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Bambi turns 80

by Cheryl E Preston about a month ago in entertainment · updated about a month ago
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The heartwarming Disney animated classic is a rare gem among films and has delighted fans of many generations.

The classic film turns 80

Bambi was released in movie theaters in August of 1942. This American animated classic was directed by David Hand who supervised a team of sequence directors. The film was the fifth animated feature produced by Walt Disney and is based on Austrian author and hunter Felix Salten's 1923 book Bambi, a Life in the Woods.

The film focuses on Bambi, a white-tailed deer; his father the Great Prince of the forest and his mother who was never named. Bambi's friends are Thumper a pink-nosed rabbit and Flower who is a skunk. There is also Feline, a doe and childhood friend who becomes the future mate of the little deer.

Disney decided to base the character on a mule deer from Arrowhead, California but in Salten's book, Bambi was a roe deer, native to Europe. The film received three Academy Award nominations: Original Music Score, Best Sound (Sam Slyfield), and Best Song (for "Love Is a Song" sung by Donald Novis).

Donnie Dunegan

Bambi voice actors

Bambi was voiced by two different actors. Seven year old Donald Dunegan was the young version and Hardie Albright an adult was the adolecent deer. Dunegan who was born on August 16, 1934 will be 88 this year. The actor was a child star who appeared in the films

Mother Carey's Chickens (1938)

Son of Frankenstein , The Forgotten Woman and Tower of London (1939) as Baby Prince

Vigil in the Night (1940)

Meet the Chump (1941)

Bambi was his final movie and at the age of 13, Dunagan was living in a boarding house and working as a lathe operator.At the age of 18, in 1952 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and became the Marines' youngest-ever drill instructor. He also served three tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times. He retired in 1977 having earned the rank of major and received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

Dunagan kept his acting career a secret and his fellow Marines had no idea. In 2004 horror film historian Tom Weaver caught up with him and the interview became a special "Donnie Dunagan issue" of Video Watchdog magazine. Dunagan is retired and livingwith his wife. in San Angelo, Texas.

Hunter Albright

Albright was born on December 16, 1903 and began acting on stage at a young age. A parcial listing of his film roles include:

Hush Money, Skyline and Heartbreak (1931) So Big , The Purchase Price, Jewel Robbery, This Sporting Age, A Successful Calamity, The Cabin in the Cotton, The Crash, and Three on a Match all in 1932. The Song of Songs and The House on 56th Street in 1933 and The Scarlet Letter and Two Heads on a Pillow 1934 and Women Must Dress 1935

He was an adult when he lent his voice to Bambi and retired from film acting after World War II. He became a drama instructor at UCLA, and wrote several books on acting and directing during his time at the school. During the 1960s, he made many guest appearances on television series such as Bewitched, Hazel, Gunsmoke Leave It To Beaver, On December 7, 1975, Albright died from congestive heart failure.

The Evolution of Bambi

Bambi began on the silver screen in 1942 and 49 years later made its world television premiere on Sunday February 3rd 1991 on The Disney Channel . on "The Magical World of Disney." On February 4th 1997 the film was released on VHS, and on March 1st 2005 became available on DVD. In June 2017 a special 75th anniversary Blu-ray edition becahe available and now the animated classic can be viewed anytime on the Disney + streaming service.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute presented its list of "10 Top 10"—(the best ten films in each of ten classic American film genres).In a poll of more than 1,500 individuals from the creative community, Bambi placed third in animation.In December 2011, the animated classic was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress being deemed"culturally, historically and aecetically significant."


About the author

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Cheryl E Preston (Author)about a month ago


  • Mark Grahamabout a month ago

    I do not know anyone who doesn't like Bambi. One of my favorite Disney movies.

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