Originally conceived to be the companies second feature film, Walt Disney's Bambi was a production put on hold due to the difficult nature of the animation needed as well as the source material being deemed to sombre and bleak for the light hearted nature that they wanted the company to be known for. However work was started on this production from the beginning, and after the first four animations released in the canon, the film was given a green light to be released. Based on the original novel by Austrian author Felix Salten, Bambi is a film that received high critical acclaim on release - and subsequent returns from critiques through the ages-although due largely to the time of release did not make a lot of money in return to what it cost to produce - this is down to the fact that its original release was during World War 2 where European markets were shut off. However even due to this low box office return, the film marks another breakthrough in animation and deemed rightly so as one of the best animated films ever produced. Cementing the studio as the best animators in the world, Bambi is a film that should be watched by everyone at least once, if only to witness the magical moments that the film holds.
Beginning in a sleepy forest, news breaks out that a new prince has been born. Rushing to the scene where the prince lies, the animals of the wood see the new deer prince, Bambi, taking his first steps. Bambi's father is a respected elder deer who protects the woodland creatures from the danger of man who plagues the forest in hopes of gaining prey from hunting - the first Disney feature to use this as an antagonist to the plot. Bambi is expected to become the new monarch of the forest, and as such is instantly respected by creatures of similar age, creatures such as an energetic rabbit named Thumper. This friend teaches the young faun how to walk and play. During the first year of his life, Bambi witnesses many different things for the first time - things such as a lightning storm and the danger of man whilst in the neighboring field. During the winter, after playing in the snow, Bambi's mother is shot by a hunter - still one of Disney's most upsetting scenes - and the young prince is raised by his father. Cutting to when Bambi is older, the group of friends - also consisting a skunk named Flower-begin to enter the mating period where they are instantly smitten with the females of their kind. However when man re enters the forest and causes a fire, it is up to Bambi to step up and achieve what his father does, save the woodland animals as best he can.
Bambi is a timeless classic that shows the strength and experience that the Disney company had gained from the previous pictures. Bambi is an engrossing and easily adored character who carries the plot naturally. Featuring human relationships with animals in a different light, the film gave a view point on how nature is affected. Bambi is one of the strongest animations ever produced, with only more modern films equalling and surpassing it. Walt Disney's original high point and a perfectly made classic.