Bambi II
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Like many people who were weaned on the classic animated films made by Walt Disney, I have been less than thrilled by the onslaught of direct-to-video sequels the company has been producing the last dozen years. Starting with "The Return of Jafar" in 1994, we have not only seen sequels to many recent animated films, such as "Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas" and "Lion King II: Simba's Pride," but direct-to-video follow ups to some of those classic Disney films, as is the case with "Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure" and "Cinderella II: Dreams Come True." Consequently, when I sat down to watch "Bambi II" I was fully expecting to be bitterly disappointed. Instead I was pleasantly surprised (actually, I was floored).

"Bambi II" begins with the well-remembered moment from the original when Bambi (voiced by Alexander Gould) is looking for his mother and The Great Prince of the Forest (Patrick Stewart) informs his son that she will not be coming back, and ends with Bambi still a fawn. The beloved characters Thumper (Brendon Baerg) and Flower (Nicky Jones) return, as does Feline (Andrea Bowen), but having more of an impact is a character who only appears briefly in the original, Ronno (Anthony Ghannam), another fawn whose antlers have already come in. Ronno not only keeps calling Bambi a baby and a coward, but is also making moves on Feline. Meanwhile, The Great Prince is having trouble with his new responsibility for raising his young son and teaching him the ways of the forest, and Bambi is trying to impress his father. Neither one of them is succeeding all that well.

Directed by Brian Pimental (who also voices both the Groundhog and the Porcupine), this 2006 direct-to-video release has several things going for it, starting with having Patrick Stewart voice Bambi's father. But the greatest strength is the
story by Pimental and Jeanne Rosenberg with a screenplay by Alicia Kirk inspired by the original story of "Bambi" by Felix Salten. Bambi is trying to learn how to confront his fear and stand up to Ronno and other dangers in the forest. The film never uses the phrase "deer caught in a headlight," but that is what Bambi looks like at times and it is something he needs to overcome. What I liked the best is that there are several moments when father and son start to connect, but it does not quite work out, so that there is actually some character development and not just a sudden happy ending. Overall, there is actually more of a plot here than simply Bambi growing up.

The animation is done in the same style of the original classic, and if it is not as rich in detail the differences are far less than you would expect from a direct-to-video feature. I have always considered "Bambi" to have the most beautiful artwork of any of the Disney films, and this one does not suffer that much in comparison (the animators do seem to like bright yellows more this time around). There is one cutesy animal sung song, "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song," based on Frank Churchill's score for the original film, but most of the songs serve as backdrops for various sequences and are done by some familiar country singers: Alison Krauss' "There is Life," Michelle Lewis' "First Sign of Spring," and Martina McBride's "Through Your Eyes." Anthony Callea performs "The Healing of a Heart" during the closing credits.

The film is shown in "Family-Friendly Widescreen" (1.78:1), which is enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions, and also has a French language track. The bonus features on this DVD consist of a Making-Of featurette, "The Legacy Continues," and a "Bambi's Trivia Track" that can provide a constant stream of pop ups with fun facts as you watch the film. Kids will enjoy "Thumper's Hurry & Scurry Game" and there is also a "Disney Sketch Pad" piece in which Disney animator Andreas Deja teaches us how to draw Thumper.

The end result is a half-step down in quality from the original classic, which is amazing enough to justify rounding up on this one. Granted, no animated film will ever take the place that "Bambi" has in the collective psyche of the millions of youngsters who were devastated when Bambi's mother was killed. Still, "Bambi II" sets the bar pretty high for a sequel (it is certainly good enough that they could have released this to theaters) and we can only hope future direct-to-video offerings will follow suit.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
While some will undoubtedly find it hard to embrace a follow-up to Disney's 1942 classic Bambi, I found Bambi II to be quite enchanting, funny, and very touching. I must admit I bring a somewhat unusual perspective to this film, as I am one of the few living souls who hasn't seen the original. For whatever reason, I never saw Bambi as a child, and - now that I'm an adult - I've resisted watching it because I have heard how sad it is when Bambi's mother dies. I can watch films with humans doing unspeakable things to one another and never bat an eye, but it just tears me up to see animals (whether real or cartoon) sad and hurting. I can't get through Benji without sobbing, so I've just never felt up to the task of experiencing Bambi. A grown man shouldn't admit this, but - just in case you're wondering - Bambi II did end up bringing a few tears to my eyes, as well. That's okay, though. Movies like this aren't just for children; in many ways, their message plays more powerfully to adult viewers, reminding us of the important things in life (especially in terms of the parent-child relationship).

