Mr. Hare, ‘Bambi’ — Lost Disney Characters
A predecessor to both Thumper and his never seen but often referenced father, Mr. Hare was inspired by Friend Hare from Felix Salten’s original book ‘Bambi: A Life in the Woods.’ Mr. Hare was well respected in the woods as the head of a large family and a gifted philosopher and storyteller, traits which may have inspired Thumper’s father’s frequent moralizing.
In one early draft of the script, he is constantly trying to tell Bambi a story, but keeps having to run off to avoid a fox before he can finish. Towards the end of the movie, Mr. Hare is shot and admits to Bambi that it wasn’t really that good of a story right before he dies.
When young actor Peter Behn gave his distinctive reading of the line “Did the young prince fall down?” at an audition for the role of one of several baby bunnies, Thumper went from an unnamed minor character to Bambi’s scene-stealing best friend. The role of rabbit was taken and Mr. Hare disappeared from the film.