Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Interview

RELATED INTERVIEWS
More Interviews

RELATED REVIEWS
Bambi (1942)
Empire Star Rating
Monsters, Inc. 3D (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Up (2009)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Pete Docter Talks Bambi
The Pixar director on a Disney classic...

submit to reddit

A fun fact about Pixar: a number of its employees are big fans of Bambi. John Lasseter's already on the record about his love for the film, and now as the little fawn heads to Blu-ray Pete Docter has opened up about his Bambi fandom, and the influence that it had on Docter's Up. Here's what Docter had to say recently about the film's continuing importance...

Pete Docter Talks Bambi


"There are two amazingly striking things to me about Bambi.

“The first is how far Walt was willing to push the story -- or in this case, strip it away. The plot contains very few of the elements we recognize as ‘Classical Story Structure’ used in most films, even in later films produced by Walt. There's no bad guy (other than Man, never seen), nor does young Bambi even have a ‘want’, usually crucial to drive the story. Yet at every turn we are intrigued by what is happening and entertained by the characters. This is extremely difficult to pull off, and shows an amazing confidence on the part of Walt. On a film like Cinderella or Peter Pan, the unfolding plot and action could be made clear in story boards or storyreels, and the story could be honed, refined, and proven before the costly animation was produced.

“With Bambi, in almost all moments, it’s the charm of the character animation -- the charm and humour of Bambi slipping on the ice, for example, or the beauty of a rain storm, captured in paint -- which provides the hook that keeps us watching. Except for Walt's ability to have the film in his head, and the confidence he had in his artists to pull it off, there was no way to prove the film was working until final, expensive, footage was produced.

“The second thing that hits me is the art direction. It is simultaneously consistent and unified throughout the film, yet amazingly divergent depending on the specific needs of the sequence. The film opens on a naturalistically rendered, dimensional, tracking shot through the forest, featuring pools of light and dark, crisply delineated leaves, and even simulated depth-of-field as we pan past blurred foreground trees. Compare this to some of the expressionist streaks of orange and purple during the forest fire, or the striking, rim-lit battle between Bambi and his rival. Viewed out of context, some of the backgrounds don't even look representational. Yet they all work superbly for what is needed emotionally.

“There was something very honest and genuine about Thumper, stemming first from the voice casting and then informing the animation, which we referenced often when writing and casting the character Russell in Up.

“We also consciously tried to allow space for character moments, where the charm and quirk of the character personality grabs audience interest instead of the plot and what happens next -- which, as I mentioned, is done incredibly well in Bambi.”

Bambi: Diamond Edition is out now on high-definition Disney Blu-ray for the first time.

For more on Bambi and every other Disney animated feature, check out our comprehensive guide to all 50 here.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)