This isn't a sequel to Bambi, I should note, as the story actually fits in to the middle of the original film. Bambi has just lost his mother, and now it is up to his father, the Great Prince, to take care of him. The Great Prince does not take to parenting naturally or easily; he feels that a doe should raise the child, and he asks Friend Owl to help him find a new mother for Bambi once spring arrives. Bambi desperately wants to please his father, but he is just too young to meet his father's high standards. The Great Prince wants Bambi to behave as a prince, not as a young deer. Fortunately, Bambi does have friends to play with, including Thumper and Flower. Thumper even tries to teach him how to be brave. All Bambi really wants, though, is for his father to be proud of him and to actually show him some affection. Gradually, the Great Prince begins to come down off his pedestal to be an actual, caring father to the youngster. The last half of the film is really more about the Great Prince than it is about Bambi, if you ask me; it's basically the story of a father's love. The climactic scenes really work beautifully, taking you from tear-inducing sadness to exhilaration and suspense, eventually bringing every emotional aspect of the whole story to a deeply satisfying conclusion.

The two young kids supplying the voices for Bambi and Thumper are really just superb, and Patrick Stewart brings incredible presence to the film as the voice of the Great Prince. I also think the animation is wonderful. The animation crew may have used some digital tools, but they clearly tried to follow in the footsteps of Bambi's illustrators in terms of their approach to the whole project, taking pains to remain faithful to the look and feel of the original. Since I haven't seen the first Bambi, I can't compare the two films at all - but I do think the artwork of Bambi II really hits the mark.

Along with the movie, you also get a good assortment of extra features on the DVD, including an interesting look at the making of Bambi II - this is where you really get a sense of the reverence Bambi II's makers have for the original film. You also have the option of watching the movie with various Bambi trivia and fun facts popping up at relevant times. A Disney animator shows budding young artists how to draw Thumper, and there's also a little "find Thumper" game for one or two players. Naturally, you also get previews of some coming Disney attractions.

All in all, Bambi II is an impressive package. The film itself is what truly matters, of course, and I think it is really good. Certainly, it's aimed at a young audience, but I can't agree with anyone saying there is nothing for adults in this film. Bambi II's portrayal of the Great Prince's love for Bambi and his struggle to find the best way to raise the lad properly certainly touch upon issues that most parents will find close to their heart. Bambi II certainly managed to touch my heart - and on more than one occasion.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon January 28, 2006
Bambi is one of our family's favorite movies and we all enjoyed this new version with all of its extras. It teaches the children about the importance of family and how the father can take over if the mother is not available. There are songs by some of our favorite singers, which is an extra. The DVD has many pluses in addition to the beautiful movie, including games, cute mobiles, and more. I'm sure we will enjoy watching it many times in the future. I understand it is to be available for only a limited time. Worth adding to your DVD library.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2007
I'm 54 years old, just too lazy to sign up for an account, like most people around here.

I bought this sequel for my 7 and 10 year old. Having read Amazon's official review, I was mislead to think that Bambi II was not quite the flop that disney's other sequels are known to be. How wrong I was. Bambi II is not a proper disney sequel in the least, though it proved to be just as lackluster, if not more so, as most.

My children sat through about 6 minutes of this rubbish before going back to playing with their Thomas the Tank trains. As much as I regret it now, I endevored to watch the rest of Bambi II. Now, I'll finally cut to the chase;)

Bambi II is about fawn Bambi being raised by his father, which soon came to be very uninteresting. As another unhappy reviewer below me stated, there are only two new characters in Bambi II: a doe named Mena who appears for roughly a minute or two before dissappearing for good, and a porcupine/groundhog combo, both obviously voiced by the same actor, and I for one was hardly able to tell them apart.

