Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bambi Blu-ray Review

Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Disc Size: 40.4 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: ABC
The Video
Bambi’ comes to Blu-ray with a restored 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. I don’t know when the film was restored, but ultimately it doesn’t matter as the release looks fantastic throughout. Those who are familiar with the visual style of the film will be especially impressed.

The colors in the film are visually appealing and strong throughout. The level of detail in the animation is easy to appreciate, particularly when compared to the included DVD. Like with all Disney Diamond Edition releases so far, the original preview trailer does not compare to the final product.

Like with previous Diamond Edition releases from the studio, the high-def presentation blew me away from beginning to end. It is one of those presentations where you have to think to yourself if you are actually watching each frame with such incredible clarity or just dreaming it.

Watching the film twice on Blu-ray already I could not find one thing to complain about when it comes to the high-def transfer. Those who restored it clearly gave the film the proper cleanup and treatment it deserves. I was extremely impressed and you will be as well. 10/10

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD High Resolution audio track is included. Also included is an English restored original soundtrack, French 5.1 and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French and Spanish.

I was honestly very surprised to see a high resolution track included over the Disney standard DTS-HD Master Audio mix. The results are certainly close to lossless, but lossless it isn’t which is disappointing. I have to be honest and say the track certainly sounds strong for a film of its age, but I had hoped we would see DTS-HD Master Audio mixes regardless if the upgrade is minimal or discernible.

Ultimately I think it is a far better effort than just including an English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix or basic non-restored mono mix so I can’t put my lossy score rule in to effect for this particular title. The mix as a whole is very good, dialogue is as clear as I think it can get and the mix features some light surround use moments throughout that are fitting.

Overall we have definitely heard stronger audio mixes from previous Disney efforts, but the mix is more than respectable and thankfully careful attention went into both the 7.1 mix and restored mono track as well. 8/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Introduction by Diane Disney Miller (HD)
View the film with an optional introduction from the daughter of Walt Disney.

For those who dislike black bars on the side of the screen, Disney has once again included the DisneyView feature which adds beautifully and fitting painted borders that change with each scene. Disney Artist Lisa Keene does a wonderful job with the borders and you can tell plenty of thought when into them.

Disney Second Screen
Enhance your viewing experience via computer or iPad application while viewing the film. This is a pretty neat feature and requires you to enter your Disney Movie Rewards code to use. This feature is available without the Blu-ray on iPad.

Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition (HD)
  • Bambi: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – Enhanced In-Movie Feature
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Deleted Song “Twitterpated”
  • Bambi Interactive Galleries
Family Play: Games & Activities
  • Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge: Bambi Edition
Classic DVD Bonus Features (SD)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of Bambi: A Prince Is Born
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Inside the Disney Archives
  • “The Old Mill”: Animated Short (1937)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1942)
Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

The extras included on this release are very enjoyable, I love that Disney has included features no other studio has yet to put into effect. The classic bonus features are included, but I wish more new content was produced. Overall there is a solid package of extras, but does leave a bit to be desired. 8.5/10

The Movie
The 1942 classic animated film ‘Bambi’ debuts on Blu-ray for the very first time in a restored Diamond Edition Blu-ray set. Like with many Disney classics, it has been years since I remember last seeing the film, although it does have a special place in my heart.

As a kid growing up, I never liked the film, mainly because I was disturbed by the death in the film. As a kid I couldn’t handle that scene and while it may sound cheesy, I remember crying my eyes out when it happened and didn’t watch the film again until I was a teenager.

As a teen I revisited the film and I really love the story, the majority of the characters are somewhat bland compared to other Disney films, but I still love the main characters. The story is fairly short, but it has great development and the death scene really shouldn’t have been that disturbing to me, I think they did a fantastic job for a family film.In the U.K a 2-movie collection was released on Blu-ray which includes the sequel ‘Bambi II’ which was produced so much later at a time when Disney was remaking everything. I don’t remember ‘Bambi II’ and it is possible I haven’t ever seen it, but from what I have read many find it to be a solid film.

I do wish Disney chose to release the sequel alongside this Diamond Edition or a 2-Movie Collection now, but according to an included preview on the Blu-ray disc, there are plans to bring a special edition release of ‘Bambi II’ on Blu-ray in the U.S. later this year.

I loved revisiting ‘Bambi’ and I love the animation style and story. The film isn’t among my favorite of the Disney classics, but it is strong and ranks far higher than most animated films released today. Fans of the film or those new to the film will find great entertainment from ‘Bambi’ in high-definition. 9.5/10

The Blu-news Summary
Bambi’ is a fantastic film with an incredible video presentation and respectable audio mix. The extras included are also fantastic, but leave a bit to be desired. Overall this Blu-ray release is ‘A Must Own’ for fans of the film and easily ‘Recommended’ to anyone else.

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