Bambi II

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Rating: G

Starring:
Patrick Stewart as The Great Prince
Alexander Gould as Bambi
Anthony Ghannam as Ronno
Brendon Baerg as Thumper
Nicky Jones as Flower
Andrea Bowen as Faline
Ariel Winter as Thumper’s Sister
McKenna Cowgill as Thumper’s Sister
Keith Ferguson as Owl
Brian Pimental as Porcupine
Carolyn Hennesy as Bambi’s Mother
Cree Summer as Mena

Special Features:
The Legacy Continues: Go behind the scenes with this “making-of” featurette that includes interviews with director Brian Pimental and stars Patrick Stewart, Alex Gould and Brandon Baerg.

Thumper’s Hurry & Scurry Set-Top Game: Thumper needs a break from his adoring sisters. Can he hurry and scurry his way clear of them? Play the part of Thumper or his giggly sisters in this fun game for one or two players.

Disney Sketch Pad: Veteran Disney animator Andreas Deja teaches you how to draw Thumper.

Bambi’s Trivia Tracks: This pop-up text feature reveals fun facts about Bambi, the forest and the movie.

DVD-ROM: Disney Sketch Pad Printables — Print out the modeling sheets on how to draw Thumper in eight steps. Or print out a coloring page so you can color in a full background for your very own Thumper.

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French Language Track
Running Time: 73 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the sequel to the 1942 film Bambi. The following text is from the DVD cover:

“One of the silver screen’s most cherished characters makes his triumphant return in Disney’s spectacular all-new movie, Bambi II. The eagerly awaited next chapter of Bambi’s unforgettable story continues for a whole new generation in a film that’s sure to delight your entire family. Join Bambi as he reunites with his father, The Great Prince, who must now raise the young fawn and teach him the ways of the forest. But in the adventure of a lifetime, the proud parent discovers that there is much that he can learn from his spirited young son. Thumper, Flower, Owl, and your favorite characters return — and you’ll meet some wonderful new friends — as Bambi’s magnificent legacy continues. Illustrated in the breathtaking animation style of the original classic and bursting with enchanting new songs, Bambi II is truly a wonder to behold.”

Bambi II is rated G.

The Movie:
I should start out by saying that I’ve never been a big fan of Bambi. Though I found the animation to be quite extraordinary, I always found the story itself to be boring and overly sentimental. Unfortunately, Bambi II is more of the same. The animation is absolutely stunning. The scenery is beautifully painted in the style of the first film. The character animation is as good as any you’ll see on the big screen. However, the story itself is a bit slow, simple, and didn’t do much for me.

I could be mistaken, but I think the characters in this film (set in the middle of the previous movie) act more like cartoon characters than animals. They all talk more, act sillier, and generally behave more human. Some examples of this are the new groundhog character and the new porcupine character. Fortunately they also provide some much needed comic relief to spice things up. However, the movie’s theme of the single dad spending time with his son is hit over your head so often and blatantly that it kind of wears thin. (On a side note, how many Disney animated films can you name where a character has two living parents? I can name 101 Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, and The Incredibles. It’s strange that there aren’t more.)

As for the voice talent, Patrick Stewart is about the only actor most people will recognize. He does a decent job bringing Bambi’s father to life, but there’s nothing unique about his role. Alexander Gould who plays Bambi also happened to voice Nemo in Finding Nemo. The music in the film is also decent. You won’t be humming the tunes after watching the film, but they do set the mood of the story well. Alison Krauss sings the opening song which stands out as the best of the lot. Also appearing are Martina McBride, Michelle Lewis, and Anthony Callea.

I sat my kids down in front of this film to see their reactions. Any time there was action or comedy on the screen, they were really interested. However, any time there was a lot of dialogue or sentimental moments, they became disinterested. So though it’s not the best animated Disney film, it will still entertain kids. And at a relatively short 73 minutes of running time, it doesn’t wear out its welcome.

The Extras:
Compared to other Disney DVDs, this one is a little light on the bonus features. Here are the highlights of what you’ll find:

The Legacy Continues – This is your standard “making of” video featuring interviews with director Brian Pimental and stars Patrick Stewart, Alex Gould, and Brandon Baerg. It’s fun to see the actors voicing the characters, but there’s not much here beyond that.

Thumper’s Hurry & Scurry Set-Top Game – This is a hide and seek game where you look through the forest to find Thumper. You can play it with one or two players.

Disney Sketch Pad – As an adult, I found this to be the most interesting bonus feature. In it, Disney animator Andreas Deja teaches you how to draw Thumper. He also discusses some of the Bambi animation and the work that goes into it.

Bambi’s Trivia Tracks – This is your standard pop-up text featuring trivia about Bambi, the forest, and the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Bambi II is mainly for children, big fans of the first Bambi, and die-hard Disney animation fans. Everyone else will want to pass.

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