on 19 November 2003
The first time I saw this film as a child I cried. 25 years on, watching it for the second time, I cried again. Such is the beauty and power of Walt Disney's classic film which is, without a doubt, a masterpiece. The animation is wonderful (in the days before computers), the animals adorable and the music moving. Walt Disney was able to portray the life of a deer in the forest in such a simple, yet truly touching way, that it parallels the lives of us all growing up and learning about good and bad. One picture very clear from the film is how we, mankind, are seen to be destructive and outside of nature (you will see how well Disney showed this by change of music, colour and words such as "Man...has entered the forest"). But... nature always wins in the end. Watch, enjoy and hopefully be moved by Disney's magical masterpiece.
on 31 March 2005
No matter how tough or cold hearted you are this movie is bound to touch you in some way. Cute cuddly characters that make you laugh (A macho rabbit, A skunk with a little bit of gender confusion and a naive deer). Each character brings something to the film but when making this film disney had no idea how many issues they would touch upon. It deals with the problems of growing up and dealing with loss. It also shows us the implication that hunting has from Bambi's point of view. The film is about survival and carrying on in the face of such devestating tragedy when he loses his mother at a young age. The DVD is brilliant under special features you even get a sneak peek at the new bambi film which carries on from when Bambi and his father dissapear into the snow filled trees. This is one of the best DVD's ever and if it's possible it's even better now than it was when it came out on VHS. Bambi is the most amazing creation ever and I am grateful to the person who came up with this concept. This film still has the power to make me cry. If you haven't bought it yet i suggest you do so immediately as it will be the most important film you ever own. The best film ever made period.
Historically, there is a certain charm that Bambi holds since it was the last film of the so-called 'Golden Age' of Disney animation, released in 1942 to widespread acclaim. By this point, we see many of the studios loyal animators hitting a new level of confidence in their beautiful renderings of nature - hitting a fine line that Disney always strived to achieve; "realistic fantasy". And this is to be expected after studying the creatures first-hand, in the studio! But in a word, Bambi beautiful. More-so than any release before (VHS/DVD), it can reduce a grown man like myself to tears for its sheer artist perfection.
Of all the five 'Golden Age' films, Bambi is significant in being labelled, often harshly, as a beautiful-snore, since its calm and often gentle pace is only countered by lush artwork. Personally, I think the term sounds negative, but then again only the patience of the viewer can determine how much action and dialogue is required. Given Bambi neither strives to be an action film nor a laugh-a-minute, it is a venture that holds sincerity that we so-miss today.
As referred in the title, Bambi really was the original 'circle of life'. We have nothing more than a journey throughout all the realities of nature: birth and death throughout both creatures and seasons. On one level, the harsh reality of nature that is depicted in Bambi would be too daring for the modern Disney to reproduce - perhaps even so much that this product has an edit in it. The removal of the line "Man took her away" (following "Your mother can't be with you anymore") signals that the P.C brigade feel we shouldn't be shedding bad light on human beings. Our 'darling' children might get confused, afterall...
Although the soundtrack throughout Bambi is integral to the general structure of the narrative, the standout scene is no-doubt "Little April Showers", in which the sweet protagonist watches rainfall in synchronisation with the most beautiful song of the film, and arguably, one of the best of the Golden Age. Significantly, it was one of the first major uses of collective vocal recordings and is completely original in its ability to mimic the delicate nature of water falling.
As-per-usual, the Lowry restoration is completely flawless. Backgrounds are scrubbed and reveal the most delicate water-colour work I've ever seen in a traditional animation. Likewise, the cel animation reveals gorgeous line work (as well as new line work I have never even noticed before on Bambi himself) and finally the correct colour timing, which as with every Lowry restoration, 'completes' the original experience, and gives the film that rich Technicolor glow that is simply unique to the first five Disney films.
In fact, when one views many of the original character Cels in the 'Interactive Art Gallery', we see that the Technicolor production process brightened these purposefully darker images so that, once photographed, they became the intended colours. Genius!
