In anticipation of its re-re-re-re-re-release next Christmas, the Disney folks have begun a search for Peter Behn, the boy actor who spoke for Thumper, the mischievous bunny in “Bambi” (1942).
Despite the popularity of his voice, Disney has had no contact with him since he finished the recording sessions in May 1940. Virtually nothing is known about him: He originally came from Phoenix and was 4 when he auditioned for “Bambi” in late 1938.
“He saved the show,” says Frank Thomas, who animated much of Thumper. “Walt was looking for a character to tell the story that the fellows could animate. Once we got Thumper’s voice, we could match the others to it, and the film took on a whole different flavor: It was something we could animate, but it kept the spirit of the original.” If you’re out there, Peter, phone the hutch: Your messages are waiting.