image for Bambi

Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 7 (emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, wild animals getting hunted), violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Bambi
  • a review of Bambi completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 August 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, wild animals getting hunted), violence, and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–7 Parental guidance recommended due to emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, wild animals getting hunted), violence, and scary scenes.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group, though parental guidance is recommended for sensitive children due to emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, wild animals getting hunted).

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Bambi
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact
Length: 68 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It is a day of celebration. Fawn Bambi (voiced by Donnie Dunagan; Hardie Albright; John Sutherland) is born – son to the Great Prince of the Forest (voiced by Fred Shields), the oldest and wisest stag in the forest – and all the forest residents come to greet him and pay their respects. Soon, Bambi starts exploring the forest, together with his mother (voiced by Paula Winslove) and his friends, the rabbit Thumper and the skunk Flower. He also learns that there is a lurking danger which they must always look out for: ‘Man’, who comes to hunt in the forest. It is on a late winter's day, when Bambi's beloved mother falls victim to the hunters and Bambi must now grow up without her, under the guidance of his wise father. Time passes and just when things seem perfect – Bambi, now a handsome young stag, has just fallen in love with Faline (voiced by Ann Gillis) – ‘Man’ comes back to disturb their happiness and peace.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Disney Classic; Circle of Life; Death of a parent; Animal life in the forest; Love and loss; Friendship; Courage.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Hunters (referred to as "Man" and never depicted directly) fire gunshots at the forest animals. It is implied they shot Bambi's mother. A quail is shot in flight and falls to the ground, dead. Bambi suffers a gunshot wound but survives.
  • Bambi has to defend his position and his claim on mate Faline in an intense fight with a challenging stag.
  • Faline and Bambi get chased and attacked by a mob of vicious hunting dogs, and Bambi has to violently fight them off.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Bambi and his mother seek shelter from a thunderstorm. The depiction of the storm is very intense, with dark and gloomy lighting, dramatic music, loud thunder, and bright flashes of lightning.
  • One day, when out on the meadow, Bambi's mother senses the presence of hunters. She shouts at Bambi to run as fast as he can. A loud gunshot can be heard. The viewer does not see Bambi's mother getting shot or dead but it is clear that she was killed, leaving Bambi devastated. This is very emotionally intense for young or older sensitive viewers.
  • Hunters come back and bring along a mob of fierce, vicious, hunting dogs. They chase and attack Faline and Bambi, who can only just fight them off.
  • Forest animals are seen in panic and running for their lives at the arrival of the hunters and their dogs.
  • The hunters' forest fire starts a massive, violent wildfire that Bambi and his father can only just escape.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Bambi is a much-acclaimed Disney Classic, which was first released in 1942, after six years in the making. The depiction of ‘Man’ as a vicious and remorseless enemy of the forest animals provoked an outcry of anger among hunters after the film’s release, and parents who watched this film as children will likely recall the devastation at Bambi's mother's death, plus other intense scenes. Despite or maybe because of its dark and sad moments, the movie is a wonderful depiction of the circle of life, and portrayal of love and friendship. Due to these raw depictions of realistic danger and anguish, parental guidance for young and sensitive viewers is warranted.

The main messages from this movie are that is it important to live life to the full; that sad times will be followed by happier times; and that there is nothing more important than love and friendship.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Courage
  • Responsibility.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Hunting for sport and leisure purposes.
  • The relationship between humans and nature.