MPAA Rated – G
It’s 1:10 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Blu-ray Diamond Edition
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Bambi, Thumper, Flower, and all of Bambi’s friends.
MPAA Rated: G
Released By: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Kiddie Movie: It’s for the youngin’s.
Date Movie: If you’re watching it as a family, or she’s a Disney fanatic.
Gratuitous Sex: Um, no.
Gratuitous Violence: There is some peril, but nothing gratuitous.
Action: Some chasing and running around.
Laughs: Cute for the kids.
Memorable Scene: Nothing stood out.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Cool things about the Blu-ray: There is some basic stuff, some deleted scene stuff, and some games for the kids, but for total coolness bust out your iPad or computer and sync things up using the Second Screen feature. It will take “Bambi” from a dated 1940’s animated movie into the 2010’s.

I don’t remember ever seeing “Bambi” when I was a youngin’. I don’t think it’s because I had bad parents, because I vaguely remember seeing Pinocchio, but I think it was more because when I was growing up, before the time of video, Disney would stagger re-releases into the theater, and I was 8 years old by the time it came out again in 1975. With that, it was with some anticipation as I plopped myself on the couch to watch “Bambi,” and yes, this movie probably isn’t geared for me, and yes, it wasn’t even exciting for my wife, but I can see its place in movie history, and as a parent, you’re going to have to be the one to judge because, as kids seem to get older quicker, I’m thinking “Bambi” is almost skewing itself to the 3 to 4 year olds, although, with the interactive Disney Second Screen feature, your 5 year old with their iPad might enjoy learning a whole boat-load of stuff about Disney animation.

I guess I’ll start with the story before I get to what might be the most feature-packed Blu-ray I’ve ever seen.

The story is simple: It’s the story of a young deer, Bambi, and the intrusion of man on nature. The movie opens with introductory scenes of the animal “friends” Bambi will have growing up, and then, there’s Bambi, a newborn, with his mom. At first Bambi is an unsure little deer, hanging with his friends, but then as winter comes to pass, and the friends in the forest grow up, wouldn’t you know it but love enters the picture, too. In the meantime man is intruding more and more on the forest and momma deer has to warn Bambi of the dangers out there, and in deer nation, the elder statesman is there to help the group.

And so, yup, there is peril as momma deer takes a bullet, man sets the forest on fire, and Bambi learns he is much more than just a timid little deer – that he might be destined for greatness.

The thing is, as entertaining as this story sort of sounds, in this day and age of multitasking and mind-overload, I found the movie a tad boring, even through the music movements, although I know, from being little once, that there was a time in movie-land that things like an orchestra building to a crescendo can create excitement, but I don’t think it works so well today, at least it didn’t here, or at least for me.

And this is where the Disney folks are seeing that interactivity might be the way to go with the youngin’s of today because, as a movie, I’m thinking the kids might be bored with a straight sitting of “Bambi,” but with a computer to play along with, even I almost got trapped into watching the movie a couple of times.

First off, the Blu-ray Diamond Edition includes some nice little extras like a missing scene, some extra music, and looks kick-butt between the Blu-ray and a decent widescreen TV, but the package add-ons don’t stop there. Nope, for just Blu-ray goodness, there is a fantastic “Inside Walt’s Story Meeting” feature that, rather than just a boring commentary track, shifts things around with video, taking you through the entire process of how a movie like Bambi goes from concept to the final story. There is also some game-play for the kids, though from my experience the Blu-ray games never play as well as the computer version, but they are there for you to play with your kids.

The winner though, for this Blu-ray package, is the Disney Second Screen feature. Now I did have a little bit of an issue syncing it with my laptop, but I’m guessing if you have an iPad it is probably pretty easy to do. Pretty much, what happens, is as the movie plays on your TV, on your computer or iPad, there is an interactiveness that plays along exactly with the movie. You get extra art-work, tile games, bonus information about the scene, and loads of things that, for the kids of the 2010’s, will probably get them through a lovely orchestral maneuver and into the next scene. It was really kind of fascinating, and for the older movies like a Bambi, will probably be the wave of the future to keep them fresh.

So, as a movie I have to say that I didn’t cry, I almost found “Bambi” kind of boring when I was just watching it solo, but when I was playing around with the extra features on the Blu-ray, especially the “Story Meeting” and Second Screen, I was getting sucked right back into it. With that, when I just saw the movie I was almost hesitant to write a review because it was starting to be a simple “I give ‘Bambi’ 2 stars,” even if it is still unbelievable to me the animation detail of a movie from back in the 1940’s, as my wife pointed out the scenes with reflections in the water, but with the extra features, wow, it’s 4 ½ stars out of 5 for the “Bambi” Diamond Edition. I almost dismissed the extras as basic extras, but I’m glad I played around with them because they brought a little more magic to a movie that well, seems a little dated.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Academy Award Talk, Bambi, A Nice Nap, and The Space Shuttle Discovery Takes Off!

By: The Dude on the Right

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Stu Gotz finally got the family to Florida to see Space Shuttle Discovery take off, and during this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, he gives some space shuttle facts for all to enjoy. What I didn’t enjoy, Stu found acceptable, and Mama Gotz found that it was more fun to watch “Minute to Win It” instead, was The Oscars, and as the various Academy Awards were given out, I tell Stu that the Twitterverse was much more exciting and funny than the actual broadcast.

On the movie front, while not my official review of “Bambi” which is out on Blu-ray on March 1st, we discuss “Bambi” and how it reflects how times have changed and how kids are probably growing up faster than us old-farts did. We also discuss, a bit, how movie-making has changed, with Stu bringing up the “True Grit” remake versus the original John Wayne version, and how he was happy “Megamind” was out on video.

I took a nap, my BFF made tuna noodle casserole, I’m sick of the crappy weather, but we don’t talk about Charlie Sheen, which seems oddly weird for us.

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this podcast! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!