The Movie: 9/10
Bambi is one of Disney’s most popular movies, and is and should be considered a classic. The story of the young prince of the forest is one that truly touches the heart, and the emotions run the gamut in this movie. Bambi for me was never one of my favorite Disney releases, and after watching it again as an adult, I am not sure why. I was always partial to the Sword in the Stone, or the 101 Dalmatians stories, but Bambi truly is a great film. The entire presentation here is just simply amazing. I feel that I can do nothing but gush about the lush animation, the character development (which by the way is mainly done through the animal’s actions, due to the fact that the dialogue is somewhat limited).
Bambi is the story of a young fawn, born into the forest amongst the hubbub of the other forest animals, who all refer to him as the heir to the thrown, which is rightly owned by Bambi’s father, a powerful and striking stag. We see the young deer take his first unsteady steps amongst the onlookers as he begins his rise to power. The story takes place in the forest, which is richly drawn (and colored accordingly to the seasons) and creates an almost magical backdrop to this classic tale. Bambi is befriended by several of the woodland creatures along his journey, including the one toothed rabbit Thumper, who is aptly names due to his ability to thump his feet on the ground to announce danger. Bambi also meets Flower, who is of course interestingly named as Flower is in fact a skunk.
The story follow Bambi as he lives and learns, and faces some major obstacles to his life. One of the lessons that he must deal with is the death of his mother, which is traumatic and heart-wrenching, and almost a bit much for smaller kids, who may need to be forewarned about the tragedy. The story involves the animals as they face the threat that is man, even though the threat is often hinted at, and not seen (a very clever presentation, as the movie is truly seen through the eyes of the animals, as is explained in some of the extras that are included on the Blu-ray).
I was overly impressed with Bambi this time around, and the detail and atmosphere that are created here must have been lost on me as a kid. I was blown away by the artwork and story this time around, and the depth to which Disney went to create these characters that have all the characteristics of their animals, but take on true human characteristics as well. The characters are such a big part of the movie, and they really make Bambi stick out.
Overall Bambi is just a Disney masterpiece, and even though the subject matter may not be completely suited for little kids, people of all ages can enjoy this timeless classic. I am glad I got to revisit this release, as it has been ages since I originally saw Bambi, and I had kind of dismissed the movie. I can honestly say that I had dismissed a real gem from Disney, and this release has vaulted way up on the list of Disney classics for me now.
- Introduction By Diane Disney Miller – The introduction by Diane Disney Miller is well done, and I really like to see these introductions on the Diamond Editions like this. It adds a bit of history and nostalgia from someone who was close to the movie itself.
- 2 Deleted Scenes – There are two deleted scenes that are included here on the Diamond edition. They are not finished scenes, and are told through storyboards and audio, but they are quite interesting. the first features Bambi getting stuck on a reed, which just so happens to be home to a small mouse. the mouse ends up helping the young fawn get untangled. the second scene is a fall scene where two leaves are romantically entangled.
- Deleted Song – There is a deleted song entitled Twitterpatted included on the release.
- Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – This re-enactment of a story meeting featuring the creators of the movie is amazing. Detailed transcripts of the meetings were kept, and they are read with scenes of the movie playing in the background. There is also the ability to enter specific scenes and extras directly from the remote during this meeting. This is an amazing Disney insight that is truly not to be missed. They discuss the mannerisms of the different animals, and the way the movie should progress in detail.
- Disney’s Big Book Of Knowledge Game – This is a kind of quiz book that will appeal to young children, where questions about the movie and characters are asked, and by choosing the correct answers on the screen, virtual stickers can be earned for a virtual stickerbook.
- Classic DVD Bonus Features – There are loads more extras that are included on the regular DVD, that appeared on the 2005 Bambi release. The extras, like most of the Disney Diamond Edition releases are just amazing and there are tons of them for any Disney fan to enjoy and take in.
- Disney Second Screen – I have to write about this new invention that is included on the Blu-ray. Disney is now including the ability to download an app for the iPad, or for any PC that allows you to play the Blu-ray, and the iPad (or laptop) will sync up with the movie and offer various interactive parts of the movie including access to storyboards and commentary. This is a very interesting idea and had great potential. Now I am going to have to find a way to get an iPad just to that I can watch Disney movies (I may try to get Ascully to spring for an iPad so that I can do a through review for him – or maybe not).
Cover Art and Menus: 10/10
A very modern cover is presented on the Bambi Diamond Edition Blu-ray, and it is quite well done. The artwork is amazing and a nice break from some of the Diamond Edition releases that do seem a bit dated. The menu is great, and follows the pattern that we have seen before, with the orchestral music on top of a very interactive menu that does a great job of offering up the numerous choices on the Blu-ray, without being too overwhelming. I again appreciate the “highlighted feature” that has become a staple in these mega Disney releases
Audio & Video: 9/10
Whenever I get a re-release on Blu-ray of a movie from many years ago, you always kind of worry about how it transfers over. I mean there was no high definition back when Disney made many of these classics, and Surround Sound meant you had more than one speaker. This re-release is just amazing considering the age of the material. It looks and sounds amazing. They have of course restored the movie and it looks pristine, with amazing brightness and detail to the point where you can almost forget how old this movie really is. As for the sound, it still seems a bit dated based on the lack of true clarity due to the limits of the original recording, but they have remixed it so it is now in 7.1 Surround Sound, and it does stand up pretty well.
It doesn’t get much better than this. the diamond Edition Bambi Blu-ray release is the classic movie, looking and sounding just about as good as a movie this old can. The presentation here is an everything but the kitchen sink kind of release, and it is amazing. The combo of the great classic Disney release coupled with the presentation is a must have for all collectors. While Bambi may not be the Disney favorite for everyone (it is a bit sad), this is a great Blu-ray release.
Overall Score 10/10