Even before I saw this masterpiece as a kid, Bambi was already a renowned classic to the world that touched people’s hearts and their funny bones thanks to its excellent drama and comedic elements. Now 75 years later, the film holds up as strong as ever while bringing its touching story to newer generations of children and those young at heart with the Bambi: Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. Featuring a beautiful remaster of the movie along with some new and classic special features, this is the definitive edition you’ll want for your collection.
How something this amazing could be produced during World War II over a period of five years is a feat in itself, but that’s exactly how this classic got its start. For those who have never seen this film, the story follows our young deer hero, Bambi, who is destined to become the new prince of the forest. The film chronicles his life from birth, to childhood where he meets some new friends such as the fun-loving rabbit Thumper, to a bashful skunk named Flower (yeah, the irony is amazing), to eventually coming into his own as an adult. There’s a lot of fun and tragic things that go on between all of these phases in Bambi’s life that I dare not spoil, but trust me when I say you owe it to yourself to see what they are, as they’re among some of the best things Disney has ever done and helped sealed what the company is today. Also as another fun piece of trivia, you have this film and Betty Boop to thank for Japan using the “big eyes” technique on their manga and anime characters which obviously continues to this day.
Though shown in its original 4:3 fullscreen ratio, the film looks beautiful in high definition as all the lovely colors, details, and hand-drawn animation seem to leap off the screen. There’s also an option that I love where you can have artwork covering up the black bars on the sides of the screen that helps viewers focus on the amazing movie instead of how cramped the picture appears. The sound is just as great, as somehow they’ve managed to take the original mono audio and spruce it up to sound crystal clear and awesome. Speaking of awesome, there’s some pretty cool special features that are new to this release, such as “The Bambi Effect” that goes into how Walt Disney and his talented group used all sorts of neat tricks and innovation to give the world of Bambi the life it needed. There’s also other features such as a re-creation of recordings made with notes by Disney himself that go into how he and his team handled the challenges of making the film, some fun deleted scenes, and a look at the famed Tyrus Wong who brought his unique style of soft, water-colored backgrounds and beautiful palettes to Bambi. There’s also an Oswald The Lucky Rabbit short titled “Africa Before Dark” that’s been remastered and is a fun treat for the family. If that wasn’t enough, the original extras from the previous DVD releases of Bambi are also included in standard definition.
If you’ve never seen the masterpiece that is Bambi, or have seen it more times than you can count, you’ll want to add the Bambi: Anniversary Edition Blu-ray to your list of movies. Stunning and beautiful colors, artwork and animation, fun characters with equally fun voices (if you don’t fall in love with Thumper at first sight, I don’t know what to tell you) make for a great and entertaining time the whole family will love and want to see what it can do over and over again.