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Special report from D23's 'Bambi' screening and talk

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Editor’s Note: Disney’s D23 fan club held a special screening event for “Bambi” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Ill. on Feb. 21, 2011. “Orlando Attractions Magazine” fan Blaine Cummings was in attendance and filed this report.

When I was a kid I was completely amazed by hand drawn animation. My thoughts haven’t changed today. So when I heard I could have a chance to talk with Disney animator Andreas Deja, who has worked on characters like Scar, King Triton, Mama Odie and Bambi (Bambi II), I was extremely excited! On top of that Donnie Dunagan would be there. He’s the voice of young Bambi. (He also starred in 1939’s Son of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and Tower of London.)

This was basically the first time watching it for me, the last time I saw it I was too young to remember. I couldn’t believe how funny and artistic it was. Over the years I built up a stereotypic view that the movie was sad and long, but I was wrong. Why would I think that? We were dealing with a Disney movie. They combine beauty, emotion and humor all in one. That is why they have been so successful for so long. I also couldn’t help but feel like I was experiencing something not very many people get to do – watch the film in the same room with the man that voiced Bambi roughly 70 years ago. I mean whoa!

After the film, we were introduced to both men, and I absolutely loved how a simple question would be asked, but they had so much to answer with. As I was leaving, I got the chance to tell Mr. Dunagan that I could listen to his stories for hours. I wasn’t lying.

Here’s a funny observation: In the movie, the word twitterpation is used, and obviously, the first thing I thought of was Twitter. But their definition of twitterpation is falling in love. I thought that was pretty neat.

Next to Mr. Deja was a drawing easel, and what all of us in the audience hoped for came true. He drew Bambi, and it amazed us all because he did it in less then a minute. I think it only took him that long because he was explaining it to us. It was incredible to see that.

Mr. Dunagan talked about what it was like to work on a film such as this at the age of 6, and how even to this day, he has never met the person who voiced young Thumper. It was great getting the chance to meet and talk with them, even if it was brief. Hearing someone talk about their experience working with Walt is always very interesting.

Here’s my full videos of the presentation:

Part One

DisneyD23 Bambi Screening Part 1

Part Two

DisneyD23 Bambi Screening Part 2

Part Three

DisneyD23 Bambi Screening Part 3

Blaine can be reached on Twitter @DisneyMagicMan. You can also visit his blog at DisneyMagicMan.blogspot.com.

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