Bambi is very mouthy and disrespectful to his father, to a point that those who loved the original will be apsolutely shocked. Later in the film, for example, when the Great Prince tries to convince Bambi to take a walk with Mena, instead of Bambi following him through the forest, Bambi shouts: "All you care about is yourself! Not me!" Very out of character with the original, eh? That's just scratching the surface of the things that Bratty, oops I mean Bambi, says to the Great Prince through the duration of the movie.

Shockingly, Ronno makes an appearance in Bambi II, a feat that I thought that disney was completely uncapable of doing, due to the large ammount of creativity needed to redraw a character that only made a small appearance in the original film;) Don't get too excited though; Ronno does make an appearance; as a fawn Bambi's age! I was shocked and angered at disney for making such a desision, for everyone knew that Ronno was ages older than Bambi. Ahh, disney....

The part that actually upset me most was the redesigned Faline. She was not at all like her charming self in the original Bambi, but extremely quiet, reserved, and has basically having lost all of her original character and charm. She was also slightly recolored, a more dull brownish tone. This further turned both myself and my children off.

I looked this up on Wikipedia, and sure enough, it stated that Bambi II recieved very poor to average reviews. After my experience with it, I'm not surprised. This is what I get after waiting 64 years for an old classic, Bambi's Children, to be added to the disney lineup.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 8, 2006
Young Bambi has just lost his mother to a hunter's will, and he is left alone in the forest to fend for himself. Bambi's father, the Great Prince of the Forest, is urged by Friend Owl to take responsibility for the boy, and the Great Prince agrees, but only till Spring. During the time they spend together, the serious and preoccupied Great Prince learns what it means to be a father, while Bambi learns what it means to gain a father and lose a mother at the same time. Bambi also goes through the more expected trials of growing up. Along with his friends, Thumper and Flower, Bambi deals with the difficulties and dangers of girls, bullies, hunters, and proving himself to others. The real story here, of course, is about the developing relationship between a father and a son, which culminates in a very touching and perfect moment of pure Disney magic.

"Bambi II" is a masterfully done piece of filmmaking that is the ultimate proof that Disney animated classics CAN have worthy and wonderful sequels. Set amidst events from the original film, "Bambi II" picks up right from the moment Bambi calls for his mother after her death in the classic and carries on to the first sprouting of his antlers and disappearance of his spots. Subtle and not so subtle touches link this sequel beautifully with the original masterpiece, including some intense encounters with Man's dogs and Bambi's struggles with Ronno, another male fawn whose attempts to gain friends make him more of a bully than anything else. Including Ronno was a stroke of genius, and those who want to see where these confrontations lead to need only view the original "Bambi." Ronno is the buck that Bambi clashes with over Faline when they are all adults. What makes "Bambi II" such a success while so many other Disney animated sequels have been considered failures? Three main reasons: One, "Bambi II" uses real kids' voices for the kid characters, while many direct-to-video animated films, and animated films in general, use adults. Trust me, it makes a BIG difference in the believability of an animated film. Two, "Bambi II" does not simply rehash the plot of the first film or make up a very contrived plot just for the sake of making a sequel. "Bambi II" shares an important and natural part of Bambi's story that was simply left unknown before. Three, "Bambi II" was made by Disney's current master animators; the guys who worked on stuff like "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast." These legendary artists should not be relegated to direct-to-video sequels, but they certainly prove that they can make such subjects every bit as big-screen-worthy as their previous triumphs. Hopefully, someday "The Man" will realize that 2D-animation for the big-screen is not dead, and then maybe I'll be re-inspired to become a Disney animator, as was my childhood dream. After all, I'm only 30, and "Bambi II" certainly stirred up some of those feelings within me once again.

There's hardly an unkind word that can be said about "Bambi II," and it would fit seamlessly into the context of the original 1942 film were it not for one thing: the songs. Much of the background music incorporates the score from the original "Bambi," but there are a few new songs, and I still am not a big fan of including modern-sounding songs in sequels to Disney animated classics. Even when the songs aren't bad, they take away from the illusion that you're watching something continuing or in the context of a MUCH older film. Here, we have original songs performed by female country music stars that we know weren't around during the making of the original film, and they just seem out of place in a story that is set during the events of the original "Bambi." Luckily, the songs aren't that frequent and aren't TOO much of a distraction. Had the film been set after the original, perhaps they wouldn't have seemed so out of place. I had the same problem with "Return to Never Land," though. That was a good film compared to other Disney sequels, but I really didn't care for the pop music in a story set during World War II. However, it had other flaws that "Bambi II" manages to avoid.

