1 The Mickey Mindset: Disney Animation Reviews #5 - Bambi

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Disney Animation Reviews #5 - Bambi

Disney Animation Reviews - 5/53: Bambi

Ryan Dosier - Not only is Bambi (1942) the fifth animated feature film from Walt Disney, but it’s also the fifth classic in a row. Bambi isn’t normally my cup of tea, but I found myself enjoying the film even more this time around.

The sterling animation of the animals in the film is nothing short of perfect. Bambi moves so realistically that it’s as if Disney photocopied an actual deer’s movements. Even Thumper the rabbit and Friend Owl move with grace and comic realism. Thumper’s rapidly flopping foot is one of the highlights of the movie, a fantastic character quirk if there ever was one.

Speaking of Thumper, it is the scenes with he and Bambi that show the film’s true power. Their friendship is charming and adorable and purely innocent. Their scenes of friendship in the fall and in the winter are wonderful. The winter, especially, brings a ton of fun as Bambi and Thumper attempt ice skating. Bambi’s animation here, especially, is unreal.

Unfortunately, the story of Bambi is weak and disjointed. What starts as a simple, innocent story eventually crushes the souls of children everywhere with the shocking death of Bambi’s mother. This death comes out of nowhere and a chirpy, happy spring song immediately follows the solemn scene. This is the disjointing aspect of the story more than anything. Such a heavy, powerful scene should sit longer than it does, but there is barely time for it to sink in (and it is never mentioned again).

What Bambi lacks in a strong story it more than makes up for in gorgeous oil-painted backgrounds, a fantastic and striking musical score, and sequences of true artistry. The storm sequence (“Little April Showers”) is amazing with the water effects and the depth of the forest, thanks in large part to Disney’s new multi-plane camera. Bambi distinguishes itself from its predecessor (Dumbo) immediately with a darker color palette and a more realistic approach all-around.

My favorite scene in Bambi is the “twitterpated” scene near the end when Bambi, Thumper, and Flower the skunk fall in love in the springtime. Friend Owl’s explanation about what being “twitterpated” means is hilarious and wonderful. A magnificent scene in Disney history for sure.

In the end, Bambi is another charming, unforgettable film from Walt Disney. The weak storyline hurts the film a lot, but the impressiveness of the animation, the art, and all of the work by Disney’s animators make Bambi a truly worthwhile film.

3/5 Twitterpated Rabbits






The Mickey Mindset, mickeymindset@gmail.com

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