As Bambi discovers the rich and softly-drawn watercolor world around him, his antics are amplified by the lovely classical music that plays in much of the background of the film. Songs like "April Showers" are ones that I remember from my childhood and are just sweet little tunes that will stay in your head. As Bambi explores his surroundings under the care and protection of his mother, he discovers that something as innocent as a clover-covered meadow can be very dangerous because of the potential for man to be in the forest. Never is this more apparent than when Bambi's mother gets shot by a hunter as the pair flee to the safe haven of the thicket. Disney was classy enough to have the event occur off-screen and all you hear is the shot ring out, then the young deer frantically searching for his mother. As Bambi's father takes him under his wing and they head back into the woods, Bambi sheds his childhood innocence.
Once spring has come, Bambi, Thumper and Flower get back together again, with deeper voices and adult bodies. They start to notice odd behavior among the animals in the forest and Friend Owl informs them that the pairs are "twitterpated" with each other... they've fallen in love. The trio swears they won't fall victim to this foolishness, but then one by one, they meet their mates in the forms of a lovely girl skunk for Flower, a flirtatious girl bunny for Thumper, and finally Faline comes back into Bambi's life, sending him over the moon in love.
Everything seems to be bliss until another male stag intervenes, claiming Faline as his own and a fight erupts between him and Bambi. As an added danger, man is once again in the forest and Bambi and Faline find themselves being hunted and cornered by a pack of vicious hunting dogs. Once again, the intense musical background comes into play as man hunts the animals in the forest and the tension builds, until finally a female quail can't stand the pressure and flees, only to be shot. Soon, all hell has broken loose as animals are running for their lives and man's campfire begins to spread out of control and take over the forest. Those who can, flee to the safety of a small island in the center of the lake, as the creatures watch their homes in the beloved forest destroyed by man's carelessness.
The arrival of yet another spring brings with it the birth of two young fawns for Bambi and Faline and with it comes the passing of the mantle as leader of the forest from Bambi's father to him, as the pair watches over the newborns from above, and Bambi's father retreats into the forest, leaving Bambi as the new ruler.
There are lots of special features to be found on Bambi: Diamond Edition, including all of those originally found on the DVD version, plus some new additions. You can choose to watch the film in its original form, or with DisneyView, with lovely side panels that blend with the film instead of the large black bars that are present with older films. If you have an iPad or laptop, you can choose Second Screen which allows you to experience enhanced activities while watching the movie. There's also an introduction to the film by Diane Disney Miller, Walt's daughter. Once you have seen the feature film, you can view it again with another feature called Inside Walt's Story Meetings which allows you to experience Walt Disney's famous storyboard meetings as if you were listening in, since all of these meetings were transcribed and are now voiced for your pleasure. At times, there will be items that bear further explanation and with the click of a button on your remote, you'll be taken to additional info and explanation, then back to the movie/story meetings once it is done. There's a plethora of background info to be found here and I highly recommend any fan of Disney's, and moviemaking in general, check it out. There are also several deleted scenes, a game and sticker book, and a gallery with hundreds of pieces of concept art. Of course, in the original DVD, you'll also find more deleted scenes, a deleted song, a making-of featurette, an animated short called "The Old Mill" which is where a lot of animation tricks used in Bambi were tested out, plus a featurette on exploring the Disney archives, the original trailer and a special on Walt's tricks of the trade, namely his special animation camera.
Do yourself and your kids a favor and add this wonderful classic bit of Disney history to your family's collection while the Disney vault is open and you can. It's old school Disney at it's best and Disney classic animation on high-def Blu-ray is the only way to go.
ClipsThumper Gets Twitterpated
Flower Gets Twitterpated
Bambi Gets Twitterpated