75th Anniversary Screening! 35mm Academy Archive print!
Was Bambi, the Disney classic that made the woodlands feel like home to generations of young children as it is to the film’s animated deer, set in Maine? The movie itself never explicitly tells us, but Bambi has several significant Maine connections: photographer and artist Maurice Day, from Damariscotta, was sent here to extensively photograph the Mt. Katahdin and North Woods area for the film’s visual development. The two live fawns who served as animation models were sent to the Hyperion studio by the Maine Development Commission. And the film’s musical composer Frank Churchill came from Rumford, ME. If not literally set in Maine, Bambi could well have been. “The classic Felix Salter story provides the basis for this near-perfect Disney animated feature. We follow the male deer Bambi from birth, through his early childhood experiences with woodland pals Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk, the traumatic sudden death of Bambi’s mother at the hands of hunters, his courtship of the lovely doe Faline, and his rescue of his friends during a raging forest fire; we last see the mature, antlered Bambi assuming his proper place as the Prince of the Forest. In the grand Disney tradition, Bambi is brimming with unforgettable sequences, notably the young deer’s attempts to negotiate an iced-over pond, and most especially the death of Bambi’s mother–and if this moment doesn’t move you to tears, you’re made of stone (many subsequent Disney films, including The Lion King, have tried, most in vain, to match the horror and pathos of this one scene)”—Rotten Tomatoes.
Associated event: Bambi and the art of Tyrus Wong: A Talk by John Canemaker
Tuesday, July 18, 12:00 p.m. at the Colby College Museum of Art.