I know the movie is old, but if there's so much as a production book of the film it would assist me a great deal.

I'm attempting to confront all of the areas in animation which I'm inexperienced with, which has involved going back to a lot of classics. I have to say, holy hell, I'm watching it again now and I have no idea how they did some of that at the time. An example would be the rippling water reflections or the path of the raindrops rolling off of the plants—I have no idea how they figured that out without modern computer-aided animation. I need to know.

Do any records exist of either Bambi's behind-the-scenes production specifically, or failing that, the techniques used in early Disney animation studios? Where can I find them?

Thank you kindly.

1 Answer 1


The 'The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation' book by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston is a great resource for this. It's available in hardback, and online in many places. It covers Bambi directly, and all the classic Disney animation techniques.

Disney's multi-plane camera film is also well worth a watch:

They mention Bambi directly at 4m30.

  • Thank you for such a prompt answer! I was worried this wasn't well-defined enough for Stack Exchange. May 17, 2022 at 15:44
  • It’s really interesting to see how the Multiplane Camera technique is similar to some ideas in After Effects - 2.5D / “postcards in space”
    – tomh
    May 17, 2022 at 15:46
  • Layering I'm somewhat familiar with, though it's interesting that they painted some of those frames directly on glass. (I thought they looked like oil.) It's still a staple in compositing and animating today. However, when it comes to things like the rain running along the plants, and the implied need for the Art Director to double as an air-traffic-controller to get it to work right... let's just say I would have loved to be a fly on that wall. May 17, 2022 at 15:54
  • The thing about painting on the back of glass [or cellulose] is it gives a punch to the colour you don't see so well from the front. There's also no paint thickness variation or reflectivity changes in brush strokes to be picked up on camera. Disney sell those as 'Sericels' if you want to see one for real. Repros start at about $2-300, you can't afford the real ones ;) I have a repro Tinkerbell on my wall here. It's beautiful.
    – Tetsujin
    May 18, 2022 at 8:55

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