The relationships of Bambi.
Since his birth, Bambi has always loved his mother as she has loved him.
She always took care to watch out for him, to be patient with him and to even play with him. Through her he came to know the world and through her trust was allowed to discover new experiences on his own, such as meeting Flower or discovering snow. He has learned many lessons from her: from learning about the joys and dangers of the meadow, to survival during winter, to knowing about his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, to knowing to fear Man.
Bambi's mother cared for her son dearly, she wished for him to be happy and to survive. This is displayed from when she calls to him when Man arrives, worrying deeply, and in how she comforts her son when food is scarce by reassuring him with gentle words and a lick. During the harsh winter she was always certain to make sure Bambi was fed first, giving him the scraps of bark that were higher than he could reach. When she is shot by Man, Bambi sobs over her death, knowing he will miss his mother but that she will always love him, and remember her love for him. In a dream he has, Bambi is reunited with his mother, who reassures him that she will always be with him, even if she is not seen.
It is Bambi's strong desire to be reunited with his mother that allows him to be fooled by Man's trick with a deer call, luring him out into the open meadow.
The Great Prince of the Forest is Bambi's father.
Bambi never meets him until he comes to the meadow for the first time, where the mighty stag looks upon him while walking past the other stags. Bambi is so entranced by the Great Prince's magnificence that at first he smiles at him for a short while before he returns to staring at awe. It may seem that he wants to be like him. When Man arrives, Bambi is separated by his mother, only to be reunited with her when his father comes to the rescue.
When Bambi's mother is killed by Man, the Great Prince reluctantly watches over his son despite that the role is for the does. Despite this, he watches over Bambi. But when Bambi is lured by one of Man's tricks after watching the groundhog, the Great Prince rescues him from Man's dogs, and becomes furious with his son for falling for Man's deer whistle, even freezing when the dogs were advancing on him. While reflecting on the situation, the Great Prince believes it is obvious that he cannot raise his son while protecting the forest at once, so he tells Friend Owl to find a doe to raise Bambi.
At first, the Great Prince doubts about his son, telling him to stay in the den where it's safe. But after he sees Bambi leap over a large chasm, he becomes quite impressed as he mentions that he never made such a jump until he had his antlers. The one time when the Great Prince finally realizes the joys of being a father is when Bambi asks him the duties as Prince and the two bond over the conversation. Over time, Bambi's father even learns himself to be free from his duties when he plays with Bambi. But he is still doubtful of keeping Bambi. Then, when Friend Owl finally delivers a doe to raise Bambi, the Great Prince, even after a short argument with his son, when he too realizes what's happening, carries out his original decision for Bambi's future. But he begins to doubt again, this time on his decision on letting Bambi go.
Finally, the Great Prince makes his final choice, and after he nearly loses Bambi, who was trying to lure Man's dogs away from Mena but falls off a cliff in the process, that no matter what his duties declare, he will raise Bambi as the father he truly is.
Upon reaching young adulthood Bambi is shown to be living on his own. He is reunited with his father one night while inspecting the source of the smell that had awakened him. As he peered from a high vantage point on a cliff his father suddenly came up from beside him and announced that it was man, that there were many and that they must go deep into the forest. His protective and caring nature for his son is shown as he urges Bambi to follow him to safety. Bambi started to do so until he remembered Faline and doubled back to fetch her. The Great Prince was unaware of this until he realized Bambi was no longer following him.
As Bambi later lay alone on the ground, weakened and unwilling to move after having been shot by Man, it is his father's voice that brings him around. The forest had caught fire and despite the risk to his own life, the Great Prince must have been searching for Bambi. The fire was almost there. He repeatedly ordered his son to get up, encouraged him once he succeeded and helped to steady Bambi before he ordered him to follow. The Great Prince slowly yet anxiously led the way through the burning forest, always checking back to make sure his son kept pace and speeding up as Bambi regained some strength. He was followed with unwavering trust, and his enduring bravery, quick reflexes and persistence saved Bambi's life. Bambi frequently looked back at his father once they had reached safety and parted ways, until Faline diverted his attention.
Their close bond is one of the final moments shared in the Film, as father and son stand proudly above the forest together. They share a steady and meaningful gaze before the Great Prince slowly walks away, leaving Bambi to watch over the forest on his own.
Faline is Bambi's friend and love interest.
When Bambi first meets her, he becomes very shy to be near another fawn (and a very pretty one at that). But after a little nudge, he overcomes that shyness when he plays with Faline. In the Felix Salten books though, Bambi and Faline are cousins and share a great deal of a friendly relationship. Cousin or not, Bambi and Faline remain the best of friends.
But upon meeting her again, he develops romantic feelings for her, thus gaining back his shyness. Through his new feelings, he tries to impress Faline by telling her that he is maturing as his spots are fading and his new antlers are coming in, despite they are not. Then, after being pricked by a porcupine, he feebly tries to cover the quils in his rear from Faline, believing that she would laugh at him, even though she worries about his situation. But his heart begins shine more when he tells Ronno to stop bothering Faline when he forces her to come with him. Little does Bambi know, to his luck and love, Faline too grows romantic feelings for Bambi and will be at his side at times to comfort him, while trying to show her love to him.
