(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Bambi)
Doug (vo): Well, I can’t talk about this movie unless I show this clip.
[The famous scene where Bambi's mother gets shot off-screen is shown]
Doug (vo): There’s really no point in hiding it. We all know what happens to Bambi’s mom in this movie, and it messed up so many kids for life. But is that the only reason to enjoy Bambi? The answer is obviously no. Not only is the art in this movie just fantastic, I mean, good God, you just feel like you’re in nature throughout this entire film, but it’s the first time Disney’s ever done a coming-to-age story, and it does it very well.
Story and review
Doug (vo): Where Disney’s always been good at creating villains and threatening obstacles to go up against, they knew to keep that to a minimum in this movie. The villain is man, and you never see him, but just the mere threat of him is enough to be intimidating. Everybody talks about the mother’s death, but some of these other scenes can get pretty damn intense.
[A scene with a group of scared pheasants talking is shown]
Pheasant #1: We’d better fly!
Pheasant #2: No, no. Don’t fly. Whatever you do, don’t fly.
Pheasant #1: He’s almost here! I can’t stand it any longer!
[She flies off, attempting to flee. The other pheasants watch as the fleeing pheasant is shot off-screen. She soon falls to the ground, dead, as several more animals flee]
Doug (vo): Like most of the early Disney films, it mixes bright and colorful with dark and...
[The scene where Bambi's mother gets shot is briefly shown again]
Doug (vo): ...mommy-killing. But let’s be honest. It’s not the death of the mother that gets us, it's the fact that there was such a strong connection between her and the son. That’s why it messes us up. And I also like the fact that the father is almost never around, and when he is, Bambi is almost afraid of him. Sort of a fascinating dysfunctional family that may or may not need to be, but again, that’s sort of up for debate, and that’s one of the reasons I do like this film so much. The answers are not clear cut. Hell, even the questions aren't clear cut. It’s just the life of this deer, and all those typical children’s clichés that you see in other kids’ films, or, hell, you see in other adult films for that matter, are not here. And thank God, because you know what? This is enough. Sometimes, just showing someone or something live their life is all you need. Life is interesting, life has problems, life doesn’t always resolve itself in a clever and poetic way, life doesn’t always have heroes, life doesn’t always have villains. So because of that, as you’d imagine, there’s less of an emphasis on story and more on character. And while Bambi is not the most fascinating of characters, he’s supposed to be sort of the everyguy. He’s the blank slate that’s supposed to absorb love, fear, sadness, happiness, and whatever other emotions you can connect with. I’d be lying if I said I watched this one a lot. In fact, it’s probably one of the Disney films I watched the least, though I do own it. But I definitely respect it more than I do view it. I guess there’s only so many cutesy-wutesy scenes I could sit through, but they are done well, and with purpose. The second half is actually where I started to get more interested, I mean, you know, after...
[The scene where Bambi’s mother gets shot is briefly shown for the third time]
Doug (vo): ...that scene. I like seeing Bambi grow up, I like seeing what he’s become, and I like seeing what he’s going to make of himself.
Doug (vo): It’s another one of those films where the lack of really complex characters is made up for in how much complexity they put into the backgrounds and the colors. Half the time, the sceneries give you the emotions. I like a film that can do that without cheating on the character necessarily. The emotions are there in the character, they're just emphasized by the surroundings, and Bambi is chockfull of that. Heavy atmosphere and a heavy environment, it’s easily one of Disney’s finest.
[A scene showing the Great Prince standing in his prime is shown]