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Thumper: Whatcha gonna call him?
The movie is a Coming of Age Story that follows the titular character, a young white-tailed deer, from birth to adulthood in the forests of Maine (we think, see below). It is one of Disney's most downright gorgeous films, with art and effects that are still amazing today and mind-blowing for their time. To this day the film holds a solid 91% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is said to be Walt Disney's personal favorite of all the films on which he personally worked.
A Direct to Video Midquel, Bambi II, was released in 2006, a whole 64 years after the original. It focuses on the period of Bambi's life immediately following his mother's death. Apparently this was a more interesting story to tell than the book's actual sequel, which had already been adapted by Disney into a comic. (Said comic has long since been out of print and is now a highly sought after collector's item.)
While Bambi II was much better received than typical direct to video fare (to the point where it's actually considered genuinely enjoyable) it barely manages to hold a measly 57% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a sharp contrast from its precursor which it has inevitably been compared to by critics.
There is a spin off series of books centred around Thumper's family when he was a baby. It's called "Disney Bunnies".
No relation to Bambi and Her Pink Gun and Tokyo Bambi, by the way. Has a short and unauthorized sequel in the infamous Bambi Meets Godzilla.
- Affectionate Parody: The Animaniacs skit Bumbie's Mom.
- Also, the short film Bambi Meets Godzilla and its sequel Son of Bambi Meets Godzilla.
- And the Newgrounds short "Bambee".
- Also, this commercial from the mind of David Lynch: 
- The Calvin and Hobbes comics took two shots at this film-in the first one, Calvin is standing in front of a mirror, putting his hands together and pretending to ask his mother if she could give him a flamethrower by saying please softly. He then tries saying it with doe eyes. Hobbes then walks over and tells him that giving mom "Bambi eyes" isn't going to help. In the second strip, Calvin tells his class the story from his report about overpopulation. In the story, a man named Frank gets up from his desk and walks off to get some coffee. Suddenly, Frank gets shot. Four deer, armed with rifles, gather around his body. They praise Bambi's nice shot, who, of course, asks for somebody to get the camera.]
- Saturday Night Live TV Funhouse took a shot at Bambi and Disney's reputation for their direct to video sequels, with Bambi 2002, which surprisingly was conceived several years before the real Bambi II came out. SNL's Bambi 2002 however included Bambi's mother being alive, Bambi riding a skateboard, rapping, performing Bullet Time and fighting terrorists, and Thumper being voiced by David Spade.:) A picture of the "Rapping Bambi" also made a brief cameo in another TV Funhouse skit, specifically one taking jabs at the infamous Disney Vault. (it appears in the background, hanging from a wall)
- Drawn Together lampooned Bambi in one episode where he convinces Captain Hero that he killed his mother and vows revenge as it turns out he was lying and had killed his mother himself.
- Mother Goose and Grimm recently did a one panel parody called Zambi, which is Bambi...with his mother coming back as a zombie.
- Bambo, anyone?
- "I Shot Bambi's Mother" by the Frantics.
- Angry Hunting Dog
- Animation Bump: Little April Showers, anyone?
- Attempted Rape: Probably what was in store for Faline when Bambi had to fight for her.
- Babies Ever After
- Badass: The Great Prince is treated as one by the other deer.
- Bambification: The Trope Namers—for people who have never sat down and watched the movie... Also known as All Deer Are Bambi and The Martyr With Antlers.
- Bowdlerise: When this movie is aired on TV in some foreign countries, they completely remove the entire scene of Bambi's mother's death even though it's the most important part of the movie.
- The Cameo: Bambi himself actually makes an appearance in person in the crowd of toons in the ending of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and in one scene early in the film, Thumper is mentioned by Roger himself to be his uncle.
- Also, JudgeDoom was originally planned to be the killer of Bambi's mother in a shocking revelation. It ultimately never made it into the final film unfortunately.
- Bambi makes a cameo (as a silhouette) in the end of The Lion King 1 1/2.
