Bambi: The Fawn's Journey (known as Bambi: Wakai Purinsu no Tabi (バンビ：若いプリンスの旅, Bambi: A Young Prince's Journey) in Japan) is an action-platform game based on Disney's 1942 film of the same name and it's 2006 midquel that was published by Sierra Entertainment through Buena Vista Games and released on November 22th, 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows. A PlayStation Portable version was planned for release and was even promoted and shown off at E3 2005, with Backbone Entertainment set to develop the PSP version, but it was cancelled several months before it's intended release due to time constraints.
Ironically enough, even though the midquel did replace most of the original's voice actors with new ones, most of the midquel's cast, save for Alexander Gould, Nicky Jones, Keith Ferguson, Andrea Bowen, Ariel Winter, Cree Summer, Kath Soucie, and Frank Welker, were replaced.
The opening and ending cutscenes, along with the non-FMV interludes, are not included in the handheld versions.
Deep in the forest, Geno and Gurri, the twin fawns, play around with their mother, Faline, who was Bambi's cousin, and the sons and daughters of Thumper, Miss Bunny, Flower, and Bluebelle. Just then, Bambi, their father, and the new Great Prince of the Forest, shows up to greet them, along with his forest friends, their wives, and Friend Owl. Bambi recognizes their playdate as something familiar, even though he knew that a Prince should never think about the past, only what's happening now. Geno and Gurri wanted to know how he became the Great Prince and how he and his friends fell in love with their wives. Bambi finally decided to tell them a story all about his life up until the birth of the twin fawns.
This is when it reverts to the beginning of the first movie: All the forest animals, even Thumper (who was young at the time), his sisters, and Friend Owl goes to the area where the young prince is born, along with many other animals. Upon reaching the area, the animals come across the mother doe and her newborn fawn, Bambi, lying by her side. Bambi then wakes up and takes a good, long look at all the animals surrounding him. He then attempts to get up, but due to him being very young, he can hardly keep his balance. Soon thereafter, the creatures all leave, and Bambi's mother snuggles up with her sleeping fawn, but not before naming him Bambi.
A few days later, Bambi and Thumper are walking through the forest, with Thumper teaching Bambi new words, when they came across a butterfly. Thumper decides to follow it, with Bambi following behind him. After some exploring, they find the butterfly that they saw earlier. Bambi runs off to chase it (thinking it to be a bird). But Thumper tells him that it is not a bird, but a butterfly. The butterfly flies off, leaving Bambi into thinking that the huge yellow flower in front of him was the butterfly he saw. Thumper tells him that it is a flower. Bambi tries smelling the flowers of the small field but comes face to face with a young skunk. Bambi calls him a flower, which leaves Thumper rolling over his backside with laughter. The skunk, however, says that he's fine with being called a flower, which makes the baby fawn very happy.
That evening, Thumper leaves Bambi to return home, leaving him back with his mother. Some time after, he awakens to realize that a thunderstorm is underway. Thankfully, it lasted a good while before it departed.
A few weeks later, Bambi, now capable of speaking, goes with his mother to the meadow. Since he's never been to the meadow before, he's so eager to go, but she stops and tells him that the meadow is also a dangerous place. She tells him to stay behind the thicket while she looks around to see if the place is safe. After looking around for a bit, the wide field appears to be safe. Bambi then runs out and tries to catch up with his mother, who runs off at a fast pace, playing with him. Some time later, Bambi almost steps on a frog. It tells him to watch out for strange reflections or else he might fall in love without even knowing. Bambi, however, goes off, wanting to explore the meadow, while defeating a few forest animal dummies along the way to prepare him for any dangers that may await him. Just then, he comes across a small pool of water, looking at his reflection. Suddenly, another reflection appears to his side. He looks up at the unknown source which turns out to be a female fawn named Faline. Feeling frightened of her presence, Bambi runs back up to his mother for protection. But she encourages him to say hello to Faline. Having no choice, he greets her. Faline suddenly breaks out in giggles and starts acting hyperactive. Gradually, the two of them start playing a small game of tag, with Bambi chasing her.
Suddenly, from out of the surrounding forest, a huge herd of bucks appears from out of nowhere. Faline runs away in fear while Bambi remains, filled with excitement while watching the bucks bound across the field. He even tries running alongside them but ends up almost getting trampled. Suddenly, they all stop. Bambi briefly looks around before seeing something that surprised him. It was the Great Prince, his father in his previous role (though back then, Bambi didn't know it). After a brief look at his son, the Great Prince walks off to check the forest, leaving Bambi behind.
The Great Prince looks around uphill for a bit before sensing "Man". Once he did, he rushes back to the meadow, warning the entire herd and getting everyone to safety. Bambi is briefly separated from his mother, but is escorted to her by the Great Prince as the three of them make it back to the den just as Man fires his gun.
