Review: Bambi on Bluray – The Rebirth of the Little Prince

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On March 1, 2011, Disney’s classic story about the Little Prince and his woodland pals will be released on blu-ray for the first time ever.  This new diamond edition combo pack will include both blu-ray and dvd versions of the movie.  All of your old friends including Bambi, Thumper, Flower, Friend Owl, and a host of others are back to delight old and new audiences alike.

Disney has taken great care to digitally restore the original film providing the audience with a beautifully rendered picture of this classic from 1942.  The forest scenes still convey a sense of hazy mystery allowing it to be both the background to this incredible story and to act as a central character.  However, now the lines and stark contrasts in color are more perceptible than they have ever been.  In many of the scenes, the clarity was so intense that you could actually detect the brush strokes used.  While some would wonder if this is distracting, it actually lends a sense of authenticity and beauty to the overall film.

The blu-ray version of the film includes the classic dvd features as well as some awesome extra bonus features.  You can start off the film with an introduction by Diane Disney Miller as she describes her father’s love of nature and passion for this film.  You also get a sneak peek of The Walt Disney Family Museum (http://disney.go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/) in San Francisco, CA and some of the Bambi artwork the museum has on hand.

Just as we saw with the Alice In Wonderland restoration, audiences will have the opportunity to watch the film with the normal black bars to the side or in stunning Disney View.  We are huge fans of this option as it adds a sense of completion to the screen and the panels change and adapt with the story as it progresses.  In addition, this is the first blu-ray to bring you Disney’s Second Screen option.  It will allow you to watch the blu-ray on an internet connected blu-ray player and interact with the movie on your laptop or iPad.  It syncs your laptop or iPad with the movie and allows you control access to additional bonus features as the movie plays.

If you crave a little more history on the film including recreations of creative design and storyboard meetings, another option to watch the film includes the “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – Enhanced Edition.”  This edition plays the movie with an interactive overlay of video and audio about the whole development process of the movie.

Bonus features also include two never-before-seen deleted scenes from the film.  While they are not fully completed, they provide important background information to the story.  Along with these rare gems is the forgotten song “Twitterpated.”  This song would have come into play during the movie when Friend Owl is explaining how the Spring affects some folks and how the sudden appearance of a pretty face can have them all twitterpated and walking on air.

An interactive gallery is included on the blu-ray that allows you to view many of the sketches and artwork from the film.  This gallery also includes ways to rate or “favorite” certain pieces of art.  And your little ones will really enjoy “Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge Game” included on the disc.  It teaches them about the seasons and the animals seen in the film.  As they progress through the game, they will earn digital character stickers to play in their digital sticker book.  This provides them with education and the classic fun of sticker books while providing parents less mess and items to store.

But the magic does not have to end once the blu-ray player stops.  To celebrate the release of the film, Disney created the “Bambi Official Website” (http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/bambi/) that has links to coupons, content about the movie, online games, and fun, family arts and crafts.  We really like the Bambi and Thumper Cutie paper crafts under the Games & Activities heading.  And the Flower cupcakes are pretty cute too!  Not to mention the super cute Bambi’s Forest Friends game.  Your little Disney fan will love this one.  And as an extra bonus, they created a mobile site (Disney.com/Bambi) so that you take the Bambi fun on the go.

We are really excited about this new release and generally overjoyed at the new direction Disney has taken regarding movie releases.  Disney continues to pack so much value into their combo pack releases.  While other companies sell you just a copy of the blu-ray, Disney provides you with a blu-ray, a dvd, Second Screen, Disney View, and many other features for the same price.  Then add into it that Disney provides coupons to help you upgrade your vhs or dvd library to the new format and you often come out saving $10 or more.  For classic, quality, family entertainment, that is something you just cannot ignore.  Overall, we love this version of Bambi and cannot wait to show it our little one for years to come.

~Reviewed by Anne’ and Jon Lowman of Chip & Co.


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