Walt Disney wanted his next film to be more evocative of realism than fantasy. Artists spoke to animal experts, spent time at the Los Angeles Zoo, and watched nature films. Walt Disney even set up a small zoo at the studio with animals such as rabbits, ducks, owls, skunks, and a pair of fawns named Bambi and Faline so that the artists could see first-hand the movement of these animals.
Artists also had to make sure that each spot on Bambi’s back was replicated perfectly in every frame. The attention to detail meant that animators were able to complete less work on a daily basis than usual. “I wouldn’t hurry. I wanted it right. I wanted those animal characters in Bambi to be actors, not just cute things. I wanted acting on a plane with the highest acting in the finest live-action pictures,” Walt later explained.
Bambi also used an oil painting technique that previous Disney pictures hadn’t, which also added to the timeline. According to Disney, “We took some of our top artists who worked in oils for their own enjoyment in their leisure time. They taught their technique to the watercolor men. There’s a vast difference in the two techniques, but I was set on oil painting, because of its quality. I figured oils would give a sheen to the forest and accentuate the depth. It worked, too, but perfecting a technique takes time.
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