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Bambi (1942) - Blu-ray Review

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Bambi - Blu-ray Review

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Diamond Edition / Blu-ray + DVD

5 stars

There’s a sense of timeless purity that encases Walt Disney’s Bambi in a shell of cinematic quality.  From the kids’ voices that grace the beginning of Bambi’s life to the first memorable storm the young prince shares with his mother, few films – especially ones dating back to 1947 - provide such a wonderment of memorable and remarkable scenes that seem like old friends at once immediate and so very personal.  Such is Bambi’s graceful territory, a film that has never looked as good as what this – its Blu-ray debut – offers its audience.

Populated with such beautiful characters such as Bambi’s mother (elegantly voiced by Paula Winslowe), a rabbit named Thumper (Peter Behn), and a young skunk Bambi names “Flower”, Bambi is Walt Disney’s cautionary tale about respecting the lives of animals – however great or small – and the consequences of man’s presence upon their world.  The villain is as simple to define as this. “Man was in the forest” and, with that simple statement, no truer words could ever be spoken to define that threat.  Essentially, Bambi is a coming of age story for the young Prince and it is still as emotional as it ever was.

Truth be told, there is nothing simple to this story.  The thrust of the beautiful story comes thought the music and the images corresponding on-screen.  There are only a handful of moments of dialogue – and they are precious – so the heart of this piece is through the grand use of Ed Plumb’s music expertise and, boy, does that consistently hit the right chord over and once again.

Directed by David Hand, Bambi is most certainly the defining hallmark of all Disney animated features.  Emotional without being trite and spirited without being loud or ever annoying, there is a fine balance that is achieved with the nearly every aspect of this motion picture.  The art is detailed and life-like – something Walt Disney strived for with this picture – and even hired an animal handler to explain and choreograph the movements of the animals for the animators.

What is remarkable about this film is the camera angles used throughout its running time.  This film – maybe not as acknowledged as it should be - is far ahead of its time when it comes to the scope and the colors of animated sequences; more cinematic and natural than ever before, the multiplane camera use is focused and its palette is something to be envied by even the greatest of artists.

The depth of this film – solely on a visual level – is pure poetry.  The hand-painted backgrounds are both epic and unending in their beauty.  Poetry?  Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, it certainly is a work of art.

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{2jtab: Film Info}

Bambi - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: G for general audiences
Director
: James Algar; Samuel Armstrong; David Hand; Graham Heid; Bill Roberts; Paul Satterfield; Norman Wright
Writer
: Felix Salten
Cast:
Hardie Albright; Stan Alexander; Bobette Audrey; Peter Behn; Thelma Boardman
Genre
: Animated | Family
Tagline:
Love Comes To The Forest Folk... and to you, in one of the world's greatest love stories!
Memorable Movie Quote: ""Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat." I made that last part up myself."
Distributor:
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date:
August 21, 1942
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Mar 1, 2011

Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Synopsis: The animated story of Bambi, a young deer hailed as the 'Prince of the Forest' at his birth. As Bambi grows, he makes friends with the other animals of the forest, learns the skills needed to survive, and even finds love. One day, however, the hunters come, and Bambi must learn to be as brave as his father if he is to lead the other deer to safety.

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{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Bambi - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
5 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 1, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD HR 7.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (Original); French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy; BD-Live

Oh. My. God. Folks, this 1080p transfer is nothing short of breathtaking. In fact, this restoration does more to honor and clarify the original animator’s intentions than ever before.  The artistry is revealed in detail and colorful brightness that absolutely shines in HD.  Vibrant and rich in technical depth, this transfer will do more to awaken your senses to the wonderful world of Disney than any other classic animated release from this studio.  With no print damage or aging spotted with this release, Bambi on Blu-ray is a true marvel for the kid and the adult in you.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Continuing their fine tradition of great supplemental material, Disney has padded this disc with Picture-in-Picture commentaries, Bambi features an inside look at the making of the movie that is worth the ticket price for the set.  Titled ‘Inside Walt’s Story Meetings’, the commentary provides a recreation of the writing sessions and story design of Bambi that levels most commentaries and provides an inside look at the process of making a classic Disney film.

Special Features:

Heavy with ‘Making Of’ features (nearly feature length) and interactive galleries, Bambi’s supplemental features aren’t as insightful as the commentary but they aren’t disappointing either.  Deleted scenes are strong, but the real treat is the inclusion of an Academy Award winning Silly Symphonies short from 1937.

The Special Features are as follows:

  • The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born in 6 parts (52 min)
  • Character Sketch Interactive Galleries (HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (8 min)
  • Deleted Song (2 min)
  • Inside the Disney Archives (9 min)
  • Disney Second Screen
  • Disney's Big Book of Knowledge
  • Tricks of the Trade (7 min)
  • The Old Mill (9 min)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (2 min)
  • Disney View
  • Sneak Peeks (12 min)

{2jtab: Trailer}

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