In the summer of 1942, when Walt Disney's Bambi was first opened in movie theaters, no soundtrack album accompanied it, for a couple of excellent reasons: Disney didn't yet have a record label, and the "original motion picture soundtrack" did not yet exist as a marketing concept in the record business. Of course, the Disney studio periodically re-released its animated children's films, and in March 1957 (by which time there was a record company), in connection with one of those re-releases, a Bambi soundtrack album finally did appear on LP, bringing to disc the score written by Frank Churchill, Larry Morey, and Ed Plumb, including Churchill and Morey's songs "Love Is a Song" (sung by Donald Novis), "Little April Shower," "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song," and "Looking for Romance (I Bring You a Song)." By the time the CD era appeared, Disney was ready with a digitally restored reissue (again coinciding with a screen revival) that included a previously unissued -- and unused -- song, "Rain Drops." In 2005, a DVD re-release of the film prompted another repackaging of the soundtrack, this time adding some interview material featuring Walt Disney himself, talking about the film, two of the animators who worked on it, and composer Henry Mancini, who did not work on the film but had some interesting observations on it. Bambi is a film with a lot of music and very little dialogue, and the score is filled with classical references filtered through a distinctly 1940s pop sensibility. It has dated over the decades, but it still works with the film.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann