in the meantime, don’t worry. >.>
As for where Bambi ranks compared to the previous entries in this series? That’s hard to say. I didn’t find as much wrong with it as I did Pinocchio and Dumbo but at the same time, it was pretty boring. I think as it is I’d rank it above Dumbo and below Snow White and Pinnochio. So my favorites list at this point would be:
- Snow White
Up next is Cinderella though. That should be interesting. It’s been a while since we had a princess on this show. 😛