Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand (supervising a team of sequence directors), produced by Walt Disney and based on the 1923 book Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Austrian author and hunter Felix Salten.[4][5] The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13, 1942, and is the fifth Disney animated feature film.

Theatrical release poster
Directed bySupervising director
David Hand
Sequence directors
James Algar
Samuel Armstrong
Graham Heid
Bill Roberts
Paul Satterfield
Norman Wright
Story byStory direction
Perce Pearce
Story adaptation
Larry Morey
Story development
Vernon Stallings
Melvin Shaw
Carl Fallberg
Chuck Couch
Ralph Wright
Based onBambi, a Life in the Woods
by Felix Salten
Produced byWalt Disney
Starringsee below
Music byFrank Churchill
Edward H. Plumb
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • August 9, 1942 (1942-08-09) (London)
  • August 21, 1942 (1942-08-21) (United States)[1]
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$267.4 million[3]

The main characters are Bambi, a white-tailed deer; his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother); his friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit); and Flower (a skunk); and his childhood friend and future mate, Faline. In the original book, Bambi was a roe deer, a species native to Europe; but Disney decided to base the character on a mule deer from Arrowhead, California.[6][7][8] Illustrator Maurice "Jake" Day convinced Disney that the mule deer had large "mule-like" ears and were more common to western North America; but that the white-tail deer was more recognized throughout America.[9]

The film received three Academy Award nominations: Best Sound (Sam Slyfield), Best Song (for "Love Is a Song" sung by Donald Novis) and Original Music Score.[10]

In June 2008, the American Film Institute presented a list of its "10 Top 10"—the best ten films in each of ten classic American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Bambi placed third in animation.[11] In December 2011, the film was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant".[12][13][14]

In January 2020, it was announced that a photorealistic computer-animated remake was in development, just months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

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