Entertainment, Reviews

Bambi, a ‘Dear’ on Blu-ray

Walt Disney Studios released Bambi for the first time on Blu-ray and it is spectacular. The colors are vibrant, the story seems to be livelier and yet the lovable characters are still the same, adorable. The DVD and Blu-ray discs have some exceptional bonus features and both are available in the Diamond Edition combo pack.

The classical story follows the fawn Bambi from his birth, young life and adult years and features his forest friends, especially the playful rabbit Thumper and the bashful skunk Flower. Filled with fun, frolic and adventure, Bambi should be enjoyable for the whole family.

Bonus features on the DV D include The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born which gives a comprehensive look at the making of the movie, development of the characters etc with behind the scenes footage. It’s a step back into the past of Walt and his artists. Inside the Disney Archives presents Disney Supervision Animator Andreas Deja who gives a guided tour of the Disney Animation Library. In addition to Tricks of the Trade and DisneyPedia you will find the 1937 Oscar winner for a cartoon called The Old Mill that brings out the beauty of the old style animation.

As a special interest Disney Animation Library sequence inside the bonus area has a significant feature: Within early story drafts of BAMBI, (as early as 1937) the writers explored a variety of forest friends for the young prince to meet. HOPPER is one of many characters developed that Bambi would meet along his forest walk.

HOPPER is akin to another legendary Disney bug — Jiminy Cricket, as it seems they were both in the early stages of development at the same time.

Hopper was 'debugged' from the film

 

HOPPER was described early on as – “a sharp-tongued pessimist. Sees only the dark side of life and tries to convert the cheerful characters to his point of view. He is the type who enjoys misery. Gets hopping mad trying to spread his grouchy philosophy.”

In this lost sequence, HOPPER is nearly stepped-on by young Bambi as he is walking through the forest. HOPPER, with his grouchy outlook, let’s the young prince and friends know that he is most displeased with them being so clumsy and careless — calling them “a menace to society!”

Eventually, as production progressed, it was determined that the interplay with Bambi and several additional characters seemed to take the emphasis away from the main story and these charming characters, including HOPPER were cut.

These images of HOPPER from his storyboarded sequence are among the few images remaining this lost character, housed within the WDS – Animation Research Library.

The Blu-ray disc includes all the DVD bonuses plus Backstage Disney with never before seen deleted scenes, a deleted song “Twitterpated”, and Blu-ray Galleries.

Family Play: Games and Activities feature Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge: Bambi Edition. This interactive educational gaming experience uses the film as a learning tool. It is actually fun for all ages.

The Diamond Edition is only available in 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, Standard Hi-Def Movie Download at the present, but for those who only want the DVD it will be available on April 19, 2011 at you local retailer.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com