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For of all the deer in the forest, not one has lived half so long. He's very brave and very wise. That's why he's known as the Great Prince of the Forest.
Bambi's mother[src]

The Great Prince of the Forest is Bambi's father, the protector of the forest, and one of the two overarching protagonists in Disney's 1942 animated feature film Bambi and the deuteragonist of its 2006 midquel Bambi II. He is the widower of the Great Princess of the Forest.

Background[]

Little is known about the Great Prince's early life except that as a fawn he went to a glade in the forest and met a young doe who would grow up to be Bambi's mother.

Personality[]

According to the Great Prince, he was much like Bambi when he was just a fawn. As an adult, he is shown to be a highly dignified stag who sometimes treats his son, Bambi, coldly without even realizing it. That aside, he has opened up to him and really does care greatly about him.

Though he has an intimidating appearance, the Great Prince has a soft heart, as seen when he's in the presence of his family. After the death of Bambi's mother, the Great Prince had to appear strong for the sake of his son, but he was depressed by her death, as seen whenever Bambi would mention her.

Appearances[]

Bambi[]

The Great Prince is first seen standing on top of the hill watching the forest animals visiting and congratulating his mate and their newborn son, Bambi.

After Bambi learns to walk and talk, he tries joining all the other deer running in the meadow, and the Great Prince makes an appearance, causing everyone to stand still in reverence. While walking, the Great Prince stops and takes a moment to look at Bambi, and his ears move forward in curiosity. After he walks away, Bambi asks his mother why everyone was still when he came on the meadow, and she explains that everyone respects him, because he's the oldest living deer, and he's very brave and very wise. That's why he's known as the Great Prince of the Forest. A few moments later, the Great Prince senses danger and signals for everyone to flee. He also finds and leads a lost and frightened Bambi to his mother. After Bambi's mother is shot and killed by hunters, the Great Prince finds Bambi and tells him: "Your mother can't be with you anymore. Come, my son." He then takes a heartbroken Bambi to his den.

When Bambi is a young adult, Man returns to the forest (an entire group, as opposed to the last two times when there was just one), and the Great Prince orders Bambi to follow him deep into the forest, but Bambi is worried about his future mate, Faline. Bambi is shot in the leg while jumping in the air. A wildfire from Man's camp breaks out in the forest, and the Great Prince orders Bambi to get up, despite his injury. The Great Prince then leads Bambi to safety, where the other forest creatures are waiting, including Faline. When Spring comes, the Great Prince is seen standing on top of the hill next to Bambi watching Faline and their newborn twin fawns, Geno and Gurri. The father and son share a glance, and the Great Prince is happy that he lived long enough to become a grandfather. He then retires, leaving Bambi to become the new Great Prince of the Forest.

Bambi II[]

The midquel takes place after Bambi's mother's death and before Bambi reaches adulthood. The Great Prince takes Bambi to his den after his mother is shot and killed by hunters. Friend Owl visits, and the Great Prince asks him to find a suitable doe to raise Bambi, since he was taught that raising fawns is the doe's job. Friend Owl tells the Great Prince that food is scarce during the winter, and that they can barely feed themselves. The Great Prince then decides to let Bambi stay with him until Spring.

The Great Prince allows Bambi to join him while he protects the forest from Man and other dangerous threats, and he even allows him to go with his friends to see the groundhog, who is supposed to foretell the end of winter. Bambi later falls asleep, and he has a dream about visiting his mother in Heaven. In the dream, his mother nuzzles him and gives him reassurance that everything will be okay. Bambi later awakens to hear his mother's voice calling him, but it turns out to be one of Man's tricks. Man's hunting dogs chase Bambi, and he freezes in fear, and the Great Prince arrives and fights off the hunting dogs, and orders Bambi to run. After running to safety, the Great Prince harshly scolds Bambi for falling for Man's trick and for freezing instead of running. Bambi remorsefully apologizes, and they return to his father's den. Bambi asks: "She's never coming back, is she?" The Great Prince answers: "No," and he walks away to be alone to calm himself down.