- Bambi and his father also make a cameo in The Simpsons Movie.
- Bambi's mom's head is mounted on Gaston's wall.
- Bambi and his mom cameo in the Disney Classic Short No Hunting.
- As with many characters of Disney Animated Canon, Bambi and other characters from the original film frequently cameo as audience members in House of Mouse.
- Common Knowledge: What's weird is that the infamous death scene is the only scene anyone seems to remember. Also, it seems that nobody is aware that Bambi ever grows older. Disney isn't particularly helping, however, as there is almost no merchandise portraying Bambi as an adult.
- Cut Song: The CD has an early version of "Little April Showers" called "Rain Drops".
- Even with Bambi's mother dying, the film's tone is significantly lighter than the novel's (it was written for adult audiences), which was much darker and more brutal, including graphic death scenes.
- First off, in the original novel Bambi and Faline are cousins, but in the film it was changed so that they're not blood related.
- Thumper, Flower and Friend Owl were created entirely for the film-Walt wanted to tone down the dark, brutal mood of the novel in the adaptation to allow it to appeal to a wider audience, so he brought Bambi's friends in as comic relief to make the film Lighter and Softer.
- In the original version of the aftermath of the death of Bambi's mother, they were going to have Bambi find the impression where his mother fell and show that her body had been dragged off, but Walt Disney cut this from the film as he thought it would be too much for the younger audience to handle.
- An even darker example would be near the end, when they were going to have a scene similar to the novel where Bambi and his father find the corpse of a man whose gun backfired on him, but when a early version of this was shown to a test audience, "400 people shot up into the air when the corpse appeared". Needless to say, it never made it beyond a test screening.
- Even more interesting is that in the infamous death scene, they were also going to show Bambi's mother getting shot ON-SCREEN. However, this never made it beyond a few sketches, because the scene was dark enough as it was.
- Don't forget the omission of Faline's brother Gobo, who is killed because of his trust for humans.
- Also, a non-gory example: Bambi and Faline are not so much in love as they are habitually attached. They separate whenever it's not mating season and Bambi watches her age and become sad and lonely from afar and thinking about the sweet, happy little fawns they once were.
- DVD Commentary: The 2005 DVD re-release of Bambi had re-enactments of the story meetings between Disney and his story men as one of the several bonus features. The movie itself played in a window on the corner while the rest of the screen showed preliminary artwork.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After losing his mother, going through a tough fight for his mate, getting chased after by dogs, getting shot and having to get back up and run, and getting his home destroyed by a forest fire, the film ends with a healthy new forest some time later, the birth of Bambi's children, and Bambi finally assuming the mantle of The Great Prince of the Forest, the latter done without any words being spoken.
- "Falling in Love" Montage: Not a typical one, anyway. "I Bring You a Song."
- The Film of the Book
- G-Rated Sex:
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Thumper's father, who never once appears on-screen, even though Thumper's mother constantly brings up one of his Green Aesops if Thumper is ever giving her trouble or causing it. Man is also included.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: The films make no bones about this.
- Intellectual Animal
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Friend Owl.
- Leitmotif: Love is a Song and a snippet of I Bring You a Song.
- Lighter and Softer: As compared to the book it's based on.
- Meaningful Name: Bambi is derived from Bambino, the Italian word for baby. The names Thumper, Friend Owl, and Flower pretty much speak for themselves.
- Misplaced Wildlife: California Quail? In my Maine woods? Also, a surprising example of Did Not Do the Research in a movie which is otherwise amazingly accurate to the nature and animals (see Shown Their Work above) it's based off of...for the most part anyways.
- Also, the quails' calls are wrong; they sound more like Bobwhite Quails instead...
- Mood Whiplash : "Your mother... can't be with you any longer. Come with me, my son." - Cut directly to the most happiest and twittery song of the whole movie.
- Musical Spoiler: Man's presence in the film is represented only be a recurring three note leitmotif. And nothing else.
- Never Say "Die": "Your mother... can't be with you anymore."
