Bambi, the Disney animated classic, is the story of life in the forest and how Man almost destroys it. The Japanese word manga, literally translated, means "whimsical pictures". Manga are comics and print cartoons, typically printed in black-and-white, although some are in full-color, such as this one by Tokyopop, which takes actual Disney film footage to retell the tale in three chapters.
Bambi Grows Up
It’s springtime in the forest. Thumper the rabbit hops around to tell all the animals the Big News: the new prince is born! The prince, of course, is Bambi, the baby deer. Bambi learns to walk and talk with the help of his friends Thumper, Flower the skunk, and Faline, another fawn who plays a major part in his life later in the story. One winter day as a hungry Bambi and his mother search for grass in a snow covered meadow, Man comes hunting and (spoiler alert!) shoots his mother. Suddenly the Great Prince (Bambi’s father) appears. “Your mother can’t be with you anymore,” his father tells him. He leads his son away to raise him. While this is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie, it loses some of its dramatic impact in graphic novel format.
Bambi Falls In Love
Spring time again. Love is in the air, and all of the animals seem “twitterpated” as Owl puts it. Bambi, Thumper, and Flower swear it won’t happen to them, yet one by one they all meet a female. Bambi fights another young buck for the affection of Faline.
The New Prince of the Forest
In the most exciting chapter, Faline finds herself trapped on a cliff by a pack of snarling hunting dogs. Bambi battles the hounds to rescue her. Next a campfire roars through the forest. Bambi and the Great Prince follow a river to an island where other animals have also hidden from the flames. Finally the story returns full circle to springtime again where the animals once more await the news of a new prince of the forest, Bambi’s own son.
Looking for more manga books about movies? Check out Aladdin: Cine Manga, Coraline: the Graphic Novel
and The Tale of Despereaux: the Graphic Novel
(see links below).