An outstanding film that receives my highest recommendation, "Bambi II" is only available for a VERY short time! Being only a single-disc version with very few extras, however, we may see a 2-disc release in the future, but who knows how long that will take?! I wouldn't wait around if I were you! If you found the first film's heavily artistic mood a bit dull, this film is still deserving of a test viewing. It's much more lively than the first in terms of action and adventure. Remember, it's the story of a boy living with his father this time around. Extras include a "find Thumper" type game for the kiddies called "Thumper's Hurry and Scurry Game," a fun "Disney Sketch Pad" clip where we get to see legendary animator Andreas Deja sketch Thumper with inspiring skill (bringing to mind those old Disney Channel moments that made so many kids dream of working for Disney when they grew up), a Trivia Track that can be run while viewing the movie, and "The Legacy Continues," a behind the scenes featurette that includes interviews with the voice talent, including Patrick Stewart of Star Trek TNG fame who voiced the Great Prince! In addition, you get several previews for upcoming Disney releases, like a Movie Surfers look at Tim Allen's version of "The Shaggy Dog" and trailers for the soon to be released "Fox and the Hound 2," "Brother Bear 2," and "Leroy and Stitch," all three coming directly to DVD. "Brother Bear 2" looks rather promising, and Lilo and Stitch are always good. "Fox and the Hound 2" looks entertaining but contrived, and it does not look like the next "Bambi II." Highly doubtful that it's being done by the same animation team, and I don't think we can expect big-screen quality direct-to-video Disney sequels from anyone else. "Bambi II" is a rare treasure of a DVD release! Pick it up before it's gone!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2006
I love Bambi. I wasn't too crazy about the movie when I was very little (I thought it was too cheerful and too musical), but now that I'm older and I've had a chance to see it again and really take a good look at it, it's become one of my all-time favorite movies. The song "Love is a Song" and the scene where Bambi's mother dies both make me tingle almost every time.

And Bambi 2 is a wonderful sequel to such a wonderful movie. It takes place shortly after Bambi's mother is killed by the hunters. (Those darn hunters!) Don't worry, you don't actually relive the death scene in this movie.

Bambi is running around in the woods, calling his mother's name, just like in the first movie, and is receiving no response. Then he runs smack into his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, or the Great Prince, for short. The Great Prince informs Bambi that his mother can't be with him anymore, and then he leads him to his own den, which is located in another part of the forest. Bambi, as you can well imagine, is devastated by the loss of his mother. The Great Prince then speaks to Friend Owl (who somehow knows of Bambi's mother's death and is feeling very sorry for the little fawn), asking him to help find a suitable doe to raise Bambi, as Bambi is still quite young and isn't ready to manage on his own yet.

Due to harsh conditions (such as the shortage of food and the intense wintry weather), Bambi is temporarily placed in the care of the Great Prince himself. The Great Prince is very reluctant at first (in his opinion, a prince's sole responsibility is to look after the herd; does care for the young), but he agrees. So Bambi spends the rest of the winter with his father.

Eventually spring arrives, and Bambi meets up with his old pals, Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk. He even meets up with Faline, his crush, and Ronno, the big brute that he battles with in the first movie.

Ronno is sort of the antagonist of this movie, but the real antagonist is man. I won't give away any details, but there is one scene in the movie where a pack of vicious dogs attack Bambi. Luckily the Great Prince arrives just in time and fights the dogs off. Then he and Bambi race into the trees together just as man is firing at them with a gun.

Bambi feels like he's a big disappointment to his father. He makes it his goal to prove that he can be every bit as brave and stalwart as the Great Prince. Thumper gives Bambi a hand (er, I mean, a paw) and Flower sort of helps out as well.

