Blu-ray Review Bambi
Directed by: James Algar, Sam Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright Cast: Hardie Alright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audry Running Time: 1 hr 10 mins Rating: G Due Out: March 1, 2011
PLOT: Bambi follows a young deer and several of his forest friends. Together his friends, Thumper and Flower, as well as his mother teach him about life in the forest.
WHO'S IT FOR? Children. Hopefully with their short attention span, the fact that Bambi has no actual plot will be lost on them. Hardcore Disney fans will be glad to see this beautiful transfer, but may be disappointed in the film since its childlike wonder has worn off.
MOVIE: Bambi is one of those movies that, unfortunately, time has not been kind to. I remember watching it when I was a kid and being fascinated by the deer and his friends, but years later? I couldn't really tell you why. I mean, sure, it's pretty to look at, but there's very little substance. Well, that's actually where Bambi gets kind of messy. The film follows the life and times of the young deer as he reaches adulthood and comes into his own. Bambi is, at its very core, a coming-of-age story. The only problem is, the five-year-olds that are watching it have no idea what that term means. What types of struggles would they face that could be solved by the life lessons Disney brought us with Bambi? Truth be told, I think that's what my main issue is with Bambi. It's a movie worth making, but it just seems as if it was made for the wrong audience. I can respect it for its attempts to deal with "adult issues" in a kid's movie, but it mainly comes off as traumatizing or emotionally scarring rather than a cold fact of life. However, the problem with Bambi only begins with its disturbingly intense subject matter. There's also this issue of plot. For those who read my "Plot:" portion of the review, I'm pretty sure it's become staggeringly clear that I don't know what to make of the plot of this movie. Hell, I'm not even entirely convinced that it has a plot. It's just the life of this one deer and a couple of his inter-species pals. No, seriously, that's it. It's not like their journey to re-connect with their family or anything, it's just life. Not only is that a staggering lack of plot, I have a hard enough time staying interested in my own life, so when it comes to cartoon deers, I don't want real life. I want animated adventure or at least something. But on the flip side, Bambi's realism may be what draws some people in. It's all in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Still, as much as re-watching Bambi was a soul-crushing experiment in the effect that adulthood has on childhood nostalgia, it is something to look at. Not only is the transfer truly astonishing, but it's nice to see respect for the old school hand-drawn animation that I've always loved so much. In the end, this re-release of Bambi is really more for a new age of Disney consumers. Older folks with kids may want to invest in this for their own little ones, but without having kids, there's not much incentive to revisit this one.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
Inside Walt's Story Meetings-Enhanced Edition 2 Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes Delted Song: "Twitterpated" Blu-ray Galleries Disney's Big Book of Knowledge: BAMBI Edition Digital Exclusive: The Golden Age The Making of BAMBI: A Prince is Born Tricks of the Trade (excerpt) Inside the Disney Archives The Old Mill DisneyPedia: Bambi's Forest Friends