For the first time ever on Blu-ray, Bambi (Diamond Edition) hits stores today.
I recently had the opportunity to screen the Blu-ray and this is a must have for your Disney movie collection!

Q. So what exactly is “Diamond Edition”?  There’s so many different versions of Disney movies out there, what makes this one so special?

A. “Diamond Edition” is a special collection of some of Walt Disney Studio’s most prestigious classics.  Many of these being re-releases from the Disney Vault for the first time in years.  Blu-ray offers a higher quality picture and sound than standard DVD format because a Blu-ray disc can hold much more (about 3x more) data than a DVD.  Besides the higher quality picture and sound, this also allows Disney to offer us new bonus content that wasn’t available on a former DVD edition of the movie.

Special to this edition is something new from Disney called Disney Second Screen.

Disney Second Screen is an app that allows your iPad or laptop computer to interact with your Blu-ray movie. Simply start the movie on your Blu-ray player, and then sync Disney Second Screen to the film automatically by following the easy on-screen instructions. Once connected, you can explore interactive galleries, play challenges, and learn interesting facts about the scenes you’re watching.

Admittedly, I didn’t get a chance to check out Second Screen yet but I just got my laptop fixed and didn’t want to detract from my initial viewing of Bambi on Blu-ray.  That’s what would be considered “replay value” though and I can guarantee you that I’ll be watching it again this week using the Second Screen app on my laptop!

Once again, I recommend with Bambi (as I did with Alice in Wonderland) to watch the movie with the “Disney View” mode turned on.  There’s some wonderful side art from Lisa Keene that enhances the scenes you’re watching while helping to fill up the black bars on the sides of the screen.

I think my favorite bonus feature was “Tricks of the Trade”.  Walt Disney hosted this feature and explains the concept behind the multiplane camera.  William Garity invented the camera for Disney Studios for use in feature-length animation.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature to use the camera, but it was first tested on the animated short “The Old Mill”.  The reason I mention “The Old Mill” is because Disney has added a fully restored version of the Academy Award winning Silly Symphonies cartoon as another added bonus to the Blu-ray release of Bambi.

Bambi has some amazing artwork, even in the background plates alone, and it wonderful to see a fully restored HD version of that filling up my tv screen at home.  But don’t just take my word for it, go on out and buy it today.

Even if you don’t have a Blu-ray player yet, I’d recommend getting the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack.  This still gives you a DVD version of the movie and you don’t have to go out and re-purchase it again later when you finally get your Blu-ray player.  Oh, and for those of you who may not already know this, Playstation 3 is a Blu-ray player.  So, if you have one of those, you already have a Blu-ray player!

Comparison of the same frame from the film both before (left) and after (right) the restoration process.

Bonus Features
Backstage Disney:
• Inside Walt’s Story Meetings-Enhanced Edition – A fascinating, multi-tiered, interactive story-telling experience. Go back in time with dramatic voice re-enactments of the moments with Walt that led to the creation of this classic film.
• 2 Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes
• Deleted Song: “Twitterpated”
• Blu-ray Galleries—A collection of the extraordinary images originally created as part of the design process for BAMBI.
Family Play: Games & Activities:
• Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge: BAMBI Edition— An interactive educational gaming experience that uses the film as a learning tool. Players can customize their own Big Book of Knowledge and learn all about forest creatures, seasons and more! Each time a player completes a task, they are rewarded with new stickers to decorate their Big Book of Knowledge.
Digital Exclusive:
• The Golden Age
Classic DVD Bonus Features:
• The Making Of BAMBI: A Prince Is Born—A comprehensive look at the making of BAMBI covers the story, the characters, the actors, the art design, the music and the history of Walt Disney’s classic film using behind the scenes footage, production stills, animation, artwork and multiple interviews with performers and behind the scenes participants.
• Tricks of the Trade (excerpt)—In an episode from the 1957 Disneyland TV show, Walt narrates the story of the multiplane camera, an animation innovation crucial to the production of BAMBI.
• Inside the Disney Archives—Disney Supervising Animator Andreas Deja guides viewers through Disney’s Animation Research Library, where artwork from past Disney animated feature films is stored, including early story sketches of Bobo the rabbit,” (who became Thumper), glass paintings made for the multiplane camera and more.
• The Old Mill—Winner of the 1937 Academy Award® for Best Short Subject/Cartoon, The Old Mill was a testing ground for several techniques critical to Walt’s artistic vision for BAMBI, including the multiplane camera, animating realistic animals and experimenting with such natural occurrences such as wind, rain and lightning.
• DisneyPedia: Bambi’s Forest Friends