On the topic of Extra Features, we would expect such a Diamond Edition (marketing tool for Disney's most prestige titles, which makes one wonder why Fantasia was left out...) to be packed to the brim with all kinds of wonderful documents. Unfortunately, it does NOT contain 3 discs as-have previous Diamond Editions and Platinum Editions. Rather, Bambi is the first Diamond release to have just 2 Discs - 1 a Blu-Ray (Film and Extra Features), and a DVD (Film). This is most likely because the unfortunate lack of extras could fit onto the Film disc. Hopefully this doesn't become a future trend, but given that even Disney B.D Live isn't an option on the main menu, I'm more than baffled at how even their 'Special Editions' have sometimes had more features/options.
One possibility (just briefly) is that Disney are simply releasing too many titles for their own good per-year. Since Blu-Ray is a relatively new format thats taken off, the company is taking every step to rush out as many releases as they can, but obviously at the compromise of recording less content for each release. This means that, apart from a daft commercial for the Walt Disney Family Museum, many of the latest products have had little 'new' extra content, and perhaps to save money, they've skimped on an extra Blu-Ray disc for both Fantasia and now Bambi.
The product also contains no up-coming trailers. Very odd for a Disney film!
Regardless, Bambi is a true classic of Disney story telling that, whilst may be slow-paced for some, ultimately offers a higher degree of heart and realism than the studio have released in a very long time. What it lacks in action and gags makes up for in a genuine beauty that has possibly never been surpassed in its appreciation of nature, and the way that humans overlook other circles of life. It took almost 5 years of research, planning and development just to produce, and the resulting product is a treasure that teaches a definitive moral; life can arrive and leave, but it will always return. The Diamond Edition is a welcome arrival, and although continuing the trend of little new documentation on disc, the film is a significant improvement over its previous restoration.
5 Stars for the film, 4 Stars for the product.
on 25 April 2014
"Bambi" is one of the most beautifull and sophisticated Disney movie- but also has a valid apeal to Young kids who can follow the actions and images as there's very Little dialouge.
The animation is stunning- probably the most well drawn Disney movie along with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The score is lush, draws you in and breaks your Heart several times as human beings destroy the lives of the forest animals. I think we could all learn alot about the impact humans have on nature from "Bambi". This was the first movie I ever watched- and I do believe it taught me about nature, animals and how we are all equally allowed to be on this planet.
The blu ray transfer is fantastic- as I own the original dvd release I tried putting it on afterwards and the difference was incredible. Another impressive blu ray release from Disney- of an even more impressive and beautifull movie.
on 2 April 2005
Of all the animated films I saw as a child, "Bambi" was my favorite. It still is. Disney studios released this artistically advanced classic in 1942. It runs just under 70 minutes. Of course everyone remembers, vividly, the traumatic scene when Bambi, the young fawn, loses his mother to a hunter's bullet. This probably marks the place where many of us cried for the first time during a movie. Although this particular sequence is powerful and somewhat heavy, I was comforted by my mom, and remember laughing, soon afterward, as I watched Bambi at play, with rabbit sidekick, Thumper, and skunk friend Flower. Children seem to intuitively understand the depth and range of this story, which runs the gamut from parental love, loss, grief, survival, friendship and loyalty to the balance of nature and the cycle of life.
This is one of Disney's most emotive movies - one where the viewer is drawn in by the storyline, and loveable characters, great voice acting, gorgeous visual effects and, of course, the music. Along with the wonderful tale of that first year in Bambi's life, where he learns to live on his own, the impressionist style artistic and orchestral representations of the four seasons are brilliant. Nature's beauty is really captured here. Examining the visuals closely, the detailed depiction of reality, now so common with computer animation, is replaced here by suggestion - of light, color, form, patterns - just like a painting.
As with other platinum edition DVD sets, ("Snow White," "Beauty and the Beast"), this set is an assembled mix of restored and digitally re-mastered classic animation with digital extras. Additional commentary from those present during the film's creation, as well as vintage footage has been included also.
The second disc contains a veritable plethora of bonus and historical information grouped into three headings: Deleted Scenes, Games & Activities, and Backstage Disney. Backstage Disney is the segment I like best, which includes: "The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born;" "The Art of Bambi," showcasing a large quantity of production and character study stills, color keys, and backgrounds - fabulous artwork; "Restoring Bambi," reveals the enormous amount of work involved in restoring the aging film; as well as "Tricks of the Trade," and "The Old Mill," an animated short.
