Disney buffs Bambi to a high shine in HD release

Disney buffs <i>Bambi</i> to a high shine in HD release

The great thing about doing these Disney reviews is that I get to revisit films I haven’t seen since childhood. You wouldn’t normally see me going to the video store to rent Bambi or Snow White. I’ve found that these films work on two levels.
 
First, the purity of the animation and storytelling is what gives these films their universal appeal. Children love the characters, the songs, and the innocence. However, as an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the craftsmanship Disney has excelled at for over 80 years.
 
I admit that sometimes I dread having to review yet another cartoon. Those feelings usually disappear once I’ve put the disc into the player. I don’t review nearly as many films as others do (thankfully) but I am subjected to a fair amount of junk.  Let’s face it; there are a lot of bad movies being made. I don’t have to tell you that. In comparison, these Disney cartoons shine.
 
Walt knew that the key was strong storytelling that should create an emotional attachment to the show. Audiences supposedly wept at the end of Snow White. What was the last movie to make you cry? I didn’t cry but I heard a lot of people got misty at the end of Toy Story 3, or even at the end of the beautiful opening sequence of Up. That’s what I’m talking about.
 
If a movie can engross the audience emotionally, then the filmmakers have done their job and Disney is second to none in this regard.
 
I haven’t seen Bambi since foreverago  but I am now a big fan. Like I mentioned before, the animation is blissfully and beautifully done and the story is an elegant and simple tale of a boy and his mother. Walt seems to have been a nature-lover and Bambi showcases the purity of the forest.
 
It’s a story light on dialogue and the only true antagonist in the film is mankind. It all works wonderfully and although it wasn’t a big hit upon its release, it has become a timeless classic.
 
Disney has re-released Bambi in a new Diamond Edition Blu-ray disc and it’s worth the money. The film looks great in high definition, presenting the soft and subtle paintings in their maximum clarity. As usual, Disney packs in a good amount of supplemental material to keep kids and adults busy for hours.
 
I keep waiting for Disney to stumble with one of these releases, but those guys sure know what they’re doing and they know how to please their audiences.
 
Bonus features include all of the old material from the previous DVD release. There are new extras as well, including two deleted scenes, a deleted song, and artwork to transform the 4x3 picture into a full-frame 16x9 image suited for high-def displays.
 
Disney has also included a simple matching game suited for children and a fantastic bonus for adults fascinated with the company’s rich history. Viewers can now watch Bambi in the “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings” mode. This presents the film with a recreation of Walt Disney’s story meetings as preserved in transcripts taken 70 years ago.
 
The film also uses a branching mode to offer more detailed information on specific topics. It’s another fantastic feature for Disney nuts and film historians.
 
Simply put, this is another winner. End of story.
 
Movie
5 out of 5
 
Blu-ray disc rating
5 out of 5
 
Bonus Features
New supplements
·         Bambi: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings
·         Family Play – Disney: Big Book of Knowledge – interactive games
·         2 deleted scenes
·         Deleted song
·         Interactive galleries
 
Classic DVD Bonus Features (presented in standard definition)
·         2 deleted scenes
·         Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born – a 53 minute documentary
·         Tricks of the Trade (7:18) – Walt introduces the multi-plane camera
·         Inside the Disney Archive (8:39)
·         The Old Mill (8:58) – A 1937 Academy Award-winning short
·         Theatrical Trailer