Eventually the time comes when Bambi's courage--and the Great Prince's love for his son--is put to the ultimate test. The same pack of dogs that attacked Bambi earlier in the movie start to advance on a helpless doe, and Bambi is torn between running far away and saving the doe's life. Finally he makes up his mind that the doe will not die in the same way his mother did, and he bravely lures the dogs away from her.

The Great Prince goes after his son, and soon Bambi is able to thwart every last one of the dogs. But just when it seems like everything's going to be okay, Bambi takes an unexpected fall from the edge of a cliff. When the Great Prince finds him, it looks as if Bambi has died. The Great Prince, who has all but ignored Bambi for nearly half the movie, is heartbroken. He actually gets down on the ground beside Bambi and nuzzles him gently as a single tear rolls down his cheek. (This is by far the most touching and poignant scene in the entire film. Anyone who is not affected by this scene would have to have a heart of stone.) Fortunately, Bambi comes to his senses and opens his eyes, and the Great Prince is greatly relieved. They spend the next few minutes or so rubbing their faces together, and their relationship with one another improves greatly after that.

This movie is every bit as magical as the original. The animation is just as rich, and the music is just as inspiring. And the morals this film teaches are priceless. It's not as long as the first Bambi, but it's a real keeper.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, then I strongly recommend that you do so. You will not be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2008
When Disney came out with these "Direct to Video sequels", I'm sure we were all excited. Why, there was going to be more than just the one movie! We were all terribly wrong, I am afraid. Practially every Walt Disney D T V S
(direct to video sequel) are terrible, starting with The Return of Jafar to that horrid Fox and the Hound 2!
With Bambi 2, I was simply bored so I went to the library and saw BAMBI 2 on the shelf. I absolutely loved the first movie, so I curiously checked it out. Boy, was I pleasantly shocked!
The film begins with Bambi, a young and frightened fawn then who just unknowingly lost his mother to a cruel hunter, meeting his father and the all time distressing moment when The Prince says, "Your mother cannot be with you any more." It fills in the time from the first movie when Bambi left with his father and returned the next spring.
It is heart warming to watch the classic struggle between The Great Prince, who, amazingly, is voice by the incredible and powerful Patrick Stewart, and Bambi.
All the cuddly little charcters are back- your cocky Thumper, your sweet Flower, the weary but wise Friend Owl, and some new friends and even Ronno, a self centered and mild mannered fawn who has his antlers growing and loves bullying Bambi while attracting Feline's attention. It has been proved that Ronno is indeed the buck who fought Bambi shortly in the first film.
The thing I loved most was the character development. In Bambi, all the characters don't really have much of a reason, just drotting around, adventuring and discovering, in the forest. But in bambi 2, everyone has lovable characteristics and looks and feelings you can relate you.
I also adored the animation. So crisp and full of beauty! Perhaps my all time favorite scene in Disney animation is the Rainfall scene in Bambi. The animaters certainly relived and recaptured that beauty of drawing.
The one thing I did not get were the songs. Yes, they are pretty, but really- country music for Bambi 2? Strange pick.
I fully enjoyed this product and other kids certainly will to- not necasarily adults, though.
Have fun watching this!
~Moonwhisker~
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2006
What story is there left to tell exactly? Why does the 1942 Disney classic "Bambi" need a sequel? Truly, no sequel is needed since "Bambi" is a true classic and is one of the great animated movies in film history. At the end of "Bambi" Bambi himself was grown and found a mate and was to raise his own family. The same for Flower and Thumper. When I first heard of "Bambi II" I assumed that somehow this would be the same exact story that we had in the first movie, except that it would be about Bambi raising his son and the new fawn would go on adventures. What else would the sequel be about?

Quite a bit, apparently. "Bambi II" is not quite a sequel as it is "Bambi 1.5". In between Bambi (Alex Gould) being a young fawn after his mother's death and him growing up at the end of the first movie there is all sorts of adventure and growing up and finding a mate that really wasn't covered in "Bambi". That's what "Bambi II" is: a sequel to the first part of "Bambi" and a prequel to the ending.

