Starting in the middle of Bambi, the film opens at the scene where young fawn Bambi (voiced by Alexander Gould) is wandering the forest for his mother, not realizing she has been killed by hunters. His father, the Great Prince of the Forest (Patrick Stewart), finds him and leads Bambi back to his den under a fallen tree. The Great Prince asks Friend Owl (Keith Ferguson) to find a doe to raise Bambi, but Friend Owl points out that due to the harsh winter the does can barely care for themselves. The Great Prince has no choice but to look after Bambi until the spring. Soon after, spring slowly begins to return to the forest. On top of the Great Prince's den, a small green shoot appears.
One morning, Bambi and the Great Prince travel to a cliff to check on the other deer. At a cliff overlooking a meadow below where a herd of deer is grazing, Bambi begins to talk about his mother, but the Great Prince tells Bambi that the past should be left in the past. As the pair walk through the forest, Bambi walks through a snow drift and comes out covered in snow. Shaking off the snow, he finds his friend Thumper (Brendon Baerg) clinging to it. While they talk, Thumper's family approaches and Thumper is forced by his mother to take his sisters to see the Groundhog, whose shadow will foretell if winter will end soon. The Great Prince allows Bambi to go with them.
While walking, Bambi tells Thumper that he and the Great Prince are "best pals," though Bambi has doubts about the Great Prince's affection. They wake up the hibernating Flower (Nicky Jones) and go to see the Groundhog together, where Friend Owl is presiding over the event. The nervous Groundhog (Brian Pimental) is eventually coaxed out of his hole, only be scared back in again by Ronno (Anthony Ghannam), another fawn, slightly older than Bambi. Ronno laughs, but the other animals leave. Ronno catches up to them and ends in an argument with Bambi. Ronno's mother eventually calls Ronno away, and Bambi is left alone to sleep under a tree and wait for the Great Prince to return.
Bambi has a dream about his mother, and finds himself in a shining golden meadow with bright yellow butterflies. As he explores he hears his mother's voice call him. He runs towards her and nuzzles her lovingly, with Bambi's mother assuring him with the words "I'm here." As the dream fades, Bambi continues to hear her voice saying "I'm here," which confuses him. He finds the source of the words in a meadow, but discovers that it was a trick and finds hunting dogs racing towards him. The Great Prince rescues Bambi and is furious that his son fell for one of Man's tricks. The Great Prince leaves to reflect on the situation, and finds Friend Owl. The Great Prince notes that winter is ending and that Friend Owl should have no trouble finding a doe to be Bambi's new mother.
The next morning, the Great Prince tells Bambi to stay in the den where it's safe. Bambi is crestfallen, as he wants to be with his father. Thumper and Flower ask Bambi what's wrong, and Bambi says he wants his father to see how brave he is. Thumper decides to teach Bambi how to be brave (you have to be scarier than what's scaring you), and Bambi, Thumper and Flower walk through the forest practicing their new skills until they come to a log guarded by a grumpy porcupine who calls Bambi a squirrel. They flee back to the bank, and Thumper sees the Great Prince. Since Bambi is supposed to be back at the den, Thumper suggests they leave. But Bambi realizes that this is a good opportunity to show his new-found bravery. Bambi goes to confront the porcupine which results in quills in Bambi's rear and the porcupine calling the Great Prince a big moose. As Thumper pulls the quills out, Bambi yells in pain, alerting the nearby Faline (Andrea Bowen) and Ronno. Bambi accidentally headbutts Ronno which causes Ronno to furiously chase him. In desperation, Bambi leaps over a large chasm. The Great Prince arrives and at first criticizes Bambi for not staying at the den, but then notices the chasm and tells Bambi that he is impressed that Bambi made the jump, so Bambi decides to try to repeat it the following day.
Bambi tells Thumper that the Great Prince has been standing around and contemplating a lot. After some encouragement from Thumper, Bambi asks the Great Prince about his duties, and the two eventually form a bond over their duties.
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