Thursday, April 25, 2019

Another Frank Thomas Masterpiece

Frank Thomas' animation of Bambi and Thumper on the ice is legendary.
This story sequence was almost cut from the film, Walt Disney questioned its importance within the overall plot of the film.
Marc Davis had sketched the storyboards, and Frank got all excited over the possibilities for personality animation . In order to convince Walt that this might be a highly entertaining part of the movie, Frank posed out the whole sequence for Walt to see. The rest is history.
What a great contrast between the characters. Thumper is so comfortable on the ice, he is a champ skater with his low center of gravity. Bambi is the opposite. His long legs prevent him from balancing his body. 
It's animation business galore.

I noticed that Frank drew Bambi with solid, sometimes bulky legs. Milt Kahl was already in the business of stylizing a deer's anatomy with much thinner legs. (A trend that would continue with Prince Philip's horse Samson as well as Pongo.)


  1. Thanks for sharing these gems. I recently tried animating Bambi for a personal challenge, and soon realized how difficult he is to move around convincingly. It makes you appreciate how much study and homework went into pulling off scenes like this, where anatomy is an important part of the gag.Just great!

  2. This scene is maybe my favorite thing ever animated. It really makes the art of character animation shine, because the animation is what makes it entertaining. I live for this stuff!

  3. Ich dachte früher immer Bambi wär ein Mädchen. Mich haben in dem Film vor allem die Hintergrundbilder beeindruckt.