Back in the present, everyone who was listening to Bambi's story, except Faline and Friend Owl, were shocked at what happened. Bambi told them that Man went hunting in the forest. Thumper was surprised by this, stating that he misses being chased around by his sisters, even if after Bambi's mother died, he has one less sister. Flower replies that his mother and him (at a young age) also got back to his old home safely thanks to the previous Great Prince. Bluebelle, his wife, was grateful that it happened or else he or their sons wouldn't exist at all. After a brief talk, Bambi resumes his story.
Meanwhile in the past, Bambi's mother exits the entrance of their den and looks around. Seeing no danger, she tells Bambi that everything is alright. Bambi asks her what had happened, and why everyone ran. After a moment of silence, his mother replies that Man was in the forest. When Winter arrived, Bambi discovers snow. While Bambi looks around the snow, he sees Thumper sliding on the ice. Bambi, feeling inspired, tries it for himself, but fails. Thumper, seeing it all, teaches him on how to slide on ice. However, even after experiencing it for himself, he still couldn't do so. After a harsh winter, Bambi and his mother go to the meadow and discover a patch of grass, signifying the arrival of spring. As they eat, his mother senses a hunter and orders her son, Bambi, to flee. As they ran, his mother gets shot and killed by the hunter. When Bambi arrives at the thicket, he discovers that his mother is no longer with him. He wanders off in the forest calling for her, but he stumbles upon the Great Prince. He revealed to Bambi that his mother was dead, then takes him away to his den.
Friend Owl swoops by the Great Prince, who asks him to find a doe to raise his son, Bambi, since his duties are to his herd, but Friend Owl informs him that because of the harsh winters, the does can barely feed themselves, let alone any extra mouths. The Great Prince has no choice but to look after Bambi until the spring.
Months later, the Great Prince allows Bambi to accompany his friends, Thumper and Flower, to see the Groundhog, whose shadow will foretell if winter will end soon. Bambi lies to them about how close he and his father are, while the Great Prince keeps the truth of his mother’s death from him. Both he and Thumper journey across icy cold water and difficult obstacles to reach the Groundhog.
When they got to the groundhog ceremony, Bambi meets up with his future wife, Faline. The nervous Groundhog is eventually coaxed out of his hole, only to be scared back in again by Ronno, Bambi's rival and an older fawn than him. He tries to impress Faline with his stories of his encounter with Man, and the whistles they use to imitate deer, but Faline does not believe his tall tale while Bambi actually believes it and says it is unbelievable, but Ronno takes it literally. Bambi and Ronno immediately dislike each other, but Bambi is intimidated by Ronno, afraid to stand up for himself, and is relieved when he leaves with his mother. The other animals leave as well, and Bambi falls asleep waiting for his father to come get him. But after many hours of waiting, he finds himself in a shining golden meadow and begins chasing butterflies. As he does so, he hears his mother's voice calling him. Overjoyed, he runs towards her and begins to nuzzle her lovingly. His mother comforts him, telling him that she's there even though he can't see her.
As the dream fades, Bambi continues to hear her voice, which confuses him. He begins to believe that the voice is his mother's, so he follows it through the other sections of the forest and out onto the meadow where he stumbles upon a mechanical machine, Bambi's worst nightmare. He gathers his courage and defeats it, but it fades into nothingness, as he realized that it was all just his imagination. Just then, a flock of crows fly past screaming about Man. It turns out to be an ambush by Man using the same trick Ronno warned him about. The Great Prince comes to his rescue and orders Bambi to run, but the fawn is too scared to obey. Both manage to escape and Bambi is yelled at for almost getting himself killed. It’s then that Bambi realizes the hunters killed his mother, and the Great Prince confirms it. While Bambi sleeps, the Great Prince tells Friend Owl that winter is ending and he should have no problem finding a doe now.
Back in the present again, Thumper felt sorry for the death of Bambi's mother and what happened in the wide meadow with the imitating deer noises, as he explained that his father is never around with his family for a long time. Miss Bunny comforts him by cuddling him and their bunnies. Bambi II tells the stag that they are both ironically named Bambi, except with numerals for namesake. Bambi I acknowledges it and continues his story.
Meanwhile, again, in the past, Flower, after waking up, hears a strange noise and decides to investigate the forest to find out what the voice was. He later finds the occurrence of the noise, which happens to be Thumper, who is trying to find a place to hide from his sisters. Flower suggests that they hide in a log, and only move when they don't hear Thumper's sisters moving. Thumper agrees to him and they move along the forest.
Meanwhile, the Great Prince confines Bambi to the den where he’ll be safe, not trusting him to be out by himself anymore. When he leaves, Bambi confesses to Thumper and Flower the estranged relationship he and his father share, and tells them that he wishes he could impress him. They decide to help Bambi learn how to be brave by sneaking out, and while doing so, get into an altercation with a porcupine. Bambi, however, goes to confront the porcupine to show his father his bravery, despite his wishes against his son, but it eventually ends with quills rammed into Bambi’s backside and his father almost catching him outside of the den.
