Walt Disney’s Bambi – The Arapaho Language Version

Aug 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Media Reviews

BAMBI COVERVideotape produced by Walt Disney Corporation and Wyoming Indian Schools (1994)
Distributed by Wyoming Council for the Humanities, 1315 E. Lewis St., Laramie, WY 82072
ISBN 0-7888-0116-3
Length: 69 minutes
$20.00 plus $8.00 shipping

Review by Sara Wiles

Howoto’oo! Howoto’oo!” cries Thumper to the forest animals. “Wake up! Wake up!” Yes, Thumper, Bambi has returned, and he is speaking Arapaho.

Dr. Steve Greymorning and the staff and students of Wyoming Indian Schools on the Wind River Reservation have translated and dubbed the voices of the animal characters in Walt Disney’s classic 1942 animated film Bambi. Videotapes are now available from the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, with all proceeds earmarked for Native American language preservation projects on the Reservation.

The movie’s music (songs are still sung in English) and animation are still captivating for viewers of all ages.  The minimal, simple dialogue, clearly and convincingly spoken by Arapaho actors, is almost self-explanatory, and is excellent reinforcement for beginning Arapaho speakers.  This videotape would be a good resource for tribal college language programs wishing to explore translation and presentation possibilities.

Sara Wiles is a photographer and consultant working on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

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