Bambi II is the only direct-to-video Disney sequel to a Golden Age film. Even though it was technically given a limited theatrical release outside of the U.S. Bambi is a beloved classic, but 63 years is a very long gap between movies. My brother and I didn’t watch Bambi II right away, even though it’s one of Disney’s better sequels. The Australian animation is an impressive recreation of the old fashion artwork that captures the painted forest and dramatic lighting of the original. The title makes about as much sense as Tarzan II.
Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest would’ve made more sense since Bambi II picks up immediately after the young fawn tragically lost his mother. We finally get to see what happened between the Great Prince raising Bambi and him returning to the forest as a buck. The soundalike cast is good, but the sequel may be a bit too chatty in comparison. Nemo himself Alexander Gould voices the eager young Bambi and the respectable Patrick Stewart voices his stern father who keeps him at a distance. Thumper and Flower are around to help toughen Bambi up. Though Thumper is also dealing with his four pesky sisters. The Great Prince teaches his son the ways of the Prince.
They struggle to bond or talk about his late mother. Friend Owl agrees to look for a replacement doe, but the creepiest scene involves Bambi mistaking a deer call for his mother. Since Man is still off-screen, Bambi’s unnamed rival is given a name and a voice. Rono is just an insecure bully who competes for the affection of Bambi’s future mate Faline. Bambi and his father eventually form a strong bond that makes him brave enough to symbolically rescue a potential mother figure. Songs like “There Is Life,” “First Sign of Spring,” “Through Your Eyes,” or “The Healing of a Heart” are fine, but a little too modern. Bambi II may not be as emotional, but I think it was still worth the wait.
Preceded by: Bambi
2 thoughts on “The Great Prince of the Forest”
As odd as this’ll probably sound, I’ve never seen the original Bambi or the sequel. I knew of the infamy of the original cause of the trauma kids purportedly suffered thanks to the heartbreaking moment. The sequel I heard was much more uplifting.
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That does surprise me. I haven’t seen the original a lot, but I do have fond memories of it. As for the sequel, it is a nice addition.
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