“Hiya, Bambi. Watch what I can do!” Thumper’s excited boast as he launches himself across the frozen pond might as well have come from Walt himself in reference to the calibre of animation his fifth feature film achieved. The film is, quite simply, an artistic masterpiece.
I’ve said it before: Animation and high definition were made for each other. Thanks to a stocking stuffer this Christmas, we were lucky enough to watch this film on Blu-Ray. And if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the film came out yesterday. The animation and attention to detail is just exquisite.
Indeed, Walt was obsessed with accuracy when it came to animating Bambi. He was determined his animators capture the movements of deer and other forest animals with as much realism as possible, while adding vaguely human facial expressions to show emotions. Disney bought the rights to the film in 1937, intending it to be the studio’s second animated feature. The animation challenges proved too ambitious at the time and animators were soon pulled off the project in favour of the studio’s other projects, including Fantasia. By 1939, production resumed in earnest, but animation difficulties drew out the production process by several years.