At one point, after Bambi gets into a fight with Ronno the Bully, Bambi and Thumper run away, and he jumps over a chasm. The Great Prince is impressed after he learns about the jump, and he comments that he didn't make a jump like that until he had antlers.

When Spring comes, Bambi and his father start growing closer, and Friend Owl brings Mena, a childhood friend of Bambi's mother to be his adoptive mother. After Bambi learns that his father is sending him away with Mena, he tries to explain why, but Bambi is too angry and hurt to listen, and goes as far as to yell that he wishes his mother was there instead of him, and runs off to tell his friends. The Great Prince insists to Friend Owl that it was his fault, because Bambi needs a mother, and a prince should not be raising a child. Later, the Great Prince frees Mena from one of Man's snare traps, and learns that Bambi lured away Man's hunting dogs.

The Great Prince then runs to Bambi, and he sees him knock one of the hunting dogs off the mountain, but when Bambi jumps to another cliff, it collapses and he falls. The Great Prince finds Bambi, and he thinks he's dead, and he sheds a single tear. Bambi then regains consciousness, much to the joy of the Great Prince. Mena then leaves, deciding that she's no longer needed.

At the end of the film, the Great Prince takes a now teenage Bambi on a walk through the forest, showing him a glade where he and Bambi's mother first met. Bambi asks him what he was like, and he reveals that he himself was a lot like him at his age, much to the joy of his son.

Other appearances[]

In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Great Prince can be spotted during the final scene with the Toons. He is seen peeking his head out of the brick wall along with the other Toons.

The Great Prince can be seen alongside his son in a portrait in the Amphibia episode "Fight at the Museum".

Gallery[]

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Great Prince of the Forest.

Trivia[]

  • In the film, whenever the Great Prince speaks, we never see him actually speak. Either another character is the focus of the shot where he is speaking (usually Bambi) or his back is turned away from the camera.
  • The Great Prince of the Forest is the only character whose voice actor in the midquel lived during the release of the first film.
  • The Great Prince's age had been stated by his mate to be one of the oldest white-tailed deers living. He has been living longer than other deer over half of the years, possibly reaching over seven years.
  • Interestingly, the Great Prince of the Forest is the first character that Patrick Stewart finally voiced after previously turning down the roles of several characters. All of which include King Triton, Cogsworth, Jafar, Zazu, Governor Ratcliffe, and Zeus.
  • In the original book, he was named "The Old Prince".
  • In nature, deer shed their antlers during winter. Strangely, the Great Prince doesn't.
  • The episodes "The Emerald Key", "Holiday in Enchancia", "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle", and "Beauty is the Beast" of the series Sofia the First, feature a deer among the animals in the woods that greatly resembles the Great Prince.

References[]

v - e - d
Bambi Logo
Media
Films: Bambi (soundtrack/video) • Bambi II (video) • CGI film

Television: Raw ToonageHouse of Mouse
Video Games: Kingdom Hearts
Books: Thumper's Little Sisters

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small World

Entertainment: Rivers of Light: We Are One
Fireworks: MomentousTree of Life AwakensWondrous Journeys
Spring: Disney's Easter WonderlandHippity Hoppity SpringtimeUsatama on the Run!
Halloween: Mickey's Halloween CelebrationRe-Villains! Halloween Parade
Christmas: Disney's White Holiday Parade

Characters
Bambi: BambiThumperFlowerFalineGeno and GurriFriend OwlThe Great Prince of the ForestBambi's MotherAunt EnaMrs. HareThumper's SistersMr. HareMiss BunnyMiss SkunkManHunter DogsRonnoMrs. QuailYoung BucksPossums
Bambi II: PorcupineMenaRonno's mother
Deleted: Grasshopper
Locations
Forest
Songs
Love is a SongLittle April ShowerLet's Sing a Gay Little Spring SongLooking for Romance (I Bring You a Song)There is LifeFirst Sign of SpringThrough Your Eyes

Deleted: RaindropsTwitterpatedThumpity-Thump (Thumper song)Sing the Day

See Also
The Walt Disney Christmas ShowPerri
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