Bambi ★★★★½

side note about watching physical media: I'm not sure if it's funny or not that this thing had a prominent logo declaring it certified FRESH by Rotten Tomatoes, as if to tell people 'hey, this is safe to watch-people think it's a pretty good movie!'

Of course, that thinking is falling into the trap that just because I'm culturally connected at the hip to this thing, it still has a lot of cachet. Time marches on, after all, and that's part of the point of BAMBI-focusing on growing up, growing old, family, the seasons, life cycle both of individual animals and the forest-but at the same time, it doesn't really feel like playing fair. This is, after all, the 'Run Bambi, Run!' film, and anyone who saw this as a child (myself included) likely had that burned into their memories as a result. You kids had your Lion King, we had Bambi, is what I'm trying to say.

So I can't really be objective about this-I will say the shift from the early scenes of young Bambi exploring the forest to the darker material in the second half of the film is very well done, and the decision to keep the humans off-screen was probably wise. I already mentioned Bambi's mother, but tbh, I had forgotten about the second chase sequence, with Bambi fighting off the dogs before getting straight-up shot, which is weird, because it seems like it would be just as traumatic, if not more so. (I did remember the flames, but didn't connect the dots). Also, I had forgotten the use of music, done sparingly but very effectively, particularly in the first number about the April rainstorm.

And of course every frame of the landscape Bambi is exploring in this is utterly gorgeous.

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