"When I set myself the goal of creating the twelve epic paintings for the Disney Dreams Collection, I knew it would be a vast undertaking. After all, each painting in the series presents not just a scene from a classic Disney feature, but a vision of the entire movie in one image Ė what I like to call a ďnarrative panoramaĒ. In my Bambi painting, I wanted to present a broad look at the events of Bambiís young life, along with the suggestion of his destiny as the newly crowned prince of the forest.
To suggest the moment of Bambiís empowerment, I positioned him on a rocky precipice overlooking the terrain of his kingdom and the four seasons of his first year. Below him is an image of his own self at a younger age, representing the spring of his life. Surrounding the young Bambi we see the animals of the unspoiled forest Ė Thumper the rabbit, Flower the skunk, Mole, Otter, and at the left, Bambiís first love Faline and her protective mother. These gentle animals are reminders that even a prince depends on the loving care of friends and family. If you look closely, Bambiís self-sacrificing mother can be seen, as though emerging through the mists of memory, as a half hidden image upon the distant mountain. Truly, a motherís love, like the spirit of the mighty mountains, will guide a son forever.
The lightning and rains at the left of the composition create a visual transition to the second season of Bambiís life: summer. Further back, below the majestic mountain in the distance, we see a suggestion of Bambiís winter world, a whimsical season in the movie featuring the playful antics of Bambi and friends in a frozen wonderland.
Bambiís autumn is the season of his maturity. At the right of my composition we see the fall colors ablaze above the young adult Bambi, as the wisest and mightiest creature of the forest, the old stag, looks on approvingly through a rising mist in the afternoon light.
The central theme of Bambi is the cycle of the seasons and the ongoing flow of life. Waterfalls and rivulets abound in the Bambi movie, suggesting the unstoppable life force, and in my painting we see these cascades just beyond a misty rainbow. Truly, water flows through the world like life itself Ė a timeless reminder that despite the passing seasons, nature thrives and a new generation is born.
I believe Bambiís First Year is the most breathtaking subject in my Disney Dreams Collection to date. I attempted to capture the sublime beauty of the forest, combined with the wonderful charm of the forest animals and their playful everyday activities. I hope as you look at Bambi cresting the ridge of his domain, you too will feel empowered to live your best life and to count on a season of new beginnings, even when the challenges of life confront you. Truly for Bambi, and for us, life goes on."
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