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Marine drill instructor was the voice of Bambi

If it seems really strange, it has to be true. :-)

Next year, the Walt Disney film, “Bambi,” will be 70 years old. Although it is now considered to be a classic, the film was not a hit when it was released.

One of the boys who were the voice of Bambi was Don Dunagan, who grew up to be a Marine Drill Instructor and who served in Vietnam as a battalion commander. Dunagan also appeared in “Son of Frankenstein” (1939). Dunagan kept his association with “Bambi” to himself while he was in the service and only discussed it publicly after his retirement. (I wonder why. 😉 ) The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed him from Texas.

Dunagan was originally hired as a facial model, and his expression was used in the famous scene in which Bambi is kissed by a young doe. His voice was used in the scene in which Bambi was calling for his mother, and she was not there.

The 76-year-old Dunagan talks about Pearl Harbor interfering with the release of Bambi, of an erroneous report of his death in 1969, and of riding up to a group of fans on “a big, loud Harley” – “Here comes Bambi.”

Dunagan, who still has firearms, has done a lot more shooting at people than have most men but has not shot an animal.

He punched a horse in the nose once, to protect a group of children, however. :-)

(Now we know how “Bambi Meets Godzilla” [1969] SHOULD have turned out! :-) )

-Bill at

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