Original Australian Daybill. Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand (supervising a team of sequence directors), produced by Walt Disney and based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13, 1942, and is the fifth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.The main characters are Bambi, a white-tailed deer, his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother), his friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), and Flower (a skunk), and his childhood friend and future mate, Faline. For the movie, Disney took the liberty of changing Bambi's species into a white-tailed deer from his original species of roe deer, since roe deer are not native to North America, and the white-tailed deer is more widespread in the United States. The film received three Academy Award nominations: Best Sound (Sam Slyfield), Best Song (for "Love Is a Song" sung by Donald Novis) and Original Music Score.