Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blu-ray Review: Bambi - The Prince of the Forest Returns!

Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Should I say it?

You'll be twitterpated by this Blu-ray!

Ok, that was pretty bad. Still, this is a fantastic film and is a welcome addition to the Disney Blu-ray collection. As I have mentioned previously, animated films shine on Blu-ray and Bambi is no different. The opening forest scene shot with the multi-plane camera is breathtaking and as 3D in presentation as most modern films.

There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said by the multitude of reviews since the film's release in 1942--almost 70 years ago. It is what it is; Bambi is an undeniable classic and groundbreaking piece of animation history.  Suffice it, the characters are amazing, the backgrounds are stunning and the orchestral soundtrack is marvelous.

Does this butterfly make my butt look big?
Let's Talk About the Extras

Disney has taken the opportunity to offer two new features: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings (Enhanced Edition) and Second Screen. In both cases, Disney has taken a step forward in realizing their own history and realizing a more true sense of interactivity.

Inside Walt's Story Meetings is a fascinating dramatization of what it might have been like to be part  of a story meeting during the Bambi planning sessions. Described as a fascinating, multi-tiered, interactive story-telling experience. Go back in time with dramatic voice re-enactments of the moments with Walt that led to the creation of this classic film. Basically, the movie plays in a picture-in-picture format while historical photos are interspersed around the screen. These are photos of the story meetings and artists that contributed to the film. At various points, you are given the option to learn more about specific areas (characters, voices, backgrounds, animation, etc.) in vignettes featuring prominent Disney Historians (J.B Kaufman, Charles Solomon, and Paula Sigman-Lowery). Inside Walt's Story Meetings is a great way of bringing the history of the Disney Studios to life.

Second Screen? Disney has obviously given a lot of thought into creating additional reasons for the consumer to purchase Bambi again (VHS, Laser disc, DVD). Obviously, with VHS, it was the ability to own the film and watch it whenever you wanted. DVD created the rise of Special Editions, Director's Cuts and amazing bonus features. With the advent of Second Screen, we have something truly interactive. From the press release:
Disney Second Screen transforms the movie watching experience by allowing viewers to explore the story behind the film perfectly synched on a second device, like an iPad™ or laptop, without interrupting their enjoyment of the movie. By accessing the Disney Second Screen companion application on their Internet-connected device, consumers are able to dive deeper into the film by engaging with key elements of the movie.


This groundbreaking new application allows users to interact with their Blu-ray™ player by simply starting the Blu-ray movie, and then syncing Disney Second Screen to the film automatically by following the easy on-screen instructions. Once connected, they can explore interactive galleries, play games, and learn interesting facts about the scenes they’re watching.

Pretty great concept, eh? Unfortunately (or fortunately, actually), I am iPad challenged, but a good friend experienced Second Screen on his iPad and had nothing but rave reviews for the application. Bill Burke at the Boston Herald provides a review of Second Screen.

So, owning Bambi on Blu-ray offers a gorgeous, hi-definition experience of this classic animated film. Stunning colors and sound create a home theater experience that you have to see to believe.







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