We all love the famous Disney movie, Bambi. But have you ever wondered whether Bambi is a boy or a girl? Most cartoons depict Bambi as a fawn, which is before male deer have a chance to grow their antlers. That’s why it is so tricky to find out whether this iconic character is male or female. So is Bambi a boy or a girl deer?
So, Is Bambi a Boy or a Girl?
Bambi is a male deer in both the novel and film adaptation. Yet there are other changes between the novel and the film that you may find interesting as well.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the world’s most famous deer (sorry, Rudolph).
More About Bambi
As we mentioned, Bambi is a male deer. He’s destined to be a buck when he gets older. But how do we know this?
Well, it’s because Bambi is constantly referred to as “he.”
If you’ve only seen images from the movie, or if you haven’t seen it since you were a kid, you’ve probably forgotten what happens in the film’s second half.
Bambi grows antlers and is known as the prince of the forest when he grows up. That’s how we know that he’s a male deer.
Facts About the Character of Bambi
Austro-Hungarian writer Felix Salten first invented Bambi. Bambi’s initial appearance was in the 1923 novel Bambi, A Life in the Woods. In 1939, the sequel, Bambi’s Children, was published.
The Walt Disney adaptation made Bambi the most recognizable deer character ever. The Disney film became so well-known that it is impossible not to associate this cute little guy with Disney.
Disney’s Bambi has made cameo appearances in other Disney films and can even be seen on Disney’s stock certificates. He is also known for appearing in the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
About Felix Salten’s Bambi Novels
Felix Salten’s novels are considered among the first environmentally-focused novels ever to be published. Bambi reminds us to take care of the environment.
Today, Salten is primarily known for creating the Bambi character. But in his time, he was also one of the leading figures of Viennese literary society back in the 1920s.
Bambi, A Life in the Woods has many similarities to the film adaptation, but there are more deer characters.
Salten was an avid hunter and originally intended the novels for an adult audience. He was Jewish and wrote the sequel while in exile in Switzerland after fleeing the Nazis at the onset of WWII.
Bambi’s Children follows the story of Bambi’s two children, Geno and Gurri. These characters were modeled after Salten’s son and daughter.
The novel was originally published in the English translation since Salten could not have the work published in Austria.
The original German text of both novels is much gorier than the English versions.
About the Disney Bambi Character
While Bambi directly encounters Man in the books, the humans are only depicted off-screen in the Disney film.
The Disney adaptation added in new characters, including Thumper the rabbit and the skunk, Flower. In addition, the romance between Bambi and Faline plays a much larger role in the movie than it does in the novel.
The 3 Deer Species Bambi is Based On
Disney studios was worried this deer would not look familiar to an American audience, so they originally modeled the character off of a mule deer.
Yet the final drawings most closely resembled a white-tailed deer, the most common North American deer species. Real fawns were used as models for the drawing to create a naturalistic animation style.
Human models were also used for some of the scenes to create an anthropomorphized animation style (the ice skating scenes are an example).
Additionally, a team of nature photographers explored the woods in Maine to create sample photographs and record nature sounds.
In the first movie, Bambi is meant to represent any deer in any forest. His personality is not very developed and, like the novel, the movie is a coming-of-age story.
Bambi’s Key Relationships
The deep bond between Bambi and his mother forms the emotional backbone of the movie. When Bambi’s mother dies, Bambi is completely lost until he finds his father, the Great Prince of the Forest.
As he grows up, Bambi befriends the young rabbit Thumper, a character almost as iconic as the deer.
Thumper has many rabbit siblings and is primarily a comic character. He and Bambi reunite when the latter grows up and they become friends.
Bambi also befriends a young skunk and an owl. Other friendly forest creatures appear throughout the film.
Like all great heroes, Bambi falls in love. His love interest is the doe Faline. To prove his worth and win her affection, Bambi must fight another buck to regain his rightful place as the Great Prince of the Forest.
Bambi also has a troubled relationship with Man. Although Man never appears in the film, a hunter is responsible for the death of Bambi’s mother and serves as the story’s primary villain.
Final Thoughts: Is Bambi a Boy or a Girl?
80 years have passed since Disney’s Bambi was first released in theaters, and nearly one hundred have gone by since Salten’s novel was published.
Yet Bambi remains a timeless tale still beloved by viewers and readers of all ages. Without a doubt, he’s the world’s most famous deer.
And now you know the answer to the question is Bambi a boy or a girl. He’s a boy!