You'd have to have a heart of stone not to fall for Bambi. For me, it's Walt's crowning achievement, and when I watch it today, it still gives the same feeling of nostalgia as it did when I was six years old. In fact, I find even more thought-provoking than I did when I was a child.
But what is it that makes Bambi stand out for me? There's magic here alright, but not the fairy magic like in so many other Disney films. There's humans, but they never appear on screen. I think that I was captivated by the way the musicians, the animators and the artwork all become synchronised, like the natural sounds of a real forest. What makes Bambi so wonderful is the feel of being so close to nature. During the scene where it starts to rain, we see Bambi's fascination with the little raindrops. As each little drop lands softly on something, we hear a little note from the orchestra. It is just so well synchronised, and it shows just how much love and dedication was put into it.
Also, Bambi flawlessly flips from mood to mood. We watch a scene that is sad, dark and melancholy. It all fades to black, and we are greeted with something light hearted, colourful and joyful. In many other films, something like that would stick out like a sore thumb, but somehow, in an almost magic way, that does not happen with Bambi.
What really annoys me is when I see people bash Bambi and call it 'anti-hunting pro-PETA trash.' I'm sure that when Walt Disney made this, he had nothing of the sort in mind. It also annoys me when I see people making a big deal out of one of the most touching and heartbreaking scenes in Bambi. (you know the one I'm talking about!) Sure, it's a poignant scene, but it is also only one tiny fraction of the actual film. So why must people take the Mick out of it, if there is no Mick to take? (That doesn't sound right!)
As you can see, I adore this classic. So therefore, I'm overjoyed at how much care Disney has put into this Special Edition. There's plenty of extras here, from games for the young (and young at heart!) to information on how Bambi was made and filmed. We also have the original theatrical trailer (boy has it aged!) and there's a beautiful little short called the Old Mill, amongst lots of other stuff.
Also, the film has been cleaned up and remastered so now we are seeing Bambi as it might have looked when it first came out. The picture quality is a real improvement over my old video tape.
So what are you waiting for? Get this now, before Disney locks it up again.