When they meet yet again after having reached young adulthood, Bambi is still very shy and bashful towards Faline. At this point, she behaves like she truly has her sights set on him. Bambi finds himself tongue-tied and would rather beat a hasty retreat than risk saying something to the beautiful doe. His antlers tangle into some branches during his confusion and before he can escape, Faline deliberately licks him on the cheek. This sends Bambi into a daze of love and excitement. He playfully frolics after Faline yet their courtship is cut short by the sudden emergence of Ronno, who glares at Bambi and forces him back. As Ronno ushers Faline away from Bambi with his antlers, she cries out for Bambi. His desire to protect her spurs him into a rage and he battles against Ronno, ultimately toppling his rival down an embankment. Upon his victory, he has proven himself as a strong Prince who is capable of protecting Faline and she nuzzles him affectionately, having chosen him as her mate.
Bambi proves his courage and dedication to Faline again when Man had returned to hunt in the forest with His dogs. The pair had become separated and Faline was pinned on a ledge by the dogs. Once he found her, Bambi bowled into the dogs, fighting them off, and gaining their interest to give her a chance to escape. He lead them up a steep hill and dealt with the majority of the dogs by causing a mass of boulders to topple on to them.
Faline is later shown to be eagerly searching for a sign of Bambi as she waited on safe grounds in the middle of the lake. She calls to him as soon as she sees him, showing affection and relief which he returns. At the end of the Film she has given birth to a pair of fawns.
Friends and Allies
Bambi and Thumper have always been the best of friends since his birth. It is Thumper who takes it upon himself to teach Bambi various tricks, notably that of speech. Even though a good friend, Thumper is rather mischievous and can sometimes misinterpret certain things, like bravery to which he believes it means to scare your enemies rather than standing up to your fear.
After being accidentally called Flower, the fairly bashful skunk has been one of Bambi's best friends. Countering Thumper's mischievous nature, Flower is very gentle and shy to which symbolizes Bambi's gullible and docile nature. Because of their friendship, when Flower has a family, he names his son after Bambi in his honor.
Enemies and Rivals
Ronno is Bambi's rival.
Ronno is first encountered by Bambi as fawns when the new "buck" arrived and frightened the groundhog. At first when Ronno told his wild tale of facing Man Bambi was quite impressed with how a mere fawn could defeat him single-handedly, and while Faline, not wanting to offend Ronno's false story, says it's unbelievable, Bambi to his own fascinated opinion agrees. Ronno takes Faline's reaction as a compliment but, not being interested in Bambi, he takes the more sincere opinion as a claim that he's a liar and begins to bully Bambi, from goading him into a sparring match to making fun of his name. In particular Ronno is jealous of the attention Bambi receives from Faline. This is what sparks their rivalry.
Several times throughout their encounters Ronno attempts to intimidate Bambi or mock him in order to impress Faline. He continues to blame his failures and frustrations on Bambi, whether they occurred as an accident or via his own faults. Ronno chasing Bambi is what resulted in the younger fawn attempting a daring leap over a small chasm (which Ronno also later tried to pull off and failed, falling down into the mud). In this event Ronno actually helped Bambi, as that successful jump is the first act which caused the Great Prince finally show favor towards his son. The two encounter each other again where they race each other in which Bambi overtakes Ronno.
Ronno later confronts Bambi while he is leaving with his new "step-mother" Mena, and mock-pities him for having his father be so ashamed of him as to give him away. This pushes Bambi into enough anger to turn on Ronno and headbutt him. The fight that ensues causes Ronno to knock Bambi into Mena, ensnaring her foot into a trap that is intended to draw Man's dogs towards them. Ronno runs away, calling for his mother, leaving Bambi and Mena to fend for themselves.
Their last shown meeting as fawns shows Ronno threatening Bambi that they would meet again one day.
As young adults, Ronno is first shown interrupting Bambi's romantic frolicking with Faline, barring Bambi's path and forcing him away. He is larger than Bambi with three points on his antlers instead of two and his features are angry and menacing. Bambi is shocked and so Ronno takes Bambi's lack of action as weakness and begins to shove Faline down another path. When Bambi begins to charge Ronno turns about, prepares himself and rushes forward to meet him, immediately tossing Bambi over his shoulder. He appears to be a skilled fighter and the stronger stag out of the two, yet Bambi adapts quickly and throws Ronno down a few times, the final throw sending his rival down an embankment and marking his victory.
Bambi's most feared enemy is man and his dogs.
Even though he doesn't encounter the secluded villain, Bambi knows eerily well that Man is the most evil person in the forest. Man was first mentioned to Bambi by his mother, and was informed of his heinous tricks by Ronno and the Great Prince. Bambi does face Man's devilish hunting hounds. First he's frozen on sight, only for his father to save him by fending them off, then he distracts them away from Mena, and faces them in battle as a stag when they advance on Faline.
But after all that, Man finally hits the young prince by shooting him in the side, though he survives and rests from the fiery pain inflicted upon him. At that point Bambi had learned from the Great Prince that there were many of Man. Man's carelessness is what caused fire to take hold of the forest and destroy everything in its path. Bambi and his father escape in the nick of time, and the wounded stag is reunited with Faline. Man and his dog henchmen's fate is unknown. It's likely that they were engulfed by the forest fire. Even so, out of all the enemies Bambi has ever faced, Man is possibly the worst of them all.