Bambi's mother was a deer living in the forest. She was the mate of the Great Prince of the Forest and mother to their son, Bambi. She is featured in Bambi, in which she raises Bambi and educates him about the forest. However, she is killed by a hunter halfway through the film.
The death of Bambi's mother is widely regarded as one of the most shocking, yet significant moments in cinematic history, as it introduced children to the concept of parental death in a way that had never been seen, prior. Over 75 years after its initial release, the film is still remembered and praised for its groundbreaking maturity, with most of such praise referring to the role of Bambi's mother.
Little is known about the early life of Bambi's mother except that she and her future husband, the Great Prince, met in childhood and that she grew up with another doe named Mena. It is also known that she was a relative to Ena, who is probably either her cousin or sister (as mentioned on the original novel)
Bambi's mother is introduced after having just given birth to her only son. She is often teaching Bambi about the forest and warning him of the dangers of Man. She and her son endure a harsh winter in which there is little food in the forest.
While out in the meadow, she and Bambi find a small patch of grass to graze, but as they eat, she senses danger and tells Bambi to run back to the den as fast as he can. She sprints after him, continuing to urge him onward. Gunshots are heard in the background, but she tells him to keep running, and not to look back. After another gunshot rings throughout the forest, Bambi makes it safely back to the den, but finding his mother isn't with him, leaves and begins calling for her in vain. The Great Prince finds Bambi, and tells him that she could no longer be with him, and to come with him. This reveals the death of Bambi's mother, and that the Great Prince was his father.
Bambi's mother makes a short appearance to Bambi in his dream, telling him that everything would be alright and that she would always be with him in his heart. After waking up, Bambi still hears her voice. He goes to the meadow and discovers she is not there. Her voice still trails out on the meadow, sending Bambi to find her and becomes in a life and death situation. After being saved from Man's dogs by his father, Bambi learns that it wasn't his mother that he heard, but a tool used by Man to make a deer noise. On their way home, Bambi asks his father if his mother is ever coming back, and the Great Prince sadly answers no, meaning that Bambi's mother is dead.
In the episode "Devil's Due", Cruella De Vil mentioned one of her furs and says "I'm not saying it's Bambi's iconic dead mother, and I'm not saying it's not."
At one point, the film was meant to show her body after she was shot but was later removed as it would be too dark. Despite this, it is considered to be one of the most horrific and graphic deaths in all of Disney history.
Her death not only saddened fans, it also saddened Walt Disney's own daughter, who asked her father, "Daddy, why'd you kill Bambi's mother?" Walt replied, "It was in the book, honey." She then said, "Well there were a lot of things in the book you changed, why couldn't you change that?"
Bambi's mother's dead body in an image for a deleted scene