on February 23, 2005
I remember being mesmerized by Bambi at the drive in as a kid in the early 70's, and then again on TV but, what a fantastic restoration.
I have to thank Amazon.com for providing this before the actual release date and I was amazed at the restoration. I am not going to review the story as it is a classic and most know what it is about. I will review the repackaging and upgrade of the classic. The new DVD provides extra outtakes that haven't been seen before and the new coloration is fantastic. Gone is the sort of gloomy non crisp colors and in its place are wonderful bright colors.
Fantastic redo! If you have kids they will love this updated version. If you just like Disney Classics than you will also want to own this one.
Walt Disney opened the vein of fear that drives children and adults alike with his animated classic films. Disney understood, like the Grimms before him, that the same fears are at the heart of what motivate children as they do adults. In the uncertain and haunted world of the 40's where war and loss hung like a specter stalking every aspect of American life, Disney mined that vein of fear, loss and death and turned it on its head recognizing that the optimism and can-do attitude of the American dream could triumph but not undo the nightmares of the past. That's why Walt's films continue to resonate today even with fancy computer animated effects and larger than life villains. He knew that the worst monsters could be our next door neighbors. Disney adapted a modern sensibility to the same fears that the Grimms paraded in their tales.
That's why "Bambi" despite its pacing from a slower, less attention challenged era still has power and poignancy. As a kid everything you need to know about life can be learned from a Walt Disney film. The loss of innocence, the cruelty of others, the compassion of friends and the big "D" all crop up in every Disney film. It's ironic because Disney's films, unlike other animators of the time, weren't afraid to tackle the very things that both scared and delighted kids. The two big themes that figure in Disney films rear their heads in "Bambi" when death and the cruel world outside try to erase Bambi's innocence from existence. We're immediately thrown into Bambi's world and his life with his mom. When Bambi's mom is killed he becomes an orphan adopted by his new found friends Thumper and Flower. Kids will love the interaction between these characters. While the film's pacing may be a tad slow for children below the age of six used to the rapid fire editing of "Aladdin" and more recent Disney classics, the colorful landscape and the delightful characters will keep most children entranced.
Featuring a terrific restoration, "Bambi" has never looked better on DVD. Like many films of the era "Bambi" was shot on nitrate stock which disintegrates fairly rapidly over time so the miracle here is that it looks as good as it does (due to careful care) and the magic of digital technology. The images sparkle with a crystal clear image almost too perfect. The rich color, deep dark blacks and detail in the images are truly astonishing. The remastered sound makes fairly good use of the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround medium as well. Given that the original film's soundtrack was mono, the surround speakers are used surprisingly well. You'll have to reset your expectations though as this 60 year old film wasn't designed with any of our home theater equipment in mind.
"Bambi" has a forest full of extras in this two disc set. The most important extras on the first DVD is the comparison between the finished film along side images from story meetings, script notes, surviving production drawings and other items that give you a sense of the preparation that went into making this animated classic. We get to see the amazing restoration process for the film itself from the cleaning of the original nitrate negative (stored at the Library of Congress) to the expansion of the original soundtrack for home theater equipment and movie theater exhibition. There's also the classic award winning animated short "The Old Mill". Again, many of Disney's cartoons from the 30's and 40's don't have the manic energy we've come to expect in our post-Looney Tunes/Animanics world but the quieter, slower qualities are actually appealing after one too many frantic animated adventure. "Tricks of the Trade" was originally shot for the Disney's TV show in the 50's and takes us behind-the-scenes allowing us to see the difficult and time consuming process of making animated feature films before the advent of computers. "The Art of Bambi" allows us in the Disney archive to see the surviving preproduction artwork, design elements and storyboards. "Disney Time Capsule" provides viewers with a glimpse into the world that spawned "Bambi". "The Forest Adventure Game" will be entertaining for most children over the age of six as it may take a bit too much skill for anyone below that age to master. There's also two surviving deleted scenes (which is a surprise given the age of the film but Disney is nothing if not methodical). We learn a bit about America during World War II and the type of society that America was creating for itself. "Bambi's Forest Friends" focuses on how deer live in the wild. We also get the original theatrical trailer (which provides an interesting contrast to the restored film). Most of these extras will be of interest more to the adults that grew up watching "Bambi" in theaters, on TV and early home video.
An engaging film from another era that still has tremendous power and is entertaining, "Bambi" has never looked this spry before. I imagine that this DVD looks better than the original release did in the 1940's as resolution and theater standards were quite different then.
on January 16, 2006
Another of Disney's Platinum Editions; "Bambi" is certainly a Disney classic, and quite unique in their catalogue. This is a 2 DVD package, with the first DVD containing the 1942 movie in its original format (1.33:1, the same as a standard television) with an enhanced 5.1 enhanced sound mix (THX certified). It also contains a feature entitled "Bambi: Inside Walt's Story Meetings" where we are able to listen to the comments of those involved in making the film. It also contains a preview of the second disk.