Here Bambi is raised by his father, The Great Prince (voice of Patrick Stewart). Bambi misses his mother very much and his father only knows how to be the solitary ruler of the forest. The Great Prince is disappointed in Bambi and Bambi wants desperately to earn his approval. But the first part of the movie is very lighthearted all the same and features some romping and adventure with Bambi, Thumper, and Flower. Bambi has a rival fawn, a slightly older deer who has started to grow antlers and is named Ronald.

The animation here is very reminiscent of the original film and stands up quite well in comparison. "Bambi II" seems to be drawn in a more classical style compared to much of the CG animation being done these days.

I suppose "Bambi II" is very much your typical coming of age movie with struggles for acceptance, and the eventual growth (we know just where the story has to go because it ties into the end of "Bambi"), but it is surprisingly good. I expected a junky direct to video sequel with no amount of fun or interest involved (for an example, see "Kronk's New Groove"...or better yet: don't), but I was wrong. This is a cute, fun family movie. Clocking it at only 73 minutes, this is a movie that is better than it has a right to be and one that does not ruin memories of the original. The original may not have needed a sequel, but the sequel measures up as well as it possibly could be.

The DVD is a little bit light on special features, but this should not be too surprising on a straight to video release. There are two games "Thumper's Hurry and Scurry" and "Disney's Sketch Pad" Thumper's game has you navigate through the forest to find Thumper. This game could get frustrating for the littlest ones. "Disney's Sketch Pad" has one of the Disney animators giving a lesson on how to draw Thumper and advice to young artists who might want to get into animation. Inserting the DVD into a DVD-ROM on a computer gives you the chance to print out pages of the animation to compare to while you try to draw thumper. It's a nice little lesson.

There is also a documentary called "The Legacy Continues" which is about, as one might imagine, the continuing legacy of "Bambi" and how this sequel comes about. The final bonus feature is a trivia track which runs through the movie.

I can only hope that if Disney does more needless sequels (and we know they will), that this is the bar the filmmakers will shoot for because it is one of the best needless sequel I've seen from Disney.

-Joe Sherry
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 10, 2006
Like several other reviewers, I was reluctant to purchase this because some of the other Disney sequels had been so bad and had the same unending story: young independent child butts heads with older parent or authority figure. ZZZZ. What a surprise then to see it and realize what a stunning sequel this is. While it cannot quite match the poetry of the original and a couple of the songs are just ho-hum, the backgrounds are gorgeously drawn--the snow scenes at the beginning are lovely--the characters are engaging, and the opening song "There is Life" is beautiful. The Great Prince's growing affection for his son is very well done and there are some exciting sequences. And thankfully Thumper's pesty little sisters were just that, and not brainless goons like they made Scamp's sisters. I also applaud the scriptwriters who actually seem to have READ THE BOOK and, while still having too many cute Thumper and Flower sequences, did incorporate some parts into the movie: Ronno, the deer call (although in the book it was "Faline" calling Bambi when he was older, not his "Mother"), and the young doe, who I believe in the book actually is caught by the dogs. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have to say I was quite impressed with "Bambi II", as was my almost-three-year-old son, Ben.

We've seen this 30 times now...he refers to it as the "new one."

"Bambi II" is the new "sequel" to the beloved, justly celebrated classic. The story takes place chronologically within the first film, occurring somewhere in the latter half of the first film.

It fits nicely, storywise, and the animation tries to recreate the painterly images of that film from several decades ago. It's beautiful, with gorgeous colors and landscapes. It is easy to get hypnotized by the individual, undulating waves of grass, or the shimmering water effects.

The characters looks great, and the vocal talent is terrific. My wife commented that she even liked this Thumper's voice more than the first one...

Like the original, there are some fairly serious moments here. The central plot focuses on the relationship between Bambi and his father. He's pretty cold to begin with; I winced at some of the more harsh scenes. But there are also scenes that are surprisingly touching and moving.

The score knowingly adapts the original; even one of the characters refers to it in a humorous aside.

While the movie doesn't have the hyperverbal, post-modern self-awareness of the latter day Disney (read: Pixar) films, it has plenty to entertain adults and mesmerize the little ones.

So many of the previous direct-to-video Disney movies have a cheap, second-hand, "Saturday morning" look to them.

This one looks terrific.
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