“One of the most timeless and universal coming-of-age films ever, Bambi ranks with the very greatest of Disney’s classic masterpieces.” Steven D. Greydanus, Rotten Tomatoes
Walt Disney’s Bambi was released in August, 1942, and is based on the book, Bambi, A life in the Woods, by Felix Salten. Bambi is considered one of the top 100 movies of all time. However, when it was first released, the film failed to make money for several reasons. Some of the main reasons were hunters and outdoorsmen were critical of the how man was portrayed, and the United States had entered WWII. Currently, Bambi is viewed as a classic, must-see movie.
I personally have watched Bambi many times in my lifetime, both in the theater and at home, but I have just finished reading the book for the first time. There are numerous differences between the novel and the movie, and once again, Walt Disney took a good story and produced a great movie.
Both versions follow the same story line of a deer being born and raised in the forest, and trying to find his way after his mother is killed by hunters. However, Disney turned the forest animals into lovable creatures, not just a “hare” or “owl”. Thumper is a beloved friend for many children. The novel explores the relationship of Bambi and his father, and gives us a glimpse into why Bambi’s father is distant. We learn why Bambi eventually leaves the woodland, and we encounter “the man” in a different way.
Walt Disney actually arranged a small zoo on studio property complete with deer, rabbits, ducks, owls and skunks, so animators could watch movements and produce a more realistic portrayal of the animals.
Although Bambi merchandise can be obtained at Walt Disney World Resorts, there are no representations in any rides or character greets. Bambi and friends have been known to show their faces at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival in the spring.
EDUCATIONAL/HOMESCHOOL TIE INS:
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Character Training: Thumper says “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” A similar Bible principle is found in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things.”
Science: Habitats: Woodlands, Marsh, meadow and forest.
White-tailed deer: How long do deer stay with their mother. Mating rituals and gestation of animals. Seasons. Water cycle and the forms of water (snow/ice, water, steam).English: Read Bambi and write a simple book report.
Write an alternate story to Bambi where it is told through the hunter’s eyes. Why is he hunting (sport, to feed his family, etc.)?
Art: Draw Bambi.
Health/Safety: Gun safety. Hunting safety.
In the movie, man starts a forest fire. Discuss fire safety and causes of forest fires. Bambi was originally used before Smokey the Bear by the National Park Service to help prevent forest fires.
Snack: Reindeer marshmallow and pretzel snacks.
Next week: Saludos Amigos!
Thanks, Patty @ A Mother’s Random Thoughts