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“Bambi”: National Film Registry #23

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We are only days away from the announcement of the newest films to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.  As we gear up, let’s look back.

Who could ever forget the Disney’s magical story of a wide-eyed deer and its life in the woods? The beloved film “Bambi” was added to the Registry in 2011.

Author John Wills once said about the film:

“An emotive tale of a young deer’s life in the forest, Disney’s fifth full-length animated feature ‘Bambi’ is widely considered one of the studio’s best movies and a veritable ‘nature classic.’  The film is based on ‘Bambi, A Life in the Woods’ (1923) by Austrian Felix Salten that offered a sentimental yet critical take on human-nature relations for a largely adult audience. Taken as an allegory of Jewish persecution, Nazi Germany banned the novel in 1936. In April 1937, Walt Disney acquired rights to the title from MGM director Sidney Franklin, who had failed to turn the story into a working live-action movie. Walt recognized huge potential in ‘Bambi.’ Fascinated by the forest drama and range of animal characters, he enthused, ‘It’s a story that that’s going to have a tremendous amount of appeal.'”

Read the rest of the Wills essay on ”Bambi” (PDF).


Title:  “Bambi”

Year of Release:  1942

Year Added to the National Film Registry:  2011  (See all films added to the Registry in 2011.)

Trivia:  Of all of his animated features, “Bambi” was said to be Walt Disney’s personal favorite.

This blog post is number 23 in our “30 Years of the National Film Registry” series which was launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Registry.  The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.  The 30th National Film Registry selections will be announced on December 12, 2018.


  1. I would love if this could be shown at one of your screening. My son and Ihad the pleasure of watching “Gremlins in your theatre and it was enjoyable.

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