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Why Bambi Cut One Of Its Characters

Bambi and Flower

Bambi is not only rightfully regarded as one of the finest Disney animated films of all time, it is also full of some of it most iconic characters as well. From Thumper to Flower to Bambi himself, the furry creatures are beloved. But there was one character that never got the chance to become iconic, as the Disney team decided that it was too grouchy for its own good. This character was a nameless grasshopper, and the head of research at the Walt Disney Animation library Fox Carney has provided further tidbits on why it was ultimately dropped. Carney explained,

This grasshopper was just very ornery. He was not that appealing. Ornery for the sake of being ornery didn't add anything to the story.

Another reasons why the grasshopper was ditched was because of the fact that one of Disney's previous films, Pinocchio, which was released two years earlier in 1940. And that classic included a very similar looking insect in the shape of Jiminy Cricket. However, that's where the similarities came to an end, because while Jiminy Cricket was the voice of reason for Pinocchio and helped to guide him through his tale, this grasshopper added nothing of significance to Bambi's story. When discussing the similarities between the two characters and films, Fox Carney continued,

They both have insects in the story. But Jiminy Cricket becomes more cartoony, much more appealing and engaging and a central character. And in Bambi, they have a grasshopper who just looks like a grasshopper. I couldn't imagine Pinocchio without Jiminy Cricket. But I sure as heck can envision Bambi not having this grasshopper.

But considering just how pointless the character was, why was it even included in Bambi in the first place? Well, Walt Disney himself asked for him to be included because, in the early drafts, he wanted more woodland creatures in the film to beef up the comedy. As well as the misanthropic grasshopper, a tidal wave of ants and a bee were originally swallowed and then immediately spat out by Bambi. Another cut that makes sense.

While the grasshopper was ultimately cut from Bambi, aspects of the character did live on in the Friend Owl, who managed to make the film. While the Friend Owl was a little cranky, he was able to find his place in Bambi because he taught the characters about being "twitterpated," which is otherwise known as falling in love.

The above revelation regarding the grasshopper was made on a featurette for the 75th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Bambi _(via USA Today), which originally hit cinemas in August of 1942. You can purchase _Bambi in all of its home entertainment forms on June 6.