Classics Review: Bambi (1942)

In 1923, a book titled, “Bambi A Life In The Woods” was published in bookstores. After its publication, the book eventually became a best seller. Fifteen Years Later, fresh from earning massive success with “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs,” Walt Disney began to develop a film adaptation of the book while simultaneously working on “Pinocchio,” “Dumbo,” & “Fantasia.”

Bambi was released in 1942. (same year Wonder Woman starred in her own comic book series) It earned critical acclaim from critics, families and movie goers alike. In addition to positive reception, it made a lot of money at the box office. Bambi remains as a timeless classic spanning many generations from past, present and future.

A live action remake is in development with Disney planning to use the same photo-realistic technology to bring Bambi to life. As of January 2021, no confirmation of The Cast & Crew have been announced. I think the remake is gonna suck big time.

I don’t give a hoot if SPOILERS are present in this article. We all know every generation is aware Bambi’s biggest tearjerker. It’s been parodied numerous times. For example, An episode of “Animaniacs” titled, “Bumbie’s Mother” mocks Bambi’s ambiguous death scene with Slappy The Squirrel’s nephew Skippy crying over Bumbie’s mother’s death scene.

Cute & Ugly Aspects

Cute: Walt Disney did a good job coordinating the film as a visual translation to keep the story forward.

Animators did a great job bringing the movie to life. They studied animals as a guide for them to create Bambi and the rest of the characters on how they move, react to the wilderness.

Bambi’s mother’s ambiguous death scene felt powerful. Until an unacceptable transition from tragedy to a lighthearted morning scene ruined it.

Like “Inception” Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker,” Bambi’s mother’s fate is up to viewer to interpret whether or not Bambi’s mother is dead or alive.

The Ending is somewhat heartwarming with Bambi now a father.

Ugly: Nothing actually happens until 41 minutes in when Bambi and his mother approach uncharted territory. Every animal including Bambi’s mother, Thumper & Flower spend quality time with Bambi. Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” contains proper buildup from the The First Act giving more context of Earth’s crops dying from deadly dust bowls motivating forcing Cooper to leave his family by traveling to another galaxy in the hopes of saving humanity than this cutesy fest. All I’m trying to say is plot and character motivation strictly matters.

Speaking of which, the first half of the story lacks a cohesive narrative. What’s worse is Bambi himself is less interesting. He’s more useful as a summon in the first “Kingdom Hearts” game restoring your magic points. This is why I prefer “The Lion King” over Bambi,” because Simba’s Character Development fleshed him out feeling guilty over the loss of his father and has a moral dilemma whether or not he wants to become the new king.

An early romance with Thumper and a girl bunny happened. I hate it when a relationship happens way too soon. That’s Disney for you pairing couple pretty fast. Even Bambi starts to fall in love with a girl too soon without establishing a relationship.

After Bambi’s mother’s fate is left ambiguous in a tragic atmosphere with Bambi leaving home with his father. Next scenes cuts to an upbeat “la la la la la” in the forest with animals in a good mood. I think the transition felt inappropriate when it comes to a tragic death scene cutting to seeing animals in a happy go lucky mood. What if Two-Faces’s reaction to Rachel Dawes’ death from “The Dark Knight” abruptly cuts to Cyborg & Beast Boy singing about waffles from that horrendously bad “Teen Titans Go?” Would that work? I don’t think so. Sorry Disney lovers, I have no choice but to Double Down this con. Whoever edited this scene is truly a psychopath.

I confess. I never cried when Bambi’s mom possibly died. Interstellar’s messages from Earth scene made managed to get me all teary-eyed. Other movies that made me cry are “Logan,” “Avengers: Endgame” “Boys Don’t Cry” & “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.”

The Final Verdict: B-

I know it’s gonna be controversial. From my point of view, Bambi is an average Disney movie to this day a timeless classic for those who adore it will continue to introduce future generations. If it weren’t for the slow filler and an unacceptable transition from a tragedy to an upbeat morning scene, I could’ve given Bambi my highest rating an “A, FOR APEX.” If you have kids, grandkids, godkids, nephews, nieces or friends planning to spend the night together, try introducing them to Bambi.

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