Bambi II (Blu-ray)
I’ve seen several amazing Disney movies in my time. You can’t love all of them but they still all have some sort of redeeming qualities. One thing I never do is watch a Disney sequel, unless it’s a Disney/Pixar sequel. I was in love with THE LITTLE MERMAID but I was not going to watch the sequel. Ariel has a daughter? Don’t care. THE LION KING 2? I don’t care about Simba’s grown-up issues or his kids. It seemed that in every sequel made to a Disney movie that I loved had to do with the main character’s kids. This was not appealing to me at all.
So guess how surprised I was when I found out that BAMBI II was not about grown-up Bambi—very surprised. It’s kind of a weird sequel though because it isn’t a sequel. Imagine if there was another adventure that took place right after Bambi’s Mom dies, this one involving Patrick Stewart. That’s right. Stewart does the voice of Bambi’s Dad. But right off the bat you think the reunion is going to be short lived for the poor fawn. His Dad has to dump him off with an owl because he must protect the herd. However, the owl can’t take on the responsibility because winter is coming and he has his own kids to deal with. Why do Disney movies always have parent issues? Bambi has got to be the worst of all. But that’s how things go in nature. A deer can’t just ask an owl to watch out for his kid.
Bambi is still a really confused and hurt kid. His only happiness still stemming from his friends like Thumper and Flower. Not to mention, Bambi has a new lady friend that he has a crush on named Faline. There’s some other older kid fawn who tries to come between them by telling false stories of bravery but Faline never falls for it. She’d rather be with the nice guy, proving they don’t always finish last. Plus it’s nice for Bambi since he basically has one bad luck episode right after another.
The cool thing about BAMBI II is that there’s a very human aspect to it. A kid loses a Mom, the Dad is stricken with grief and doesn’t know what to do with it, kid goes through new trials, and after a huge revelation even Dad realizes that he needs to be a model parent. That’s the thing—our parents aren’t perfect and we don’t end up understanding this until we’re much older. While it’s not okay that Bambi’s Dad had such a problem with taking on responsibility, we do understand why it was so hard for him.
I really like what was done with this film. Instead of just bringing up Bambi with his new wife and kids, they dive deeper into the reality of the situation. That might seem a little heavy for a kid that would watch this movie but the film does a good job at making it quite light-hearted. It may not redeem all the rest of the Disney sequels but it’s probably the best one out there.
Video: The picture on this is quite nice. Reminds me of the old Disney days with a little more quality and a little less crackle. The colors are wonderful. (1.78:1 Widescreen).
Audio: Great audio transfer for a kids film. You can hear everything perfectly well and the music backing never overpowers. It really is a pleasant surprise. (5.1 DTS-HD).
The Legacy Continues: A Making Of Featurette (8:00): This is a basic making of that consists of several cast interviews. The best of all being Patrick Stewart. Honestly, I could watch hours of Patrick Stewart talking. If you love him, you should watch this.
Bambi’s Trivia Tracks: Watch the movie with little trivia tidbits that pop-up during the film. I really only care for these if it’s an older movie I really enjoy.
Deleted Song: Sing the Day (2:00): This is basically just a rough look at a musical montage that was cut from the film featuring Bambi, Thumper, and Flower.
Disney Sketch Pad: Learn to Draw Thumper (4:00): This is a fun little feature that shows how to draw animals. Animator Andreas Deja gives a little tutorial on Thumper.
Friend Owl’s Forest Games: This game proves to be a little more educational for children. The games aren’t difficult but are basically suited for ages 3-5.
Thumper’s Hurry and Scurry Game: A kid’s game for one to two players. You have to find Thumper in the forest. Very cute.