For the first time ever, the wonder, music and majesty of one of Walt Disney's greatest triumphs comes alive in glorious detail through the magic of Blu-rayTM high definition! Now Bambi, Walt Disney's beloved coming-of-age story, will thrill a new generation of fans with its breathtakingly beautiful animation, soaring music and characters who will touch your heart-Bambi, the wide-eyed fawn, his playful pal Thumper, the loveable skunk Flower and wise Friend Owl. Plus, all-new immersive game and special features that reveal the extraordinary creative process behind the making of this timeless classic take you deeper into Bambi's world than ever before!
Walt Disney's Bambi is an experience you will never forget-now more brilliant than ever on Blu-ray!
Coming on the heels of 'Fantasia's release, it's easy to see that film's influence throughout Disney's fifth animated feature, 'Bambi.' Truthfully, 'Bambi' plays out like an extended 'Fantasia' sequence. There are more scenes set succinctly to music than scenes with dialogue. It's a simple tale of a young fawn and his struggle to grow into an adult deer in forest fraught with danger.
Walt Disney was simply obsessed with wildlife. He loved it and is even given credit for creating the nature documentary genre where animals were given backstories and personalities by a narrator. People criticized him for this, but we can see his influence on the nature documentary passed down through time where new documentaries like 'Planet Earth,' and 'Life' use the exact same approach.
Based on the book “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” Disney was able to craft a simple yet profound movie about the lives of animals in the forest. He gave them voices and personalities, but never over-indulged. Much of 'Bambi' is dialogue free as we let the animation and rich soundtrack wash over us.
Bambi's birth is the heralding of a new age in the forest. All the forest creatures gather to see the young prince after his birth. Bambi grows up in the forest, learning lessons from his mother. He learns where to find food and how to survive harsh winters. He also learns how to be wary of man and how to spot danger.
The mannerisms of the deer here are spot-on. You can tell that Disney and his team deeply researched the ways they move and act. When Bambi's mother cautiously walks out into the meadow her movements directly mimic the way real deer act in those kinds of situations. The realism of 'Bambi' is one of its many attributes. So often in today's animated films with talking animals, the animators try too hard to make the animals human-like. They'll make four-legged creatures become bi-pedal for no other reason than to make them appear more human. Disney, on the other hand, wasn't interested in caricatures of animals. It's evident that he was interested in telling a heartfelt story about how dangerous life is for animals in the woods.
'Bambi' even sparked debates around the nation about hunting after its release. So deeply ingrained into our culture was Disney and his films that it caused a national rethinking of hunting practices. Whether or not that's a good thing is up for debate, but the fact that an animated movie could have that kind of impact is simply astounding.
'Bambi,' like most of the earlier Disney animated features, runs at a brisk 70 minutes. There's not much embellishment going on here. Just a story about a young deer who overcomes the obstacles of living in the wild. Sure, it's got all the requisite cute Disney characters and even an old owl used for comedic relief, but 'Bambi' really does pack an emotional punch even today. The story is so straightforward and uncomplicated that it's easy to see why it's lauded as an animation classic.
The Disc: Vital Stats
This 'Bambi' release is a Disney Diamond Edition. It comes complete with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc copy of the film, along with a DVD copy. An embossed slipcover is provided.
Coming up on its 70th birthday, the film was released in 1942, this Blu-ray is the best the movie has ever looked. Kudos to Disney for taking such great care of their films that when the time comes for transferring them to different formats they're left with pristine video.
Disney's 1080p AVC-encoded image (framed at 1.35:1) looks simply stunning. The cel animation has held up well, as the lush colors shine through here. Slight shadows and ringing appear around characters from time to time, but it's a byproduct of the cel animation and not a knock on the overall look of the transfer.
This is a clean transfer from top to bottom. A 69 year-old source from which I never noticed one scratch, fleck, or hair pop up. There is a little color waning at the beginning as backgrounds subtly flicker from one color to the next, but if that's the only negative thing I could find then this transfer is doing marvelously.
The detail here is astounding, from the individual brush strokes of the more abstractly painted backgrounds, to the solid, concise lines of the character art, everything is perfectly reproduced. Clarity is superb. One shot, while Bambi is sliding around on the ice, seemed to take on a much softer nature than the rest of the movie, but that was the only instance of that happening. Blacks are deep and foreboding. The scene where Bambi fights for Faline is home to some tremendous dark sequences that still bring out every little detail of the animator's pen.
Everything about this transfer is simply superb. As is normal with Disney animated releases I didn't notice any problem with compression artifacts. Everything from aliasing to blocking stays miles away from this. It's just fantastic all around.
'Bambi' bounds onto Blu-ray with a newly remixed DTS-HD High Resolution soundtrack featuring a 7.1 soundfield. A little confused here, as a DTS-HD High Resolution track doesn't offer lossless audio like a DTS-HD Master Audio track would.
This is one of the most reserved 7.1 tracks I've heard from Disney. The rear speakers are unengaged most of the time. The roaring soundtrack provided by Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb seems to be centered in up front in the soundstage without really finding its way through the side and rear channels.
Still, dialogue is reproduced nicely albeit a little low. LFE provides tension for the more dramatic scenes. The overall effect of the soundtrack sounds like it has taken on a bit of age, but it works nicely here. I just don't understand the reasoning behind offering a lossy audio presentation when Disney has been consistently releasing its most prized animated films with lossless audio.
I adore 'Bambi'. It really is a timeless classic, and in it is preserved a piece of Walt Disney that loved nature and the animals that inhabited it. The film's simple story, about a young deer growing up in a world fraught with danger, is still inspiring, and at times freighting. Disney has yet again amazed us by delivering another demo-worthy video transfer, but oddly the 7.1 audio presentation comes in a lossy format, which really is too bad. Finally, with the wonderful package of bonus content that's been put together this one comes highly recommended.