Featured In Issue 155, March 2011

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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David D. Hand (Supervising)
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Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, DTS HD High Resolution 7.1
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As morning light breaks across the meadow, a young deer named Bambi is born and hailed as "Prince of the Forest." Soon Bambi emerges from the thicket on wobbly legs, much to the delight of his new friends, Thumper, the playful rabbit, and Flower, the bashful yet lovable skunk. But the fun of nibbling on fresh blossoms and frolicking through the woods is only the beginning. Exploring his new world, and guided by the wisdom of Friend Owl, Bambi learns valuable life lessons with every adventure—experiencing the power of friendship, family, and love along the way. For the first time ever, the wonder, music, and majesty of one of Walt Disney's greatest triumphs comes alive in glorious detail through the magic of Blu-ray Disc™ high definition. From the story by Felix Salten. (Tricia Spears)

Special features under "Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition" include "Bambi: Inside Walt's Story Meetings," which is a multi-tiered, interactive story-telling experience that can be accessed while the movie is playing; the option of watching the movie with the Disney Second Screen; a tutorial on Disney's Second Screen; two never-before-seen deleted scenes: "Two Leaves" (HD 03:07 ) and "Bambi Stuck On A Reed" (HD 01:56); a deleted song: "Twitterpated;" and Bambi Interactive Galleries. "Family Play" offers "Disney's Big Book Of Knowledge: Bambi Edition," which is an interactive educational gaming experience that uses the film as a learning tool. "Classic DVD Bonus Features" include two deleted scenes: "Winter Grass" (SD 00:36) and "Bambi's First Snow" (SD 02:31); the documentary The Making Of Bambi: A Prince Is Born (SD 51:52); "Tricks Of The Trade" with Walt Disney explaining what a multiplane camera is (SD 07:18); "Inside The Disney Archives" (SD 08:39) with Disney Supervising Animator Andreas Deja guiding viewers through Disney's Animation Research Library; an animated short from 1937: The Old Mill (SD 08:58); and the original 1942 theatrical trailer. Also included are sneak peeks, up-front ads, and a DVD of the film.

The 1080p 1.32:1 AVC picture should be viewed with Disneyview, with Lisa Keene's accompanying side panel art, which creates an enhanced "widescreen" visual experience. The picture is a gorgeous restoration that is beautifully and impeccable in its imagery rendering. It is unimaginable that this film is sixty-nine years old because there is absolutely no evidence of film wear and the resulting artifacts associated with aging film. The animation is spectacular! The artwork itself was created by some of the legendary "nine old men," including Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, and Eric Larson. In order to achieve the film's unprecedented level of realism, animators modeled anatomical studies using live animals (including a pair of fawns named Bambi and Faline) and imbued each with a uniquely endearing personality. The color palette is perfectly balanced, with lush and warm hues exhibited in the forest's seasonal foliage, from flowering springtime to the cold wintry overcasts. Background artists painted hundreds of landscapes, based on extended field research and nature photographs. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Clarity and detail are impressive as well and reveal textural nuances expressed in the animator's art. The picture is absolutely pristine, with no noticeable artifacts. This is definitely a special treat for those who appreciate the art of classic animation in which every frame is hand-drawn. The spectacular restoration is a testament to Walt Disney's legacy and is guaranteed to elicit warm feelings and inspire children of all ages. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1-channel soundtrack, with the added two channels at the 90-degree "standard" position, is not lossless but encoded at 2,046 kilobits per second. Given the original RCA Sound System monaural recording, the DTS® encoding fully captures the original master quality of the soundtrack and enhances the presentation via a re-mix in multichannel. C.O. Slyfield's original sound design is wonderfully restored and enhanced with Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb's orchestra spatially expanded across the soundstage and into the surrounds. The music, both instrumental and choral, fills the soundfield with an impressive holosonic® openness. This is a music-driven soundtrack and the music itself suggests the sounds normally associated with atmospheric and sound effects, except for the sound of shotgun fire. Even the forest fire at the end is portrayed in music rather than sound effects. Dialogue rides on top of the music with perfect clarity and articulation. The dialogue is squarely focused in the center channel, while the music envelops with just the right level of surround strength. The .1 LFE channel is reserved but provides appropriate support during the more intense scenes. Overall, the soundtrack is faithful to its 1942 origins, with dated fidelity and dynamics, but this is a reminder of just how remarkable the sound was in that era and the remarkable restoration achieved on this Blu-ray Disc release. This is a Disney masterpiece and guaranteed to be a memorable experience for the entire family. (Gary Reber)