Faline, hearing the commotion, went to investigate. However, she comes into contact with Ronno, who starts to bug her as usual. But then they hear another noise and they both went to find Bambi, who is getting the porcupine quills pulled out of his butt by Thumper, one of his friends. Ronno teases Bambi after the meadow incident where Bambi froze, then decides that he and Faline should leave, but Faline wants to stay. Ronno tries to force Faline to leave and Bambi stands up for her. Ronno comes back to confront Bambi and tease his forest friends, causing Thumper to push Bambi so that he headbutts Ronno onto the ground. Ronno is furious and chases Thumper and Bambi through the forest until Bambi leaps to safety over a large ravine. The Great Prince, having seen the whole thing, is both angry at Bambi and impressed by his feat. Ronno (jealous of the young prince) tries to leap after him, but falls into the chasm, thwarted for now.
The next day Bambi practices jumping with Thumper, determined to make his father proud again. Thumper encourages him to just talk to the Great Prince, and the two finally connect when the older stag shares some wisdom with him about feeling the forest in his hooves. The Great Prince finally decides to allow Bambi to come along with him on his patrols, and as the days progress the two get closer than ever. He helps Bambi to overcome any obstacles in his path, as well as his fears, and Bambi helps him to loosen up and have fun; all the while Ronno continues to grow jealous of the young prince.
Back in the present again, Bambi explains to his friends that things weren't always what they seem to be, what with the eventual arrival of Mena and the horrifying events that came after it. Thumper is shocked and tries to warn him, but Bambi just gave him comfort as he at least knows that being a prince means sacrifice even if he want to be very happy about things, and goes on to tell what happened after he and his father got in great touch.
Back in the past one morning, Friend Owl finds Bambi and the Great Prince playing and introduces them to Mena, the doe he’s found to be Bambi's new mother. Bambi realizes the Great Prince planned on sending him away (unaware that he’s changed his mind) and snaps at his father, telling him he wished he was with his mother instead of him. The Great Prince changes his mind again, deciding he’s not what’s best for Bambi, and sends him to go live with his new mother. Bambi, despite being immensely saddened, eventually accepts the change, deciding his own happiness isn’t as important as his duties as a prince.
Meanwhile, Ronno was told by his mother that Bambi is going away with Mena to her den, which is far away from the former fawn's home, so Ronno decided to try and meet up with and taunt Bambi one last time before he moves away forever. Sometime later, he shows up to Bambi, who is on his way to Mena's den, taunts him for what seems like the final time, and the two get into another fight that sets off one of Man's traps, snaring her and alerting Man. While the cowardly Ronno flees, Bambi saves Mena by leading the Man’s dogs away from her, as his father works to set her free.
The dogs chase him through the forest, and his friends help him to fend them off. Bambi keeps them away as long as he can, using the techniques the Great Prince and his friends have taught him, until the hounds corner him on top of a rocky peak. Bambi manages to escape the last one by kicking it off a cliff, but falls off as well when it crumbles beneath him. His friends and his father all grieve him until Bambi reveals he’s still alive, and he and the Great Prince reconcile.
Sometime later, Thumper shares his version of the adventure with the rest of his friends, while Bambi (whose antlers have just grown in) enjoys the tall tale with Faline. Ronno appears and vows vengeance on both of them, until he’s bitten on the nose by a snapping turtle and runs off screaming for his mother for help. The gang is unfazed by Ronno’s threat (unaware that he will indeed return in their future), and Bambi leaves to meet up with his father, who decided to raise him after all, after he shows off his new budding antlers to the forest animals who are fighting him one last time to prepare him for his adulthood. They then share a tender moment as the Great Prince shows Bambi the field where he and Bambi's mother met in childhood.
Years later, a young adult Bambi is reunited with Thumper and Flower as the animals around them begin pairing up with mates. Though they resolve not to be "twitterpated" which Friend Owl taught them like the other animals in love, Thumper and Flower each leave with newly found mates. Bambi is disgusted until he runs into Faline and they become a couple. As they happily dance and flirt through the woods, Ronno reappears and tries to force Faline to go with him again. Bambi and Ronno then begin to have yet another fight, each of them competing for a mate. Though he initially struggles, Bambi's rage gives him the strength to defeat Ronno and push him off a cliff and into a river below, allowing him to earn the rights to the doe's affections.
Back in the present once again, Thumper and Flower share their experiences of finding their loved ones and becoming affected with them. Bambi, of course, is simply amazed by all this before deciding to continue from where he left off in the story.
