For a time, Disney was trying to sequel several of its classic properties. Bambi II fares better than earlier ones, but those expecting a great deal of new stuff for the title’s Blu-ray debut will be disappointed.
Bambi reunites with his father who must now raise him upon the death of his mother. The Great Prince (voiced solidly by Patrick Stewart) has to teach Bambi (voiced by Alexander Gould who also voiced Nemo in Little Nemo) the ways of the forest.
All of the favorite characters from the first film return, Thumper, Flower, and Wise Old Owl. Bambi feels that he has to prove himself to his father and this gets him into some comic adventures. He also has comic assistance from Flower and Thumper when they encounter a territorial porcupine. He also has a rival in the character of Ronno (voiced by Anthony Ghannam).
Of course, Man is still around and Bambi has a suspenseful encounter with some hunting dogs and literally behaves like a deer in headlights. He later encounters the dogs towards the end of the picture, but has learned from the Great Prince and is able to defeat them. The Great Prince also learns how to appreciate his son along the way.
In perhaps the mid-90s (maybe earlier) Disney made sequels to several of their classic (and not so classic) properties. The worst ones seemed like a compilation of aborted television versions meaning they consisted of three 25 minute episodes strung into a “feature” length package (memory tells me Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Atlantis the Lost Continent has these).
Return to Neverland at least tried to continue the storyline, but all featured animation that was more akin to the small screen than the big one. Perhaps the more interesting were the so called “mid-quels” since they took place during the classic property but were seen from another point of view (the Lion King) or during a section that the original skipped over.
Bambi II picks up in the middle of the original film. The responsible parties for this tried to have some respect for the original and replicate the look that the original hand drawn classic has (which still begs the question why make a sequel then…).
However, Disney has never been one unwilling to cash in on their properties. Bambi II actually turns out better than you might expect thanks to some good vocal work. Don’t expect it to eclipse the original, but the kids won’t care. There is some new items on the Blu-ray, but don’t expect much there either.
Bambi II is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.78:1). New special features are a new game (Friend Owl’s Forest Fun) and a 2 minute deleted song. Both are presented in high definition, but the following are standard definition.
They include the 8 minute “Legacy Continues” making of, Thumper’s Hurry and Scurry game, the 4 minute “Disney Sketch Pad” teaches you how to draw, and there’s also a pop-up trivia track. Disc two is a DVD copy of the film.
Bambi II is probably superfluous but it does entertain and has a nice look. I can’t help but revel in the hand drawn beauty of the first. The film certainly never eclipses the original and I do note that this release was done far away from when the original appeared on Blu-ray, but the kids will enjoy it.
Visit the DVD database for more information.Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.