Tag Archives: Felix Salten

Bambi “Love is a Song” (1942)

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On August 13th, 1942, RKO Radio Pictures released Walt Disney’s fifth animated classic Bambi, based on the 1923 novel  Bambi, a Life in the Woods, by Felix Salten. Disney actually acquired the rights to Bambi in 1937, after MGM’s attempts to turn the book into a live-action film proved to be unfeasible. Originally meant to be Disney’s second animated feature, the project became delayed (among other things, the animators discovered that animating deer realistically was no easy task) and work didn’t really get going until 1939. The score for this film proved to be the final work of composer Frank Churchill (1901-1942), who died after committing suicide following a severe bout of depression.

The film went through many stages, but the following main characters emerged:

Bambi: the son of the Great Prince of the Forest (Fred Shields); spends the first half of the story living with his unnamed mother (Paula Winslowe). Bambi’s closest friends are Thumper, a gray rabbit, and Flower, a male skunk (the name is based on a joke where Bambi, learning to speak, mistakenly thinks that Flower is, well, a flower, much to Thumper’s amusement).

The film’s opening song (referenced again as the film closes) is “Love is a Song,” performed as the opening credits roll. The song speaks to an enduring theme in the story that love takes many forms and despite changes in life, it never really goes away.

Love is a song that never ends
Life may be swift and fleeting
Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music
Comes each day like the dawn

Love is a song that never ends
One simple theme repeating
Like the voice of a heavenly choir
Love’s sweet music flows on

Like the voice of a heavenly choir
Love’s sweet music flows on

I actually didn’t like this opening when I was younger because the themes about love went over my head (plus I wanted to get on with the story). Years later I can appreciate what “Love is a Song” is trying to say. Let me know what you think of “Love is a Song” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Bambi “Little April Shower” (1942)

Bambi “Let’s Sing a Gay Little Spring Song” (1942)

Bambi “Looking For Romance” (1942)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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