Bambi is gem-like in its reflection of the color and movement of sylvan plant and animal life. The transcription of nature in its moments of turbulence and peace heightens the brilliance of the canvas. The story [by Felix Salten] is full of tenderness and the characters tickle the heart.
Thumper, the rabbit, steals the picture. His human attributes are amazing and the voice that is attached to him in the earlier sequences proves an admirable piece of casting. It’s a regret that there wasn’t much more of him in the picture.
In this story of Bambi, and his friends of the forest, the span of the central character is from birth to the period in which he reaches bull buckhood. The episodes in between show him learning to adapt himself to his surroundings and to outwit the biped with the gun, falling in love, entering parenthood and finally taking his place beside his proud and hoary father, prince of the forest. The dramatic highlights of Bambi’s career include the death of his mother by gunshot (a scene of deep pathos), and his fight to the death with another buck over the doe, Faline.
The interplay of color and movement makes their sharpest impress on the sensibilities during the sequences depicting the advent and passing of the various seasons. The glow and texture of the Disney brush reach new heights, especially in the treatment of a summer thunderstorm and a raging snowstorm.
1942: Nominations: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, Song (‘Love Is a Song’), Sound