Story By: Felix Salten
Voices by: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn, Thelma Boardman
Bambi is one of my favorite Disney films, right behind Lady and the Tramp. As a kid, I was a sucker for any animated film that featured animals: not much has changed all these many years later. Finally, this Disney classic is available on Blu Ray and I gave it a whirl.
A new “prince” of the forest is born one day. His name: Bambi. He is a little deer and with the guidance of his beloved mother and father, he learns how to survive the sometimes dangerous nature of the woods and how to be the best “deer” he can be.
He is surrounded by many other woodland creatures that give him advice and companionship. His best friends are Thumper, an energetic and tiny bunny and Flower, a sweet and diminutive skunk. There are also possums, owls and many more surrounding Bambi in his simple yet joyful life in the woods.
However, danger can lurk behind the beauty of the forest. What is that danger? Man. Bambi’s mother warns of the danger that “man” brings to their life. When tragedy strikes Bambi’s family, how will he cope and what is to be this fawn’s fate?
After re-watching this film, it still packs the same emotional punch that I experienced when I first saw this film as a child. This is wonderfully honest and down-to-earth animated storytelling at its best. It is not a surprise that this film is considered a cornerstone in the animation genre and an influence on so many films since its original release.
Another detail that I appreciate on a much deeper level now than as a child is the painstaking effort to capture the realistic motions of the animals. Through research I learned that animators kept several animals, including deer, as pets during the creation of the film. That gave the artists live models to base their work upon. When filming was complete, the animals were given to sanctuaries and parks for others to enjoy. The animals of Bambi are not walking on their back legs and wearing human clothes. Rather, they are realistic animals with genuine personalities.
The pacing of the film is another one of its strengths. Coming it at just 70 minutes, the story is told efficiently and effectively without sluggish segments or constant “noise” and needless action.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “Disney” fan, Bambi is a classic. Sure, it has some of the earmarks of a typical Disney film: cutesy animals with cutesy voices. But trust me, if you look beyond that, you will find a thoroughly enjoyable film.
So, this is the time to re-watch this film or to discover it for the first time. Animated films such as My Neighbor Totoro or any of the Toy Story films set the bar high with the style and content that is possible in animated films, however this classic Disney film holds its own in comparison.
The film is presented in a 1080p AVC widescreen presentation. The film looks absolutely stunning. The colors are vibrant and the overall image quality is crisp and highly detailed. The black levels are deep and impressive. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.
The film is presented in a 7.1 DTS High Resolution mix. There is nice usage of all the speakers in your home theater system. The soundtrack and ambient sounds are nicely mixed with the dialogue. If I had any complaint, I might mention that at times the dialogue seems a bit “low”. Again, a very respectable job in this department.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The film is presented in a standard blu ray amaray case with a cardboard slipcover featuring the cute mug of Bambi on the cover.
Wow, there is a lot to explore on this release. Let’s get started, shall we?
The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born is a documentary divided into 6 sections that has just about anything you ever want to know about this film. It covers everything from story and characters and actors, to art design and music and history of the film. Clocking in at around 50 minutes, this a “can’t miss” bonus feature.
The Deleted Scenes have 2 scenes never before seen, among the ones offered. Inside the Disney Archives is a look into the vaults of Disney at some of the original artwork from the film.
Tricks of the Trade is an exploration into the camera technique utilized to capture the film. The Old Mill is an animated short from 1937.
Also offered is the original theatrical trailer.
A great bonus feature offered is the Bambi: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings. This is a “Picture in Picture” featurette that shows archived footage and transcripts of the meetings to show how this classic film came to “be”.
There are interactive art galleries and a deleted song entitled “Twitterpated” that was left out of the final cut.
Rounding things out, there is Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge and something called
Disney View that puts artwork from Disney artist Lisa Keene into the black side bars.
Also of note is Disney Second Screen that allows you to synch up your laptops and Ipads to the movie to look at more exclusive content.
Overall (Not an Average) 10/10
The Film 10/10
The Video 10/10
The Audio 9/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 9/10
Overall ( Not an Average) 10/10