- No Name Given: None of the characters' parents have actual names.
- Nothing Is Scarier: You never once see Man in the film (although he/they are seen in the novels on occasion) but that makes him (they?) more terrifying than your usual Disney villain. Man is the highest ranking Disney villain in "AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains", surpassed only by the Queen from Snow White.
- Oh Crap: That infamous scene in which Faline disappears into the cloud during Bambi's fantasy, and then Ronno emerges from the cloud in her place, wanting to fight Bambi.
- The Oner: The iconic, spectacular opening shot done completely with Disney's multiplane camera.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: We never do find out what the real name of "Flower" the skunk is, nor do we know if the Great Prince actually has a real name.
- Puppy Dog Eyes: AKA "Bambi Eyes", in the film's case. Especially when he learned his mother is gone.
- Pop Culture Osmosis: It helps to be one of the oldest Disney films in the canon. Also, there is probably not a single person in the western world that does not know Bambi's mother dies.
- Race Lift: Sort of. In the original novel, Bambi and the other deer were Roe Deer, but in the films they were White-Tailed Deer because the films were set in North America where there are no Roe Deer. Species could be sort-of considered a race in the animal world.
- Upon the re-translation into German however, the terminology for the deer was completely mixed up, leading to what is commonly known as the Bambi-Lüge or Bambi-Irrtum. The German m/f/child terms for deer in general are Hirsch/Hirschkuh/Hirschkalb, while those specific to the Roe Deer species ("Reh") are Rehbock/Reh(geiß)/(Reh)Kitz. The German film translation however reverted to calling Bambi and his mother by the roe deer terms, while the father was left with the Hirsch befitting his looks. This resulted not only in people confusing what the respecive species looked like, but more importantly in thinking that the terms for a deer nuclear family were Hirsch/Reh/Kitz; generations of people were thusly miseducated, and it keeps on spreading, while often refusing correction.
- Recycled in Space: Many people have nicknamed the Don Bluth film The Land Before Time as "a prehistoric Bambi"...except that film was possibly even MORE of a Tear Jerker.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter
- Scenery Porn: Anyone who doesn't have an itch to visit Baxter State Park after watching this has a problem.
- Serendipitous Symphony: "Little April Showers"
- Sexophone: During the scene where Thumper gets twitterpatted by a lovely female rabbit.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Everyone except for Bambi and his fawns die in the novel.
- Not true; Faline, Aunt Ena, and a few other minor deer all survive, and others, such as Thumper and Flower, do not exist in the novel (but Thumper/Friend Owl's Composite Character Friend Hare doesn't make it)
- Stock Footage:
- Sort of. Disney occasionally likes to recycle and will reuse animation if they need to. This has prompted the Fandom saying, "Bambi's mother lives!!!" Also, Bambi and his mother made a brief speaking cameo in the Donald Duck short "No Hunting."
- "Bambi's mom" appears in The Jungle Book (A deer Shere khan stalks), The Sword in the Stone, Beauty and the Beast (in the opening), and The Rescuers.
- The burning tree was reused/referenced for a tree struck down by lightning in Fun and Fancy Free.
- Some animation of adult Bambi and Faline was recycled for a brief scene in Mary Poppins.
- Time Skip: Occurs in the first movie right after the infamous death scene, transitioning to some point in the future where Bambi has grown up.
- Unnamed Parent
- Unusual Euphemism: "Twitterpated!"
- Urban Legends:
- There is a rumor that they were trying to imply in Beauty and the Beast that Gaston killed Bambi's mother. Evidence for this is that she can be seen in the opening, and that there is a mounted doe head visible during one of Gaston's Villain Songs. Evidence against this is that Bambi takes place in North America, whereas Beauty and the Beast takes place in France.
- Supposedly, a early draft of Who Framed Roger Rabbit was to reveal Judge Doom killed Bambi's mother, but the idea was dropped because it was considered inappropriate. It also would've created a Plot Hole, because in that film all cartoon characters are Animated Actors.
- Woodland Creatures