Flowers and Bambi

Happy Thursday Main Streeters. Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival has officially kicked off and I may or may not have timed it perfectly to rediscover a tale with a character named Flower frolicking with other woodland creatures in what is known as nature’s original gardens. That’s right, this week, we explore the story of Bambi. If you’ve never seen the movie, it was released in 1942 and is the fifth animated film released by Walt Disney. The movie is based off an Austrian book called Bambi, a life in the woods.

Unfortunately, Bambi is one of the classic films that wasn’t widely popular when it was released. The studio actually lost money on Bambi. With a $1.7 million dollar budget, the production only grossed $1.64 million in return. After re-watching the tale, it’s understandable why this film wasn’t well received, and why to this day, it’s rare to hear someone say their favorite Disney movie is Bambi. The story falls a little flat despite having some tender moments, some funny moments, and an Academy Award nominated score.

I dug deeper to understand why this film missed the mark. It turns out that writers, and Walt himself, struggled with delivering this story and there were multiple interpretations. Mel Shaw, a storyteller and animator, who was personally recruited by Walt Disney himself to work on Bambi shed a little light on this issue in an interview I found. Mel said “The story of Bambi had a so many possibilities, you could go off on a million tangents. I remember one situation when Walt became involved with himself. He said ‘Suppose we have Bambi step on an ant hill and we cut inside and see all the damage he’s done to the ant civilization’. We spent weeks and weeks developing the ants, and then all of a sudden we decided, you know, we’re way off the story, this has got nothing to do with the story of Bambi. We also had a family of grasshoppers, and they get into a family squabble of this or that, and Bambi is watching all of this, and here’s the big head of Bambi in the grasshoppers. And what’s that got to do with the story, and this would go on many times.”

If this quote from Mel is any indication of the creative process, clearly the storytellers and animators wanted to give audiences a take away from the tale. As expressed in my other blogs, I’m a firm believer that these stories that have captivated audiences are more than just innovations in animation, they have a deeper message that Walt wished to deliver to audiences. Life lessons immortalized in animation. So what can we take from Bambi?

First, it’s difficult to cover some of the depth of this film because of recent events that have taken place in real life. So setting that debate aside to analyze the film and bring you this family friendly blog is the focus. Walt covers so much in this tale, from death, acceptance of loss, pride, the presence of man in nature, and so on and so forth. Just as Mel said you can take so much from this film, and I anticipate that if you watch it several times, you’ll find a different meaning in each viewing. However, there are some gems in quotes from the characters that are classic and we see still hear uttered by fans this day. One of my favorites is brought to you by Thumper.

“If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all” – Thumper

Spoken in a sweet tone with somewhat of a lisp, Thumper imparts on audiences a golden rule to be kind. This lesson rings true even in this day and age. As a society we discuss the struggle with kindness. Studies are published with information on what happens when we often forget the feelings of others, and speak with words that are hurtful. It can really take a toll on people to be exposed to such negativity and it changes them. Thumper is chastised for teasing, and reminded that if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all. This lesson should make a huge comeback, in my humble opinion.

“Love is a song that never ends” – Bambi

What a powerful message. Whether you are on cloud nine, head over heels in love, or having just lost someone special to you, this quote brings comfort that love is everlasting. A beautiful melody to be carried with us for eternity. When you love it’s like a different frequency of care, compassion, and kindness which affects the recipient in a magical way. The message behind this quote is to love and create that melody that never ends.

So Main Streeter’s – tell us, what did you learn from watching Bambi? Is this your favorite Disney movie? If so, why? Share with us what you love and what you learned. We love your feedback!




Erika Roberts has been a Disney kid for as long as she can remember, but her love of visiting Disney Parks started after just one ride in a Doom Buggy. She couldn’t run to guest relations fast enough to offer up her soul in return for an Annual Pass. Since then Disney has taken all of her money, but has given her the most cherished memories; from watching her Nona’s face light up with happy tears as we strolled down Main Street on her first visit (she was 84 at the time), to her very own engagement on Halloween in front of the Haunted Mansion. Erika is excited to be on the TMSM team and where Disney Parks are concerned, you won’t catch her dead on It’s a Small World. If she asks to ride that, this is a clear indication that she is in danger and you must send help. You will, however, catch her performing Random Acts of Disney (R.A.D’s), park hopping with her amazing group of impressively talented and kind friends (usually in some themed attire), hanging out by The Haunted Mansion, and ugly crying during fireworks… then begging for a Mickey Premium Bar to eat her feelings…this is a judgment-free bio. Otherwise, Erika works for the State of Florida and is actively involved in her community. Erika believes in empowering others and spreading kindness to people from all walks of life. Erika also makes custom designed Disney inspired ears, etched glass, gifts, and accessories. You can check out, like or follow her work on FB, which also links to my shop’s Instagram: She looks forward to getting to know everyone and sharing the magic of Disney!

Erika has 121 posts and counting. See all posts by Erika


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