The conclusion of Part One saw Bambi and his family escape in the nick of time from Man. The story continues with the arrival of autumn and leaves falling everywhere in a gorgeous montage.
And then…one day, Bambi wakes up and discovers a whole bunch of “white stuff” has fallen outside: Winter has arrived. Things aren’t going to be very good as far as food goes, but Bambi doesn’t know that right now, he just wants to go out and play. This leads to the following scene that I just have to share because it is so adorable!
The whole first part where Bambi is poking around through the snow is just a perfect representation of a child discovering Winter for the first time. And remember Mickey Mousing? Check out the music as Bambi makes footprints through the snow, perfect synchronization! And the second part features the adorable antics of Thumper and Bambi on the ice (on a side note, I’m kind of like Bambi when it comes to skating on ice).
However, in the following montage (accompanied by haunting music by a sighing chorus), suddenly Winter isn’t fun anymore. The deer are traveling from place to place, trying to find food (even eating the bark off trees), but it’s clear there’s not enough. At last though, Winter appears to end as Bambi’s mother spots the first bits of spring grass and the pair help themselves. But then…you hear that ominous three-note theme and realize, just as Bambi’s mother does, that they are NOT alone: Man is there! What follows is one of the most tragic scenes in Disney history, made all the more poignant by the fact that you only hear and do not see the moment when Bambi’s mother is killed. See for yourself below:
I can still remember being very small, watching this movie, and even at that age I knew something was terribly wrong. There’s a brief moment of jubilation as Bambi safely reaches the thicket, but when he turns around to tell his mother “We made it!” The music literally jumps as Bambi realizes he’s alone. The haunting chorus from earlier returns as Bambi begins to search the woods, not understanding why is mother isn’t there. Then, out of nowhere, Bambi’s father appears and utters those fateful words: “Your mother can’t be with you anymore.” Bambi understands, and with that, his childhood as he knows it, is over.
All Friend Owl wants to do is sleep
The story moves forward presumably to that spring (it’s not quite clear how much time has passed) and there’s a humorous song called “Spring Song” (featuring extensive use of the word “gay” when it referred to one being “happy”)
All during this song, poor Friend Owl is trying desperately to get his rest, but the happy song doesn’t permit it, so he finally takes off to find a more peaceful place to sleep. He does, for a minute, until a deer decides his tree is perfect to work on cleaning his antlers. And who is this deer, why Bambi of course! (Goodness they grow up fast don’t they?)
Bambi, Thumper and Flower are all grown up!
No sooner do the three friends reunite, then they see two birds deeply in love fly by. And when they ask “Why are they acting that way?” Friend Owl delivers one of my favorite lines, ever. He laughs and says “Why don’t you know? They’re twitterpated.”
Owl’s explanation of love is so funny (and yet a little accurate), that you just have to watch it for yourself:
Thoroughly horrified by Owl’s description, all three vow that it will NOT happen to them (of course THAT doesn’t last long). In rapid succession, Flower and Thumper get girlfriends, much to Bambi’s disgust.
Thumper is in a knot over HIS girlfriend (blushed cheeks and all)
Of course, whether he admits it or not, Bambi is about to fall in love too, as he runs into the very beautiful (and now all grown up) Faline. Bambi turns as awkward as a newborn fawn, but Faline thinks he’s cute and, because why not, she gives him a kiss and Bambi is instantly “twitterpated”!!
The music turns rather dreamy, and soon Bambi and Faline are (literally) bounding through the clouds together (not a bad representation of what feeling in love is like). But just as Faline gives a look of “come hither” and disappaers into the bushes…a rival appears (he’s named Ronno in the book).
Musically, this scene between Bambi, Ronno and Faline is very interesting. For one, Ronno never says a single word, yet the music makes perfectly clear that he is challenging Bambi for Faline. And as Ronno begins to drive Faline away, the tension in the music begins to build, symbolizing Bambi’s growing anger. And thus, the fight begins as Bambi charges after them…
As intense as the fight is, I’ve never been able to keep track of who is who (and perhaps they did that on purpose).
Of course, Bambi wins and he and Faline go off together. Part 3 will look at their love song and the climax that follows (unfortunately, Man isn’t done with them just yet). Have a great day!
*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios
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