Director: David Hand
Stars: Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, Hardie Albright
For more than 70 years, Disney's Bambi has stood as one of the preeminent examples of what animation can bring to the silver screen. The most memorable scene in the movie—and easily one of the great moments in film history—is when Bambi's mother is gunned down by a hunter. The scene is stripped to its most basic components, for maximum heart-breakage: swirling snow and Bambi's cries for his mother. It's the turning point of the movie, and of the lives of many children. It's the destruction of innocence.
But the movie begins to look up after that as Disney imparts its typical magic on the rest of the story, complete with a saccharine supporting cast of wide-eyed animals and unrestrained optimism. This is a movie filled with so many down-to-Earth themes and so much emotion that anyone who walks away from it still unconvinced that animation is a viable medium will likely never come around. For everyone else, though, Bambi stands not only as one of the best Disney movies ever, but one of the great cinematic achievements during Hollywood's Golden Age. —JS