DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Bambi - Absolutely Recommended!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Feb 27, 2005.

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  1. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    (Or was "over here" in reference to the 1940 move from Hyperion to Burbank? Was that a gradual transition or overnight?)

    "Over here" refers to the rented studio on Seward Street in Hollywood that became the home for the Bambi unit. The Hyperion studio was overcrowded to the point of overflow, and so, while the Burbank studio was being built, apartments and office space around the Hyperion lot were rented and turned into little mini production rooms.

    The Bambi unit was the farthest of these from the main Hyperion lot.
     
  2. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    For a film like Bambi, how do we know the intent by which to judge? Maybe it was easily found, but I didn't know the actual intent of Bambi until Walt's original working-group notes were pulled from the archives and dramatized in a DVD special feature ("animals struggling in the forest. this is the story.").

    I think it is fairly obvious what the intentions of Bambi's creators were. Looking at the structure of the movie, we see that it is a cycle, starting with Summer, then Fall, then Winter, then Spring, and then Summer again, picking up where it left off, repeating imagery from the opening moments in the concluding sequences. Distilling the events of the film down to a single theme, we see that the film is about the life experiences of animals in the woods as seen from the point of view of a deer. And judging from the tools used to communicate this theme, we see that the filmmakers employed visual lyricism and a lack of dialogue; that this is a work of primarily visual expression - a work of visual poetry, if you will.

    And so it is quite clear what the intentions of the creators were -- a visual and aural experience of a life in the woods and a larger statement on the cycle of life, death, and re-birth. Not a strong a-to-z story like Snow White, more of an experience, like Fantasia or the Silly Symphonies. If a ten year old can't appreciate a work like Bambi and finds it "boring", maybe that ten-year-old is too young for Bambi, just like some children aren't mature enough to appreciate Fantasia.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Are you sure it's not a background painting (the mother's body doesn't move during the the entire scene so it's possible)? In any case, the "noise" appears steady and has the apearance of texture on my screen...not unlike a pastel drawing or water color over a textured piece of paper. Even it is in fact a cell painting, the constancy of the pattern suggests that its source is in the painted artwork...brush stroke detailing or some other effect that is coming through clearly now that the grain layer has been removed.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Bambi is the 5th animated feature. The Reluctant Dragon really only has a few animated segments within a live-action movie. It's the opposite of Fantasia... a few live-action segments in an animated film.
     
  5. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Are you sure it's not a background painting (the mother's body doesn't move during the the entire scene so it's possible)?

    There are several instances in Bambi where only the heads are animated while the body was either a background element, or a cel layer. The famous shot of Bambi raising his head and crying after the death of his mother is a prime example -- only his head and neck is animated, his body is an unmoving cel element.

    You'll also see this in the Rite of Spring sequence of Fantasia, and several times in Dumbo, the give-away is the disparity in color tones between the moving element and the non-moving element.
     
  6. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    The Reluctant Dragon is more of a corporate promotional film than a movie. It has tremendous value for Disney buffs (just check out those early maquettes for Captain Hook on the top shelf when Benchley is in the sculpture room -- over a decade before the Peter Pan premiere in the 50s!), but allow me to amend my statement by saying that 1937 - 1942 was the height of the Disney ANIMATED features, and the five ANIMATED features from this period are the zenith of the American animated feature art form unto this day.

    They have never been surpsassed.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    When Thumper met Vamper, he suddenly looked wrong to me: closer to the strained, dour rabbit from Winny the Pooh than the cuddly Thumper seen previously.

    But maybe it's just me. (If this was addressed earlier, my search for "off model" didn't find the comment.)


    As for Bambi 2, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt since Patrick Stewart vouched for the story. (I trust Captain Picard implicitly.) [​IMG]
     
  8. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    As for Bambi 2, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt since Patrick Stewart vouched for the story. (I trust Captain Picard implicitly.)

    I guess I'll have to consider the following as being read by the Evil Captain Picard from some alternate universe...

    GREAT PRINCE
    "A prince does not say 'Whoo...hoo...'"
     
  9. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Just watched it and I must say, simply stunning. I have to admit, Bambi II, though a bad idea, the trailer was remarkable. Shucks I'll say that quick moment watching the trailer was very, very entertaining as far as video was concerned.
     
  10. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "the trailer was remarkable."

    A prince does not say woo-hoo? The Great Prince of the Forest is now some sort of male version of Julie Andrews in the Princess Diaries?

    Look, I'm sorry Patrick Stewart needs work now that Star Trek has collapsed. I'm sorry Andreas Deja needs work now that Eisner has killed the hand-drawn art form. I just hope they both had a strong bar of soap in their respective bathrooms at the end of the day. Based on that trailer, God knows they surely needed it.

    Excrement.
     
