This movie takes a refreshing look at a timeless character.
I think it could have been fun to have a 5 to 10 minute featurette focusing on the first Bambi.
Bambi II is one of those movies that I found I couldn’t help but like. Not that I didn’t want to, but I tend to think that some people might think that a 32 year old man shouldn’t be too excited about Bambi II. Yet, this tale of the beloved Bambi, who reunites with his father, The Great Prince is one that will surely make this film accessible to all generations of children.
Two things about this movie really make it something special. First of all, the fact that The Great Prince teaches his son as well learns from him makes this film stand out. So many times in these nostalgic pieces we see the parents being right all the time. It’s nice to see that Bambi’s outgoing nature can have such an effect on someone. Secondly, Thumper, Flower and Owl are also back for the sequel. Truthfully, what would this film be without their familiar faces? Sure, the Disney regime could have added new characters (this is the age of Shrek, right?), but it’s nice to see that they kept things in their proper context.
This supplemental portion of the DVD features a “Making Of” featurette titled The Legacy Continues and Bambi’s Trivia Tracks. The “Making Of” was very interesting just because Bambi is such a seminal movie, that to make a sequel seems almost like asking to be tarred and feathered. However, the people making it all seem to have a genuine reverence for the film so it all worked out okay. Bambi’s Trivia Tracks is a more informative look at some of the facts about the film. While it doesn’t go too in-depth, I did find this feature to be the kind of thing that could “up” one’s Bambi II credibility at an animation convention.
Games & Activities
Disney animator Andreas Deja teaches viewers how to draw Thumper. What I don’t like about these “how to draw” segments is that they always feel incomplete. These animators have drawn these characters a million times. They could do it blindfolded. So, like a too smart science teacher who can’t convey science to their students, the animator draws these characters at what is probably a slow pace for them, but it’s much too fast for me. Then they never really explain the process of how these paper drawings end up becoming a movie.
Family-Friendly Widescreen (1.78:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. The animation employed here is of the old school, 2D variety and it looks really well done here. While the colors aren’t as bright as one might hope or expect, I find that this gives Bambi II a certain allegiance with it’s predecessor. Also, the compression quality is crystal clear. There was no pixilation and no moments where it seemed like any part of this movie had been overcompressed.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound - French Language Track - I am willing to bet that at least half of this movie’s majestic quality, much of it’s wondrous feel is because of the audio compositions that underscore each scene. I know that this is the point and that it’s essentially what Disney is known for, but from the opening credits until the end of the film this movie feels special. It’s as if we are seeing the continuation of something great, without calling too much attention to the past.
Bambi, The Great Prince, Thumper, Flower and Owl are all present and accounted for on this simple cover. I also like that the colors have been toned down a bit so that they don’t leap out at us and seem too new. The back cover has some shots from the movie, a “Bonus Features” listing and some Technical Specs. All in all there is nothing that really makes this cover stand out, however Bambi II is enough of an event all by itself.
All in all, I really enjoyed Bambi II. I feel that the story was well told, the animation very well done and that in general, this film stands up very well with all the other animated classics in this companies vault. I look forward to seeing what they continue to do with this character, and I can’t help but wonder what might be done with other classic Disney creations.
Bambi II is the kind of movie that wouldn’t be out of place in anyone’s DVD collection.
Bambi II was released January 26, 2006.