The Prince of the Forest
Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with -- Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl, and Bambi's twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline.
But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger -- and things he doesn't understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bambi's father, a handsome stag, roams the forest, but leaves Bambi and his mother alone.
Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. He does terrible things to Gobo, to Bambi's mother, and even to Bambi. But He can't keep Bambi from growing into a handsome stag himself, and becoming...the Prince of the Forest.
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The True Story of Bambi
I've known the story of Bambi for as long as I can remember. My mother, an Uncle Walt fanatic and "Disney historian", introduced it to me when I was very young. I loved it and, although I have aged a bit since then, still consider it a crowning achievement in the world of entertainment. I have only recently discovered that there was a book that my favorite childhood movie was based on. At first, I was sceptical as to whether the orginal story would measure up to the high standards I had set (judging on the brillance of the televised version). But, as I began looking through this novel, I was shocked at the orginality of Salten's prose and his talent for digging in to the heart of wildlife intellect and their more straightforward, slighty naive perspective. It was very entertaining to see life through the eyes of nature. I've found with most of the nature-orienated novels I've read that the author doesn't put their readers, or themselves, in a realistic animal psych. This is probally due to the fact that many have spread the belief that the literary audience is more interested in a humanized version of an animal's mindset than a more realistic, honest view. However, this not only gives the reader a false, almost mythological view of nature and its inhabitats, but takes away from nature itself. We know how humans think - what we want to know is how animals think, how they feel, how they react, how they see the world, how they see US, not how WE see THEM. We already know that. Felix Salten, God bless him, has satisfied my cravings. I remember when I first read THE YEARLING. I was constantly wondering how the fawn felt. To me, BAMBI is the unrivaled answer to my ponderings. However, on the more cynical, derogatory side, I was dissapointed in the illustrations. While the cover art was near close to perfection, the interior was a bit of a downer. Felix's language, while very heartful and descriptive in its right, is blunt and untarnished as a young child's, like the perspective of any inhabitat of nature. To me, the illustrations should have aided us in picturing what wildlife experiences on a daily basis. After all, an animal wouldn't take the time to describe something he has always known. He, or she, would see no need for it. I loved the other characters that were, sadly, chopped out of the film, such as Karus, Aunt Ena, Old Nettla , Marena, and frail, beautifully wrought Gobo. Its simplicty, honesty, and innocent, sentimental quality is refreshing.It is a shinging example of nature and a call for respect and appreciation of the natural world and its creatures. Over all, other than some the illustrations and a lack of a true "star" equality in Bambi (it is more of a tale of all the characters, with Bambi as a convient narrator)it is the closest to a masterpiece that I have come across in years. They just don't make books like this anymore.
Review: Bambi (Bambi #1)User Review - Tonya - Goodreads
The magic of this book lies in the author's ability to describe what is in the mind of the animal. It's a rich world, but full of the struggle for survival, with some tragic and downright creepy ... Read full review