  11. Rex.G

    Rex.G Stunt Coordinator

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    I couldnt agree with you more rich. I just wanted to reach out an slap him! Andrieas and one other boob interviewed completely ruined this doc. I will never watch it again because they were so annoying.

    PG
     
  12. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    He was trying to clear the cobwebs of what Frank Thomas told him in the mid-80's, not for anything in 1942. I thought that was rather clear.
     
  13. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I would watch OLIVER AND COMPANY a dozen times before I would ever watch Disney's PUKOHONTAS again. At least O&C had a couple of decent tunes in it. POCAHONTAS had nothing redeeming in it. I used to think that THE BLACK CAULDRON was the worst movie ever made by DisneyCorp. However, POCAHONTAS gives TBC a good run for the crown of worst Disney animated feature ever made.
     
  14. Ben_@

    Ben_@ Stunt Coordinator

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    Killer discs. Glad I picked it up, many many thanks for the reccomendations and review!

    Yet another release where the quality extras convinced me to buy it. Very happy to have the groundbreaking "Old Mill" included on the disc.

    I have to say, after seeing this movie for the first time in probably 15+ years, I really started to appreciate this film for its technical merits. You could run this and Fantasia back to back and just be overwhelmed by the different talents on display.
     
  15. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I don't doubt that there are people for whom Oliver & Company isn't their least favorite Disney animated film, I just doubt there are any (certainly not many) who think it's the best. At least outside of Bellvue. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I was only referring to the video quality not the content. I feel that the movie is a bad idea, but I tell you, I know I'll be picking this up for the kids, they saw it and went nuts over it. Again the video of all the trailers was just simply beautiful.
     
  17. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    I would watch OLIVER AND COMPANY a dozen times before I would ever watch Disney's PUKOHONTAS again. At least O&C had a couple of decent tunes in it. POCAHONTAS had nothing redeeming in it.

    Oh, come now. I don't like the movie, either, but it has a few moments of flat-out great animation -- the waterfall sequence where Pocahontas stalks John Smith is an easy example. That scene isn't just good, it is *great*. Trouble is, it points out the obvious flaw in the movie...it could have been done just as well, if not better, in live-action, hence there is no rationale in animating the thing to begin with. Great scene, though.

    I also like Russell Means' Chief Powhatan. Too bad he only gets to sing a couple of bars of "Steady as the Beating Drum", because his voice has so much character and personality.

    I used to think that THE BLACK CAULDRON was the worst movie ever made by DisneyCorp.

    The Black Cauldron is a noble failure -- but it is in no way the worst movie ever made at the Mouse House. You should see Ten Who Dared, the Brian Keith-actioner about the first men to map the Colorado river. Leonard Maltin describes it as "rock bottom Disney. In fact, it's hard to think of another Disney film so totally bad".

    As much as I respect Mr. Maltin's point of view on Disney history, I think Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue was even worse, and I have little love for the 60's screwball films (Moon Pilot, The Monkey's Uncle, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, Lt. Robinson Crusoe, etc.)

    However, POCAHONTAS gives TBC a good run for the crown of worst Disney animated feature ever made.

    The amazing thing is, when I ranked the works of Disney animation, I found that you have the first five Golden Age films at the top of the heap, then a very long list of competent and engaging works of family entertainment (so uniformly good, it was extremely difficult picking slots for them), before finally coming to the end and the drop off. But I've found over the last four years that even the worst of Disney feature animation still isn't that bad relative to other attempts at feature animation. Even Robin Hood, which is notorious among animation buffs for abundantly recycling animation from numerous other Disney films and shorts, is still an appealing movie, despite its (ample) flaws.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I was glad it was included, since it was referenced in the other docs several times. It was a fun short with a few gorgeous shots, particulary of the mill itself.
     
  19. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Add another person who enjoys "Oliver & Company" (weakness for cats I guess).

    I thought "Pocahontas" was just OK, however, like Ernest said, there are some great moments in it. I do enjoy the sequence when the raccoon is torturing the dog in the bathtub...when Meeko leaves Percy the final cherry, reconsiders, and steals it anyway I laugh every time.



    And the David Letterman award for things that sound dirty out of context is...[​IMG]
     
  20. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    Having never seen Bambi before (quite a staggering acheivement in itself, given the number of Disney, Ghibli etc animated films I own), I bought the DVD on spec to see if it "measured up" to Snow White, Fantasia and the like.

    I'm stunned.

    Rather than gush about the film, the animation and the sheer perfection of it all, which so many others have done more eloquently in this thread, I'd like to offer up a thank you to David, Ernest and everyone else who's participated in this review and thread.

    After having read the DVDs of T2 and the LOTR Extended Editions described as a "film school on a Disc", I'd like to nominate this as "film school in a HTF thread".

    My understanding of the film, the restoration, transfer and presentation has been enriched immeasurably!

    Cheers,

    Brendon
     

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