The second DVD is packed with extras as is the case with all of the Platinum Editions. It includes a couple of deleted scenes (Winter Grass, and Bambi's First Snow), some games and activities for the younger viewers, and a lot of behind the scenes features as well, called Backstage Disney. These include a making of feature, a restoration features, a sneak peak at the new Bambi movie, a time capsule for 1942, a feature on the multi-plane camera, a feature on the Disney archives, "The Old Mill" animated short (in which many of the techniques that were used in "Bambi" would be tried), the original trailer, and artwork from the movie.
It has been said that "Bambi" is the animated feature with the fewest lines of dialogue, and it is amazing how they combined movement and music to effectively tell the story while keeping the dialogue to a minimum. The movie also is known for its very stylistic or impressionistic backgrounds. Lastly, as far as I know this is the only Disney movie where the main villain (Man) never appears on the screen. Instead we see and hear the tools of man, such as gunshots, his hunting dogs, and his campfire which gets out of control and starts a forest fire.
The movie was based on the 1923 book of the same name by Felix Salten, although I think it is safe to say that most people now think of the movie when they hear the name. It premiered in London on August 8th of 1942, in the midst of World War II. It was the only civilian project which Disney continued during the war years. The rest of the studio was dedicated to helping the war effort. Not surprisingly, given the circumstances, the movie lost money in its initial release but has subsequently made millions for the company.
The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1943, including Best Music, Original Song (Frank Churchill & Larry Morey), Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Frank Churchill & Edward H. Plum), and for Best Sound, Recording (C. O. Slyfield). In 1948 it won a special Golden Globe award for Walt Disney for futhering the influence of the screen with the Hindustani version of the movie. In 1988 it won the Genesis award for classic feature films. Lastly this DVD was nominated for the Satellite Award for Outstanding Youth DVD in 2005.
on May 27, 2005
I was disappointed in this updated version - I have seen this movie since I was a young child every year it was shown in the theaters. I looked forward eagerly to when it came out on video. But was very disappointed as they had cut out several parts of the movie that had been shown in the theater version. I figured that when they remastered it digitally on DVD, they would add those parts back. But they didnt. They cut out the part where Bambi is fighting with Rono in the clouds - no loss there. But they also cut out one of the very best parts where the Owl is talking to the youngsters about being Twiterpaited then starts singing the twiterpaited song. "Everybody's twiterpaited in the spring, skunks smell sweet, rabbits sing, daffodils go daffy when the bluebells ring, the whole wide world's in love. When you can't control a grin, when your head's inflated. Love just socked you on the chin, pal your twiterpaited! Anyway. It is one of the best parts and I was really saddened that they didnt include it in the movie.
But the color is good and it will always be a classic. Just wish they had included "ALL" of it.
on February 19, 2005
I am very appreciative to Amazon.com, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment for sending my family and I this DVD (before it's public release March 1st).
I have always loved this film. Bambi is a timeless treasure that I am glad I am able to share with my children.
Made in 1942, the animation is flawless (my favorite scene is where it's raining, it's so perfect). The animators have truely captured the movement of each different type of animal that inspired the film. This is Disney at it's very best!
Besides the wonderful animation, my children and I enjoy the humor. I love the owl talking to the older Bambi, Thumper, and Flower about all the animals being "twitterpated" in the Springtime; they all vow that it will never happen to them, but sure enough, one by one, they all fall victim to it.
The flawless animation, the colorful imagery, cute, memorable characters, humor. Bambi is a true gem; a timeless treasure. A priceless Masterpiece.
on March 3, 2005
I give this movie five stars for several reasons. But the main reason is because if I were to look back at the "classic" Disney movies and pick one that exemplified all that they were about, Bambi would be the quintessential movie.
I can say, being a 25 year old male, that this is one of the cutest and saddest movies I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of cute and sad movies. I'm sure I saw it several times when I was a little kid, maybe even a baby. And I liked it then. But I'm surprised to find out that I probably like it even more now. I find it very refreshing to watch a movie that can go ten minutes or so with no dialogue, and still tell a story. It's never slow, and always far from boring. I don't think I found the movie funny when I was a kid, but Thumper cracks me up now. I think my favorite part is where Bambi is learning new words.
