(1942/Disney Diamond Edition Blu-ray)
A Sound: A Extras: B Film: A-
the 1923 book Bambi: A Life in the Woods by
author Felix Salten, Bambi became an
instant hit for Disney in 1942 and is still revered as an all time classic. The tale of a fawn who befriends a rabbit
named Thumper, a skunk he names Flower, and even a female fawn named Faline.
quickly learns the ways of the forest in the meadow, as his mother explains
that deer are not protected there. It is
in the meadow also where Bambi meets his father (the Prince of the Forrest) a
strong Buck, who amongst a crowd of rushing animals saves Bambi and his mother
as “Man was in the Forest.” Bambi goes on with his early years, having
fun even through a harsh winter, learning to slide on ice along side
Thumper. One day while venturing into
the meadow to feed on fresh grass, Bambi’s mother orders him to flee. When shots ring out Bambi’s mother is nowhere
to be found and with this his father arrives to explain that his mother can’t
be with him anymore. Time flashes by
quick and as spring arrives Bambi is a young adult and along with Thumper and
Flower the boys discover what Spring fever is all about.
is simple, yet inspiring and is exemplary of how Disney could say so much with
so little. The combination of artistic
styles used for Bambi is admirable and certain aspects (mainly due to their
difficulty) have never been repeated again.
The original Bambi novel was
much grimmer than the Disney adaptation ended up; starting the wave of light
hearted Disney films that would pull in both children and adults alike. Like Snow
White and Fantasia before it, Bambi created a lot of firsts for the
studio that would be repeated time and time again in the future. Animators were treated to live animals in the
studio to help render realistic deer, rabbits, owls, etc into the animation
format; something that would be done for future films like that of The Lion King. The film was an inspiring landmark moment for
the studio and something that generations would grow up watching for years to
Blu-ray we have another fine example of why Disney always gets it right. The 1.33 X 1, 1080p AVC encoded MPEG-4 image
is stunning on Blu-ray, demonstrating colors, black levels and a sharpness that
films half its age can not claim on Blu-ray.
Disney always had great foresight and maintaining their catalog in
vaults for generations has paid off. The
animation leaps off the screen and is crisp as the day it was drawn (perhaps
better) as not only do they have great original stock to work from, but Disney
Studios has mastered transferring films to High Definition. Nothing is over saturated, or washed, or even
suffering from digital noise reduction issues; Bambi looks and sounds perfect.
The sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio that is all encompassing as the music
and forest surrounds the viewer. The 7.1
surrounds is extraordinary and the film has never sounded this good
before. Whoever does the mixing at
Disney gets it all too right. The film’s
use of sound is gentle and subtle. The
viewer is not very often slammed with epic sound, but there are gradual build
ups. Much of the 7.1 track comes from
the front, but if you listen closely you can hear the forest noises creeping up
on you. It is all done masterfully.
features are not as plentiful as some Disney releases, as most is ported over
form the DVD, but what is offered is very well done with a few new
features. Extras include the following:
The Making of Bambi: A Prince is
Almost an hour of footage (ported from the DVD) that shows
how Bambi came to life. Very well done!
Tricks of the Trade
The Old Mill
Inside the Disney Archives
Introduction by Diane Miller (HD)
2 Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes
Deleted Song (HD)
Inside Walt’s Story Meetings –
Enhanced Edition (HD)
An amazing look behind the scenes of Walt’s meetings that
will have fans chomping at the bit. This
feature uses transcripts, real footage and more to show the process that
brought the film to life.
Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge
film that is finally immortalized in perfect picture and sound here on Blu-ray.
- Michael P. Dougherty II