Put on your party hats! Bambi, Walt Disney’s 5th full-length animated film, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. In honour of this momentous occasion, Disney has re-released its timeless classic as the Bambi: The Walt Disney Signature Collection.
Bambi was released in 1942 during World War II and took over five years to make due to its exquisite hand-drawn artwork and attention to detail. Beloved by generations, Bambi holds the No. 3 spot on the American Film Institute’s “10 Top 10”, honoring the 10 greatest animated films of all time. The timeless tale features an adorable young deer named Bambi who explores the wonders and challenges of the woods with his playful pal Thumper, the lovable skunk Flower, and wise Friend Owl – and ultimately fulfills his destiny as prince of the forest.
Would you believe I’ve never actually watched this iconic film in its entirety? I’ve seen various clips as part of Disney specials (e.g., the scenes where Thumper and Flower meet their mates is always included in Valentine’s Day specials), but never the whole thing. I was excited to share this first time with my daughters! We popped some popcorn, pulled up a couch, and watched this all together one family movie night.
Bambi is a different kind of story than my kids are used to. Instead of an action-oriented quest, the simple, spare story follows Bambi’s maturation from birth to his birthright as Prince of the Forest, making friends and finding love along the way. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and fell deeply in love with Bambi, Flower, and Thumper. I wondered how the girls would react when Bambi’s mother is shot (off camera). There were some protests and questions, but they handled it well, and we ended up having a discussion about the circle of life.
The Blu-ray transfer looks fantastic – particularly for a film three quarters of a century old – with sharp edges, rich blacks, and muted, natural colours. The impressionistic backgrounds inspired by Tyrus Wong’s landscapes feel like they were painted yesterday.
Bambi: The Walt Disney Signature Collection was released on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere earlier in May, and the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack will be available as of June 6, 2017.
But wait, there’s more! Organize a fun backyard camp-out this summer with these Bambi-inspired activities and recipes below.
The Walt Disney Signature Edition includes a collectible Tyrus Wong lithograph in the case.
- The Bambi Effect – See how today’s animated films were inspired by the artistry and technology of Bambi.
- Studio Stories: Bambi – Recordings of Walt Disney. Listen in on intimate moments where he discusses the challenges, pitfalls and triumphs during the production of Bambi.
- Deleted Scene: Bambi’s Ice and Snow – Bambi coaxes Thumper and his brothers and sisters to come play on the ice during the first snow.
- Deleted Scene: The Grasshopper – A grasshopper confronts Bambi and Thumper and finds himself in quite a predicament.
- Bambi Fawn Facts – Think you know everything there is to know about Bambi and his forest companions? Well, it’s time to discover some fun real-life facts about the creatures that live in the forest he calls home.
- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: “Africa Before Dark” – An Oswald short.
- Celebrating Tyrus Wong (Digital Exclusive) – A heartfelt look at the man who played a key role in the success of Bambi. Much like Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle, Tyrus Wong had a unique signature style all to his own. The soft water-colored backgrounds and beautiful palettes in Bambi were inspired by Tyrus’ concept art paintings.
- Deleted Scenes – Two Leaves, Bambi Stuck on a Reed, Winter Grass, Twitterpated
- The Making of Bambi: A Prince in Born
- Story: Telling the Tale
- Characters: Drawn to Nature
- Actors: Giving Voice to Animals
- Art Design: Impressions of the Forest
- Music: Nature’s Symphony
- History: Back to the Beginning
- Trick of the Trade (Excerpt)
- Inside the Disney Archives
- The Old Mill: Animated Short
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- The Golden Age
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