Bambi Disney 1942

Disney released Bambi through RKO on August 13, 1942. It was originally intended to be the second full-length animated film from Disney (after Snow White, 1937) , but a combination of animation difficulties and enthusiasm for Fantasia [1940] interrupted Bambi's progress.

Walt Disney's focus on Bambi was renewed in the late summer of 1939, and the Disney animators began trying to conquer the main problem, which was the realistic depiction of the forest animals. To do this they created a small zoo on the Disney lot, and some artists spent time in the Eastern seaboard forests researching animals and scenery. The animator Tyrus Wong was a major influence on Bambi because of his composition technique of a more detailed area around the main subject with lessoning detail and focus elsewhere in the frame, which was a technique that allowed the directors to keep attention on their main subjects, even when surrounded by the vast forest setting.

The film failed to earn enough box office on release to meet the production cost of $1.7 million, but the re-release in 1947 did well and pushed Bambi into profit, and the other re-releases piled on further earnings as the film gained popularity.

Bambi was revolutionary in adding a new sophistication to the Disney animator skills which was exploited in all of Disney's efforts afterwards.

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Original Page January 2015