Man was the main antagonist of Bambi and the secondary antagonist of Bambi II. He is unseen throughout the entire film, and is very famous for his dangerous acts; he was recognized as one of the AFI's greatest movie villains, and is the second highest Disney villain out of the three on the list (the Evil Queen is the highest out of the three, while Cruella DeVil is the lowest). Despite popular belief, Man is only human and is the only hunter in the entire story. Due to that, he is called Man meaning he was called by The Great Prince and Bambi's mom.
In the film, Bambi's mother teaches her son the danger of Man. He is depicted as a sneaky, murderous, and destructive creature, feared by the animals. During Bambi's initial encounter with his future lover Faline, all the deer run as Man arrives. Bambi is lost among the chaos, and is guided back to mother by his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, just as the gunshots ring out.
Man succeeds in stirring up trouble and during the winter, when Bambi and his mother are feeding on spring grass, Man arrives and kills Bambi's mother off-screen. Bambi, left alone and scared, is rescued and cared for by his reluctant father, the Great Prince of the Forest.
Man appears once again, but this time Bambi has grown up. Man and his dogs arrive and spread real terror killing many animals in the process. The Man's dogs pursue Faline but Bambi comes to her rescue by causing a rock slide crushing the hounds.
Man's foolishness results in a forest-fire by leaving his campfire lit. While the forest goes up in flames, Bambi and the forest animals flee to an island in the lake. Ultimately, Man is possibly killed (again off-screen).
However, due to the possibility that these implications are smoke and mirrors, Man may have survived the fire and escaped. We may never know.
he later appears unseen in the sequel, Bambi 2, where he lures Bambi with a deer whistle and sends his hunting dogs, which appear on-screen, to kill the fawn, only to be thwarted by Bambi's father. Man then sends his dogs again to kill Bambi when a doe, Mena, gets caught in a trap. But Bambi is able to defeat them.
Man's true identity is a mystery.
Originally, in the 1988 hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the villain, Judge Doom, was to be revealed as the hunter who killed Bambi's mother. However, producers believed that it would be too surreal for audiences (especially younger children), and decided against the revelation. However, the fact that it isn't mentioned doesn't preclude Doom from being The Hunter.
Many people think the predator Shere Khan from The Jungle Book is the one who killed Bambi's mother, this is extremely unlikely, as a gunshot was clearly heard in the film, and since The Jungle Book takes place in a jungle climate Shere Khan wouldn't be in a snowy forest. Other people think he is Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas. However, Ratcliffe was more interested in gold than animals
Other fans believe he is Shaw from the 2006 Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation film Open Season. Some believe he is the Colonel from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Neither is possible, because neither film was made or even distributed by Disney.
Another possibility is Victor Quartermaine from the Aardman stop motion film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit due to a gunshot being heard however this is not possible as Victor is not a Disney villain, nor does he hunt Deer. He could also be the Stephen King villain Patrick Hockstetter due to his history of animal cruelty. He could also be Roger or Jack Merridew however none of these seem possible since neither were made by Disney.
Many animators and Disney fans believe that he is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, due to usage of recycled animation from Bambi, as well as the deer heads in Gaston's pub. Most believe this to be impossible; as Bambi is set somewhere in North America (while no country is ever mentioned, the vegetation, animal life, and weather patterns limit it to the US or Canada), and Beauty and the Beast is set in France.
Some fans believe he is Amos Slade, Percival C. McLeach, Clayton, Lyle T. Rourke, Captain William Boone, Charles F. Muntz, Captain Hook, Doctor Facilier, John Silver, Captain Nemo, Ramsley, Dogcatcher, Edgar Balthazar, Stromboli, Shan Yu, Mr. Winkie, The Dogcatcher, Professor Tetti-Tatti, The Coachman, Bill Sykes,or Alameda Slim; due to Bambi never being set in any specific time period, any of these mentioned are all feasibly possible. A much less popular but more possible theory is that, due to some dialogue implying 'Man' as the human beings, the hunter who killed Bambi's mother may not be the same hunter whose dogs attacked Faline.
But most seem impossible since Walt thought villains should not be in two unrelated stories.
In the end, the fact that a specific identity is never applied to "Man" allows viewers to attribute his actions to all human hunters, making for a more powerful message.