Back in the past that night, Bambi is awoken by the smell of smoke. His father explains that Man has returned to the forest and that there are multiples of them now. Bambi immediately searches for Faline, but she is being chased by hunting dogs. Bambi finds her in time to fights off the dogs, allowing Faline to escape. With Faline safe, Bambi runs but is shot as he leaps over a ravine. The Great Prince finds him there and urges him back to his feet. Together, they escape the forest fire (which the hunters have started) and go to a small island in a lake where the other animals, including Faline, have taken refuge.
Just then, the same mechanical machine Bambi has encountered before, but much more deadly and dangerous, appears and kidnaps Faline from Bambi. Realizing this, Bambi decides to take one last stand against the Really Deadly Machine with the help of his forest friends (even Thumper, Miss Bunny, Flower, Bluebelle, and Friend Owl (who didn't really want to deal with the mechanical machine, but had no choice anyways)) in order to rescue his mate before she gets killed off. He eventually defeats the mechanical machine, and it again fades into nothingness, but Bambi rolled his eyes, as if he was imagining things. He then notices Faline, who seems to have been hurt a bit, but is alright. Bambi is relived as he and Faline reconcile.
A year later, Thumper and Flower, now fathers, and all the other animals, including Friend Owl, went into the thicket for a big surprise. Faline has recently given birth to both Geno and Gurri. Bambi stands watch on a cliff, and the Great Prince silently turns and moves away from Bambi's place, as he allows him to take his place. And the New Great Prince looks on proudly watching his newborn children, just as his father did to him years ago.
Several years later, Bambi finishes telling his story, with Geno and Gurri both being amazed about his childhood. They both get curious again and ask him what he was like at their age. Bambi tells him that like the previous Great Prince before him, he was a lot like them. Geno and Gurri, both happy and glad, thanked Bambi for telling them about his childhood, and he goes back to his duties of watching over the forest. Faline says goodbye to the other forest animals as they headed back to their homes. In Geno and Gurri's den, they both go to sleep with Faline, who snuggles up with her little fawns, as Bambi looks down at them from a nearby cliff ledge, just like what his father did to him at his own birth.
You control Bambi and his forest buddies, Faline, and Ronno through the forest encountering forest animals who will guide you through combat fighting, and exploring the forest within. Each character has their own special abilities for use. For example, Bambi can knock his hooves on certain things to progress through the levels, Thumper can get through small areas that the other characters otherwise couldn't, and so forth.
In addition, all the characters each have finishing moves that can be performed if done correctly. There are also hidden objects that can be found in the levels to unlock hidden secrets.
The GBA version plays like a mix of AM2's previous 2 Kim Possible GBA games and the GBA version of Chicken Little, where you explore through the levels in a 2D side-scroller fashion. In certain levels, you can switch between Bambi and Thumper to overcome certain obstacles. By playing through the game, you can unlock cool features, like mini-games, clip art of the Bambi movies, and concept art.
The DS version plays almost exactly like the GBA version, but in a more 3D-like side-scroller fashion. Also, there are unlockable mini-games that involve using the DS's touchscreen capabilities, along with clip art from the Bambi movies, concept art, music, and short clips from Bambi I and II.
- Alexander Gould - Young Bambi
- James Arnold Taylor - Adult Bambi
- Kayzie Rogers - Young Thumper
- Jeff Bennett - Adult Thumper
- Nicky Jones - Young Flower
- Jim Cummings - Adult Flower
- Grey DeLisle - Bambi's Mother, Bluebell
- David Kaye - The Great Prince
- Andrea Bowen - Young Faline
- Cathy Cavadini - Adult Faline
- E.G. Daily - Young Ronno
- André Sogliuzzo - Adult Ronno
- Keith Ferguson - Friend Owl
- Kath Soucie - Mrs. Hare, Ronno's Mother
- Rachael Lillis - Mrs. Possum, Thumper's Sisters (child)/Daughters (adult) (separate)
- Veronica Taylor - Thumper's Sisters (child)/Daughters (adult) (separate), Mrs. Quail, Geno
- Ariel Winter - Thumper's Sisters (child)/Daughters (adult) (seperate), Gurri
- Cree Summer - Mena
- Frank Welker - Various Forest Animals, Man's Dogs
- Michael Gough - Porcupine
- Fred Tatasciore - Mr. Bullfrog
- Kari Wahlgren - Miss Bunny, Aunt Ena
- Tara Strong - Bambi (Flower and Bluebell's son)
- Due to high sales, the console versions were re-released at a lower price of $19.99 USD as part of the "Greatest Hits", "Platinum Family Hits", and "Player's Choice" labels for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, respectively sometime after the original release in around mid-2006.
- In addition, those versions replaced the Vivendi Universal Games logo with the Sierra logo on the back cover, rather than just have the latter logo on the front cover.
- This game was re-released on Steam along with other various Disney games on February 24th, 2015.