Bambi (in case you don't know) is the story of a deer, born and raised deep in an ideal forest, somewhere in North America.

Directed by David Hand, it follows the trials, triumphs and tragedies that he encounters on his journey to staghood, including a cast of woodland characters, all brilliantly animated and anthromorphosised as children and grown ups.

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The wee fawn explores his new and sometimes dangerous world in the sweetest way and gets into all sorts of scrapes. He finds out that he is heir to the throne of the forest, destined to become the proud and magnificent successor to the mystical and noble stag, his father.

Eventually, he wins some serious spurs, saving his doe from the forest fire, started by careless hunters. It's a wonderful story and brings a tiny tear to the eye, even of this cynic.

Felix Salten wrote the original story, but the Bambi we know is largely the creation of Walt Disney's production team. Frank Churchill and Edward Plum's music still retains that Forties sound - it's not rich, but there is something fine about it that plucks ruthlessly on your heartstrings.

Comparisons with The Lion King cannot be avoided, but can be forgiven, as it's a great story upon which we base the core of our perception of Disney. Bambi defined cartoon cuteness and pathos in a way that has rarely been surpassed.

Placed in its time, Bambi is a staggering step forward in animation, with no peer, and so deserves a place in every family's DVD, or video collection.

Reviewed on: 11 Feb 2005
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Disney classic about a fawn and his bunny buddy.
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Director: David Hand

Writer: Larry Morey, based on the novel by Felix Salten

Starring: voices of Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Peter Behn, Paula Winslowe, Tim Davis, Donnie Dunagan, Ann Gillis, Sterling Hollowy, Cammie King, Thelma Boardman, Sam Edwards, Fred Shields, Will Wright, Margaret Lee

Year: 1942

Runtime: 70 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

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