Do you feel twitterpated? Disney’s fifth animated feature (counting Fantasia) debuted in 1942 and was instantly a classic. And for its 75th anniversary, Bambi is getting a brand-new Blu-ray and digital release!
Do check out our conversation with Donnie Dunagan and Peter Behn if you’re interested in hearing from the guys who provided the original voices of Bambi and Thumper when they were a ripe old age of 4 years old!
In what has become tradition (apparently), here is the official GeekDad comparison of how the new 75th anniversary Signature Collection release of Bambi stacks up to the previous Diamond Edition Blu-ray release from 2011. (You might be interested in similar comparisons I did for Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio.)
First and foremost, I should say that, as is the case with most recent re-releases from Disney, the video is identical between the two versions. They look exactly the same (beautiful), and there’s really not a noticeable difference between the two. The audio is also the same: both versions have a 7.1 DTS-HDHR audio mix along with a restored original soundtrack.
The on-screen menu is different, but they’re both equally gorgeous. It’s hard to pick one over the other.
For those of you who still buy physical media, you might be interested to know about the two versions (and their respective special features) compare. Well, here goes…
What’s the same? The new version includes most of the bonus features from the previous edition.
- “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings” is basically a feature-length commentary from Walt Disney and others. It was put together from notes and conversations held during production of the film (Walt had a stenographer take notes during all story meetings). The commentary is provided by actors, but they’re all from actual conversations and notes. Watching the film this way also treats you to a plethora of photos, concept sketches, and additional video.
- Deleted scenes: “Two Leaves,” “Bambi Stuck on a Reed,” and “Winter Grass”
- Deleted song: “Twitterpated”
- “The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born”: 53-minute making-of documentary
- “Tricks of Our Trade”: 7-minute excerpt from The Wonderful World of Disney about the multiplane camera
- “Inside the Disney Archives”: 8-minute tour through the archives hosted by Andreas Deja
- “The Old Mill” Silly Symphonies animated short
- “The Golden Age”: 6-minute short about the golden age of animation during the 30s and 40s
- Original theatrical trailer
- DisneyView: An option to watch the film with the black bars on either side of the screen filled in with relevant art
What’s new? Aside from the menu, there are a few differences and special features that are new to the 2017 edition.
- Digital redemption code to add Bambi to your Disney Movies Anywhere collection.
- “Studio Stories: Bambi“: 5-minute short featuring archival interview recordings of Walt from 1956 paired with concept sketches, home videos, and production photos.
- Deleted scenes: two scenes introduced by Disney Legend Floyd Norman: “Bambi’s Ice and Snow” and “The Grasshopper” (Even though it’s touted as a new feature, the former scene is actually on the previous edition as “Bambi’s First Snow.”)
- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short: “Africa Before Dark”
- “The Bambi Effect”: 3-minute short (aimed at kids) about the innovations Disney implemented on Bambi.
- “Bambi Fawn Facts”: 3.5-minute short (aimed at kids) presenting some basic facts about deer and their habitats.
What’s missing (from the 2011 edition)? Unless they’re hiding somewhere I didn’t see them, these features didn’t seem to make the cut.
- Film introduction from Diane Disney Miller
- Option to watch the film with the Disney Second Screen iPad app
- “Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge”: Interactive experience for kids to explore Bambi characters and play games
- Interactive galleries featuring a lot of still images, covering character design, backgrounds, production pictures, storyboards, and visual development
Do I recommend the new Signature Collection edition of Bambi? If you don’t already own a copy of the film, then it’s a no-brainer. You’ll fall in love all over again, and it’s a remarkable film that any fan of animation should own.
What if you already own the 2011 edition? If you’re looking for a digital version (and for some reason want another copy of the disc), then you should grab this one. (But you could also just buy the movie digitally.) In all honesty, though, there’s not much on this edition to merit buying it again. The new bonus features aren’t really all that spectacular and not worth picking up on their own merit.
The film, though? It’s a true classic.
(Disclosure: GeekDad was provided with a review copy of this release. All opinions remain our own.)