Disney Animated Features
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Release Date: 13 August 1942
Thanks in part to World War II, Bambi was Disney's last true full-length animated feature until 1950's Cinderella. It was completed just as the United States was gearing up to enter the war, but remains one of the company's best-remembered films.
The story, adapted from a novel by Felix Salten, is a pretty standard coming-of-age story about a fawn named, appropriately enough, Bambi. Along with his friends Thumper (a bunny) and Flower (a skunk), Bambi learns about life, love, and -- controversially -- death. While it doesn't happen on screen, Bambi's mother is shot by hunters, in what many people remember as the most traumatic experience of their movie-going lives. Disney has rarely done anything similar in subsequent movies (Old Yeller is one of the few where they did).
Bambi was the first of Disney's animated features not to win an Academy Award (although Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and Fantasia's were honorary). It was nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Best Music, Song ("Love is a Song"), and Best Sound, Recording.
The next eight years saw several Disney Animated Features released, but they were all combinations of two or more shorter pieces. The war unfortunately made large-scale features unfeasible, but Walt Disney still had some ideas up his sleeve.
Information for the Disney Animated Features series of nodes comes from the IMDb (www.imdb.com), Frank's Disney Page (http://www.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de/~fp/Disney/), and the dark recesses of my own memory.