A previous reviewer, defending the movie, said the story wasn't simple. I disagree. But I think that the simplicity of the movie is one of the strong points in it. The filmmakers relied on simplicity and the beautiful animation of nature to carry the story. And although we still have beautiful animation in Disney movies (Aladdin, for example), however different the style may be, the stories have become more complicated, for lack of a better word. And it's not just the stories, Disney keeps trying to outdo themselves in all areas, most annoyingly editing. I love Aladdin, and think it's almost on par with the Disney classics of 50+ years ago. However, I think it suffers from too much "razzle-dazzle" editing and fast animation. I couldn't even get through Hercules (only Disney movie I have never fully watched) because it annoyed me so much. This is what movies have become thanks to the mtv-style editing and "in your face" presentation that people will pay for. That might just be my opinion, and not hard evidence to criticize a movie, but that's what I think. I don't need an epileptic seizure to enjoy a movie.
All in all, Bambi is a great example of how a short, simple movie can live on LONG after its release.
PLUS - I had to open it and pop it in right when I got it to see what the next classic is coming out. I'm so excited to see that CINDERELLA COMES OCTOBER 4TH!! Might be my favorite of them all.
on October 25, 2006
An animated oil painting; a feast for the eyes and for the soul.
This film is deceptively simple. It is the story of a deer who loses his mother by a human hunter; it is also a story about rebirth and spring. It is a story about furry animals and a story about man as the most terrible of the beasts.
But it is also about all life; it is about love & loss, play & responsibility, time & open spaces, friendship & niches, wonder & sacrifice, wisdom & folly, courage & fear, conflict & beauty.
I will offer a few snippets: When the great prince first warns the other deer that man is approaching, the other deer turn as the color of autumn leaves as they flee in terror. When Bambi defends his mate from the advances of a rival deer, he fights for the first time, and the fighting deer become silhouettes against flashes of color. He fights for the second time to defend the same mate--from black hunting dogs. Then Bambi and the great prince become as colored leaves as they try to flee the forest man has set on fire.
The film seems like an anthropomorphism, but it entails the decisive irony of never showing human beings--even though they are involved and part of the story. The anthropomorphism is only apparent, for Bambi retains his original mute innocence and his connection to his childhood, even though he loses his mother; Bambi met his mate as a fawn at his mother's prodding as they were frolicking on the meadow; it is on the same meadow that Bambi's mother will later get shot; it is on the same meadow that Bambi will know the ecstasy of seeing again his childhood friend as a young stag. He struggles against man but in the same sense that he struggles against a rival deer who only pushes and shoves. Man is mute--but he is a part of nature, too.
Yet all of nature celebrates the deer that lives the longest, as a prince, because of the basic gentleness of the deer; it is as a crescendo in a symphony where there is symbiosis as well as dissonance. In learning to speak, Bambi mistakenly calls a little skunk "flower"--a name that sticks. According to the project notes for Bambi, nicely read out while showing sketches and clips as part of this 2 DVD release, the skunk is the only character given anthropomorphic license; the others are intended as poetic portrayals only of true animal characteristics.
As the skunk explains, "all us flowers sleep in the winter;" man, in hibernation, merely awaits his Spring.
This is a beautiful, beautiful film. The best animated feature ever made; perhaps the best movie ever made.
A meaningful film for all ages.
Designed in the Disney hay-day of great movies like "Fantasia" and "Song of the South" this shows what animation and great music was and could be now with a little effort.
The story which is a little easer to take than the book chronicles the life of a young prince "Bambi" his friends and how he grew and matured. He passes through many rights of passage and takes his place in the forest society.
The down side of the story is the demise of Bambi's mother which though innovative for the time traumatized many children. To this day you hear it is a classic "but I can not bring my self to watch it." How ever this presentation is more of a symphony based on the characters from the story in the Disney tradition.
Many of the uncredited voices were of famous people; many of them were famous after this film was made.
Lady and the Tramp (50th Anniversary Edition)
on March 27, 2006
the animation in this production is outstanding. you just can't compare todays computer enhanced art graphics with the real thing - God gifted artists using their intellect and talent and disipline to create thought provoking master pieces such as this. the beautiful back-drops in the film only add to this classic disney story, filled with all of the usual components that make disneys cachet of the animation market of this vein so successful : a morality story of some sort for young and old alike , lots of snappy characters and music, and lots and lots and lots of "crayons" !
on November 29, 2012
Our family was disappointed by the so-called "restoration" of the original classic. The colors now look very unnatural and the original appearance of the beautiful watercolor wash technique is gone. When the original movie was made, the Disney animators sought to create a specific look, full of graceful lines, subtle tones, and naturalistic color. I would hope that the original films could be put on DVD without all the computer-generated color "fill-in". We also returned our copy due to it being a bootleg (with flaws; it only played once and looked to be manufactured overseas), so be cautious about what Amazon seller you purchase it from.