Bambi is a touching film, beautiful to look at and listen to, for children of all ages. You'll want to watch this heartwarming favorite over and over again.
Disney's MPEG-4 1080p AVC-encoded image (framed at 1.35:1) looks simply stunning. The detail here is astounding. Clarity is superb. Colours are very vibrant. Disney has done a superb job in restoring and cleaning this evergreen classic. (5/5)
This newly remixed DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack is wonderful and finessed. The roaring soundtrack provided by Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb seems to be centered in the front and lateral speakers, with very little surround effects. (3.5/5)
Credit must now be restored to the voice of the young Thumper - Peter Behn (uncredited in the movie). His voice simply brought the character to life.
Unusually for the time, Walt Disney insisted on children providing the voices for the animals when they were young, instead of using adults mimicking youngsters. Did you also know that two asteroids were named after Bambi and Thumper?
When Bambi looks in the pond while in the meadow and sees Faline's reflection, he repeatedly looks at both his and her reflections. After Faline giggles, Bambi stops in awe and blinks twice. On the second blink, the reflection's eyes do not blink with Bambi's eyes.
When Bambi sees the possums hanging upside down from a tree, they are oriented such that the shortest is hanging on the left and the longest is on the right. Bambi rotates his head to look at them. Doing this, the longest should now be on the "left". But in the film, the longest is still on the right.
I usually dislike Disney's previews before the movie presentation. But in the case of Bambi blu ray disc, it was wonderful to see the preview of "The Lion King" (the colour was magnificent) which will be released in the fall and "Tangled" which will be released on March 29.
Bambi engages both the sensibilities of adults and the curiosity of children. It is indeed a timeless classics. Highly recommended.
on 28 July 2003
I saw this movie when it was first released. There's no doubt it visits the interaction between members of the family circle extremely well. Bambi, a fawn, is seen through his life-cycle from baby to full adult and through the major traumas he experiences - including the loss of his father in the forest fire. Here the magic of Disney is seen at its best. I can thoroughly recommend this movie. Better than Dumbo (in my opinion) but then Dumbo fans will surely disagree. You'll really like the music - you probably already know some of it without realising its source.However DO see this one. My VHS copy is now worn out and I'm waiting anxiously for the DVD to hit the shelves.
on 25 July 2007
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.
Bambi is a coming of age story that follows the first year in the life of a young buck. While he explores his world, he makes friends with Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk and experiences all the joys, sorrows, and dangers of life.
Bambi is different from other Disney movies in that it doesn't have any humans in it. Still, the impact of man is felt several times in the course of the story. Overall, the movie is a series of smaller moments, many of them classic - Bambi discovering ice, the naming of Flower, all three of them falling in love, Thumper quoting his father, etc.
The artwork in this film is beautiful. Many of the backgrounds look like they were painted using watercolor, a look they used extensively in the late 70's. Still, it really works well here. The animal movement is the best yet, even while making them semi-human.
To me, this movie doesn't have the same appeal as Snow White, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians, or some of Disney's other movies. Still, it's a movie I enjoy, and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys classic Disney animation.
This is one of those films that appeals to everybody, young and old alike. On this super DVD, it features in a magnificent and wonderful new print that makes it look as fresh as when it did all those years ago. The special features on the second DVD are well worth looking at as there are among loads of others, deleted sketches, and a look at the follow-up, 'Bambi 2', and a fascinating look at how they restored and cleaned up the original film.
The story of the young foul, Bambi growing up and learning about life in the forest and making friends with the other animals including the ever lovable Thumper and Flower the skunk, is a timeless piece of brilliant animation. The scene when his mother dies at the hands of humans in the forest is still moving to the heart. And when the forest catches fire, that's also dramatic to watch. There's also the thrill and laughter as we watch Bambi slide in all directions on the ice in the winter time along with Thumper and Flower. As far as the songs go, 'Little April Showers' which plays as Bambi, who lies asleep with his mother, is awoken by a splash of rain drops on his nose. It's a wonderful and delightful scene featuring some beautiful animation.
This is a film of absolute joy and delight and I find it a pleasure to sit through 67 minutes of this any day of the week. In fact, when this beautiful and magical film was released, the great man himself, Walt Disney, said that Bambi was "his favourite film". And it's very easy to see why. This film has always been one of my all time favourite films. A magical classic.