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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie picks up right where Bambi left off. There are many references to the death of Bambi's mother and frightening scenes of hunting dogs chasing Bambi. Faline's mother is caught in a hunter's trap. A new character, Ronno, is a bully fawn who picks on Bambi: "Isn't Bambi a girl's name?"
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BAMBI II starts with Bambi learning of his mother's death. His father (voiced by Patrick Stewart) is the Great Prince and therefore has no time to raise a fawn. He seeks the help of the wise owl to find a doe to raise him as her own. In the meantime, Bambi reunites with buddies Thumper, Flower, and Faline to romp in the forest. In steps a new character, Ronno, a young bully fawn who teases Bambi, usually resulting in scuffles between the two.
Is it any good?
Kids will love the animation, though the film is a bit emotionally intense at times. Most parents have distinct memories of watching Bambi as a child and will be happy to know that Bambi and his father have come a long way in accepting their new life together. Disney has made great efforts to maintain the classic style of animation that gave Bambi the recognition and honor of being one of Disney's greatest films. There's also typical feel-good Disney music by Allison Krauss and Martina McBride that accompanies a few scenes.
Although it's mostly the story of a motherless fawn, Bambi II also shows the emotional development of a father who has lost a soul mate and is learning to be a single parent. But it's the inner drama of Bambi's struggle to accept his mother's death that may upset today's kids. At one point he hears his mother calling to him. It turns out to be a hunting ploy, and Bambi is cornered by several fierce-looking dogs. His father rescues him, and Bambi is scolded for falling for "man's tricks." When Bambi asks about his mother, he's told to leave the past in the past. Swallow it down and let the pain stay there? Not the best message for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the bullying behavior of Ronno and how to stand up for oneself and be an ally to one's friends.
What are some of the different animals in the movie? What are their personalities like?
What are some of the lessons Bambi learns during the movie, and what are some of the lessons Bambi's father learns?
Pre-viewing, parents may want to prepare their younger kids about what happened to Bambi's mother. You could talk about how you felt when you were young viewers watching the classic prequel.
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