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Bambi
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Bambi is finally on DVD, and the results couldn't be more magnificent.  The film has been brightened up and cleaned free of artifacts, and the animation mistakes are completely gone.  And of course, the movie itself still rocks as well.  My first reaction upon seeing the psuedo 3D multiplane forest during the film's opener was "Holy freaking cow!  That's gorgeous!"  I never got that reaction from Beauty and the Beast.  Never.  Some may complain that this movie lacks a plot and that the characters are too juvenile.  Such complaints are a mistake.  Bambi paints a solid world that sucks you in.  And since Bambi is a children's film, it seems natural that the characters at first are children themselves, appropriately voiced by child actors who are far more natural than today's child stars.  The characters exude a timeless innocence and are thoroughly charming and funny, as they are allowed to do their own things instead of being given lame lines with pop culture jokes like in today's animated movies.  The ice skating scene is still a classic in my book.  But the innocent beginnings in no way downplay the serious themes found later in the movie.  Bambi is a coming-of-age story, and it portrays this theme beautifully.  It shows the terror as well as the beauty and explains to kids that life can be harsh as well as fun.  The death of Bambi's mother is still one of the most heartbreaking and shocking scenes ever put to celluloid.  If you want to know the strength of this film's narrative, just think of it this way.  Bambi is one of Disney's shortest movies and has only 1,000 words of dialogue and still feels full, rich, and complete.  Contrast this with something like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which feels somewhat truncated even with its 90 minute running time.  That's a marvel right there.  That's how engaging Bambi's characters are.  The film uses body language, charm, and music.  And speaking of music, Bambi's is magnificent.  It is soaring and orchestral and is carefully integrated with the action at hand to help convey the emotion.  It never feels like a separate unit, nor is it shoehorned in with out of place songs like in Disney's "Broadway blockbuster" years.  "I Bring You A Song" is probably my favorite Disney song ever, and is as romantic as it is grand and operatic.  But Bambi also knows the importance of moments of silence, which many of today's Disney movies seem to forget.  To sum it up, very few films send my spirit soaring, and Bambi is one of them.  The build up to the climax and the touching and grand resolution at the end bring a tear to my eye.  In short, Bambi is a masterfully woven tapestry, a work of art that no amount of computer generated "masterpieces" brought out today can match.  Grade: A++

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