It’s a day of celebration in the forest because the fawn Bambi (Donnie Dunagan; Hardie Albright; John Sutherland) has been born.
Bambi is the son to the oldest and wisest stag, the Great Prince of the Forest (Fred Shields), and all the forest residents come to greet him and pay their respects.
Soon, Bambi starts exploring the forest, together with his mother (Paula Winslove) and his friends, Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk. While exploring, he learns that there is a lurking danger called ‘Man’ that they must always watch out for. ‘Man’ comes regularly to hunt in the forest.
Eventually, on a winter's day, Bambi's beloved mother falls victim to the hunters. Bambi must now grow up without her, under the guidance of his wise father.
Time passes and just when things seem perfect and Bambi, now a handsome young stag, has just fallen in love with Faline (Ann Gillis), ‘Man’ comes back to disturb their happiness and peace.
Disney Classic; circle of life; death of a parent; animal life in the forest; love and loss; friendship; courage
Bambi has some violence. For example:
- Hunters (referred to as ‘Man’ and never depicted directly) fire gunshots at the forest animals. It’s implied that they shot Bambi's mother, a quail falls to the ground, dead and Bambi suffers a gunshot wound but survives.
- Bambi has an intense fight with a stag who challenges his position and his claim on mate Faline.
- Faline and Bambi get chased and attacked by a mob of vicious hunting dogs, and Bambi violently fights them off.
There are no sexual references in Bambi.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no substance use in Bambi.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Bambi.
There’s no product placement in Bambi.
There’s no coarse language in Bambi.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Bambi is a much-acclaimed Disney Classic, first released in 1942 after 6 years in the making. The depiction of ‘Man’ as a vicious and remorseless enemy of the forest animals provoked an outcry of anger among hunters after the film’s release. And parents who watched this film as children will likely recall their devastation at Bambi's mother's death, plus other intense scenes. Despite or maybe because of its dark and sad moments, the movie is a wonderful depiction of the circle of life, but the realistic danger and anguish, mean that parental guidance is recommended for young and sensitive viewers.
These are the main messages from Bambi:
- It's important to live life to the full.
- Sad times will be followed by happier times.
- There is nothing more important than love and friendship.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include love, friendship, courage and responsibility.
Bambi could also give you the chance to talk with your children about hunting for sport and leisure purposes, and the relationship between humans and nature.