Bambi comes into the world in a forest glade, loved by his mother, protected by a thicket. He grows up frolicking in the meadow, befriending butterflies and screech owls, and learning about the dark fear of all the woodland creatures: man. Over time, Bambi seeks out the wisdom of the prince of deer, a magnificent old stag who walks alone through the paths of the forest. Bambi is torn between his desire to be with his beloved mate, Faline, and his yearning for the knowledge and solitude the prince represents. He is also conflicted about his friend Gobo, who has returned to the forest after a winter living among humans. Gobo behaves unnaturally by strolling through the woods by day when other deer are sleeping, showing no fear of his natural mortal enemy.
This 1926 classic has been stretched and squeezed into many forms over the years, but the Felix Salten original should not be missed. With the richer, more highly wrought language of his time, Salten crafts a story layered in meaning, weighty with its message. The sometimes cruel, often joyful cycle of life continues, in spite of those who try to defy nature's law. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter