Bambi: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=202307&d=1298056507
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: Disney - 1942
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 70 minutes
Genre: Family/Animation

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, resorted original theatrical soundtrack
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Directed by: David D. Hand
Music by: Frank Churchhill & Edward Plumb
Written by: Larry Morely adapted from the story by Felix Salten
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 1, 2011







"Love is a song that never ends"



Film Synopsis:

As morning light breaks across the meadow, a young deer named Bambi is born and hailed as ‘Prince of the Forest.’ Soon Bambi emerges from the thicket on wobbly legs, much to the delight of his new friends, Thumper, the playful rabbit, and Flower, the bashful yet lovable skunk. But the fun of nibbling on fresh blossoms and frolicking through the woods is only the beginning. Exploring his new world, and guided by the wisdom of Friend Owl, Bambi learns valuable life lessons with every adventure – experiencing the power of friendship, family, and love along the away.





My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=202304&d=1298056379

Bambi is Walt Disney’s fifth full length animated feature and is an endearing tale about a young prince of the forest who valuable life-lessons about the value of friendship, love, loss and the miracle of life. This is a classic film told from a coming of age perspective which crosses genre lines. I haven’t seen it in years but could help but feel as though today it would make for a great public service announcement for the preservation of forest wildlife (“man is in the woods!”). The cuteness factor runs high (as Disney does so well) and there are some suspenseful and moving moments. The “April showers” segment is a personal favorite and the integration of the music in the story’s telling is beautifully crafted. Bambi has easily stood the test of time and like many of Disney’s films has touched generations of viewers over the nearly 70 years since its release.

Disney is a class act with an impeccable track record for wonderful family oriented films. This Diamond Edition home video release of Bambi is another example of their long standing dedication to offering quality home video releases. They, like several studios, have shown a fervent commitment to the Blu-ray format. Disney high definition Blu-ray discs have consistently been technically impressive as well as providing worthwhile bonus supplements. I appreciate the attention to detail and implemented features such as their enhanced menu navigation, BD-Live features/interactivity, Movie Rewards, Fast play, the inclusion of a DVD version of the film in the multi-disc Blu-ray release packages, and in this case their Story Meetings-Enhanced Edition feature which is innovative and just plain cool. Let’s not forget their willingness to digitally restore their films and bring them to life in a way that doesn’t negate the original elements. This is a great way for everyone to experience them all over again or perhaps for the first time.

Here is a little background on the making of the film from Disney’s press release:

BAMBI was Walt Disney’s fifth animated full-length feature film which released in 1942 during World War II and took approximately five years in the making due to the exquisite artwork and attention to detail of each and every scene, character and figure. The artwork itself was created by some of the legendary “nine old men,” including Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl and Eric Larson and in order to achieve the film’s unprecedented level of realism, animators modeled anatomical studies using live animals (including a pair of fawns named Bambi and Faline) and imbued each with a uniquely endearing personality. Bambi’s delightful forest home received the same painstaking attention to detail, as background artists painted hundreds of landscapes based on extensive field research and nature photographs. Walt Disney broke the longstanding animation tradition by casting child actors in the roles of Bambi’s young animals, including Bobby Stewart as Baby Bambi, Donnie Dunagan as Young Bambi, Hardie Albright as Adolescent Bambi and Peter Behn as Young Thumper. The cast also includes Sam Edwards as Adult Thumper, John Sutherland as Adult Bambi, Paula Winslowe as Bambi’s Mother and Sterling Holloway (the voice of Winnie the Pooh and The Jungle Book’s Kaa, the snake) as Adult Flower.

This Diamond Edition Blu-ray comes in the standard style case and includes a Blu-ray guide insert, Disney Movie Rewards code, and bonus DVD of the film. Blu-ray Disc has come a long way in the last year or so. We are beginning to see what the format is capable of and from what I can see Disney is looking toward the future by providing high quality releases that will hopefully solidify the place of this great medium. I am thrilled that this masterpiece has finally arrived in high definition. I can assure you that the wait was well worth it.



Parental Guide:

Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all ages.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699
attachment.php?attachmentid=202305&d=1298056379

Bambi comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossy DTS-HD 7.1 High Resolution audio that has a constant bitrate of 2 mbps.

This film has undergone a restorative process to clean up the original print and the results are impressive. Colors shine brilliantly with pleasing saturation and striking hues that look absolutely beautiful. The 1.37:1 framed video is pillarboxed in black however Disney offers the option of viewing it via their Disney view option where the pillarboxes feature custom artwork. The original film elements don’t have the highly polished resolution of today’s digitally enhanced animated films but fidelity remains intact as image quality is simply beautiful. Blacks don’t have an infinite sense of depth but they are solid black and stand out well when onscreen with mixed content. Dark scenes have excellent contrast with discernible gradational stages and delineated color within backgrounds. The sequence where Bambi duels for the courtship of Faline is a good example of this. Whites sparkle and appear crisp, bright and punchy. I don’t think that we as fans could ask for this film to look any better than this.

Disney provides a lossy DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1 channel surround mix (the first I have seen) which naturally retains much of the feel of the original soundtrack. The main focus is in the front with superb music score spread over the entire soundstage. The four surround channels are mixed a bit lower than the mains so that frontal perspective remained intact while providing a discernible amount of spatiality that added dimension. There were one or two moments that engaged the subwoofer and provided tactile low frequency energy but nothing that I would define as substantial. I think that the mix was appropriate in that it didn’t feel disingenuous to the original soundtrack while adding a bit of polish. The audio was crystal clear and free of the edginess that sometimes accompanies older recordings. I didn’t feel it sounded compressed or dynamically inferior which says something for the restoration process. Obviously this isn’t a new recording but considering it was made nearly70 years ago it sounded very good indeed.

Edit: While I have no problems with the quality of this audio presentation I find the lack of lossless sound to be concerning. Disney has always supported high resolution lossless audio on their Blu-ray Disc releases and it is my hope that this isn't a precursor of things to come.



Bonus Features:


  • Inside Walt’s Story Meetings-Enhanced Edition - A fascinating, multi-tiered, in film 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.

  • (HD) 2 never before seen deleted scenes – Bambi Stuck on a reed & Two leaves

  • (HD) Deleted song: “Twitterpated”

  • (HD) Bambi interactive photo galleries

  • 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.

  • Classic DVD Bonus Features:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Classic deleted scenes – Winter grass & Bambi’s first snow
    6. Original theatrical trailer

  • Playback options include:

    1. Disney view
    2. Introduction by Diane Disney Miller
    3. Fast Play
    4. Disney’s Second Screen App is being introduced for the very first time on the BAMBI Diamond Edition release, and will further transform the at-home movie watching experience by empowering viewers with the ability to engage with film content on multiple media platforms and bring them to life in their own hands at the touch of a button. By simply downloading the Second Screen App onto an internet-connected computer or iPad and synching it to the movie, consumers will instantly be able to dive deeper into the film by engaging with fun interactive elements like animated flipbooks, galleries, photos, trivia and more. Disney’s Second Screen technology is not widely available in all territories. (* I wasn’t able to obtain the App during my evaluation but will follow up once I have tried it via my iPad)

  • Bonus DVD of Bambi
attachment.php?attachmentid=202306&d=1298056379



Final Thoughts:

Bambi is one of the most beloved of the Disney Classic animated feature films. Seeing it again after so many years brought back fond childhood memories. Kudos to Disney on a spectacular Blu-ray Disc offering that presents this wonderful family film looking and sounding better than ever. Its complimentary set of bonus materials includes exclusive Blu-ray and interactive features that present fans with a great way to enhance the high definition experience while taking a peek behind the curtain to learn some interesting background on the film. This excellent Blu-ray release will make for a welcomed addition to your Disney Collection and comes highly recommended.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 01:30 PM
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Did not Disney have a 7.1 mix for Sleeping Beauty?
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerebel View Post

Did not Disney have a 7.1 mix for Sleeping Beauty?

According to the cases most of the Disney classics do. Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast all list 7.1. I don't have it but I believe Fantasia was also 7.1. Looks like the only old movie not to have it is Alice in Wonderland which is only 5.1.

According to the review on highdefdigest Fantasia is 7.1 as well but the review list Pinocchio as 5.1 even though the case, at least mine, says 7.1.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerebel View Post

Did not Disney have a 7.1 mix for Sleeping Beauty?

Yes, Sleeping Beauty does have a 7.1 mix. So does Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 3, Fantasia/Fantasia 2000. Probably others but decided to stop going through my Disney collections to find out.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 02:33 PM
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Just noticed the difference. This is 7.1 DTS HD High Res instead of the DTS HD MA Disney has been using. That could be what Ralph meant when it was the first he had seen.

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaKats View Post
Just noticed the difference. This is 7.1 DTS HD High Res instead of the DTS HD MA Disney has been using. That could be what Ralph meant when it was the first he had seen.
Greetings,

You've got it..


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post #7 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 04:26 PM
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7.1 but no original mono track

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post #8 of 27 Old 02-18-2011, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post
7.1 but no original mono track
Greetings,

The original track is included Tom. No worries..

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post #9 of 27 Old 02-19-2011, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaKats View Post

Just noticed the difference. This is 7.1 DTS HD High Res instead of the DTS HD MA Disney has been using. That could be what Ralph meant when it was the first he had seen.

HR is lossy by the way.

The promotional materials promised MA, and it's a Diamond Edition...Disney screwed up!

Someone needs to get them to realize that and reissue the title. No matter how good it sounds, it should be lossless.

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post #10 of 27 Old 02-20-2011, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post

HR is lossy by the way.

The promotional materials promised MA, and it's a Diamond Edition...Disney screwed up!

Someone needs to get them to realize that and reissue the title. No matter how good it sounds, it should be lossless.

Given the original source, I doubt that lossy vs. lossless will be noticed.
I think the mastering/restoration process has more to do with the sound then the lossy/lossless format -- at least for this BR.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I couldn't agree more Mike.

Regards,

So a premium title, a Diamond Edition, doesn't deserve lossless audio.

Nice, now Disney may make this standard procedure.

So much for holding the Blu-ray format to the highest A/V standards, especially in a A/V enthusiast forum.

PS: Rumor has it Tangled is the same way. Enjoy your lossy audio from a formerly lossless-only company.

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post #12 of 27 Old 02-20-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post

So a premium title, a Diamond Edition, doesn't deserve lossless audio.

Nice, now Disney may make this standard procedure.

So much for holding the Blu-ray format to the highest A/V standards, especially in a A/V enthusiast forum.

PS: Rumor has it Tangled is the same way. Enjoy your lossy audio from a formerly lossless-only company.

Greetings,

PeterTHX, no one said it doesn't deserve lossless treatment only that based upon the originally recorded elements that the differences between lossy versus lossless will more than likely be less discernible. I am sure that Disney will do whatever they deem fit despite what you or I think however their track record to this point has been a good one so we will have to wait and see what the future holds. I call them as I see them and won't find fault with a product unless there is cause.


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post #13 of 27 Old 02-20-2011, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
So I have to question your motives when you post in a review thread of mine.
The motive is to hope that using whatever pull you have, you will try use to correct this issue.

As *the* reviewer of an enthusiast forum, you are someone people look to for an informed opinion on the titles you review.

Up to now, Walt Disney Home Entertainment has provided lossless audio on all their animated titles (and as far as I know, live action titles).
Now they issue their latest Diamond Edition release, the Diamond line presenting the best possible audio and video on the Blu-ray format.

Bambi in DTS-HD HR is not the best possible: it is a lossy codec used when they want 7.1 because standard DTS doesn't allow for 7.1.

You should make it known that this is not acceptable. We have studios who were formerly 100% lossless now taking a step backwards and issuing titles with lossy audio, like Universal and Uncle Buck.

With downloads and streaming and VOD taking more and more studio attention, these Blu-ray releases may very well be the last opportunity for us to actually own our favorite films on media. It is even more imperative that the studios get it right the first time: we may never get another chance.

Please don't let the studios think that this is acceptable. These lossy audio titles, here in 2011 and in the 5th year of the format, sets a dangerous precedent.

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post #14 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post
The motive is to hope that using whatever pull you have, you will try use to correct this issue.

As *the* reviewer of an enthusiast forum, you are someone people look to for an informed opinion on the titles you review.

Up to now, Walt Disney Home Entertainment has provided lossless audio on all their animated titles (and as far as I know, live action titles).
Now they issue their latest Diamond Edition release, the Diamond line presenting the best possible audio and video on the Blu-ray format.

Bambi in DTS-HD HR is not the best possible: it is a lossy codec used when they want 7.1 because standard DTS doesn't allow for 7.1.

You should make it known that this is not acceptable. We have studios who were formerly 100% lossless now taking a step backwards and issuing titles with lossy audio, like Universal and Uncle Buck.

With downloads and streaming and VOD taking more and more studio attention, these Blu-ray releases may very well be the last opportunity for us to actually own our favorite films on media. It is even more imperative that the studios get it right the first time: we may never get another chance.

Please don't let the studios think that this is acceptable. These lossy audio titles, here in 2011 and in the 5th year of the format, sets a dangerous precedent.
Agreed 100%.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

PeterTHX, no one said it doesn't deserve lossless treatment only that based upon the originally recorded elements that the differences between lossy versus lossless will more than likely be less discernible. I am sure that Disney will do whatever they deem fit despite what you or I think however their track record to this point has been a good one so we will have to wait and see what the future holds. I call them as I see them and won't find fault with a product unless there is cause.

Now having said that I find your tone to be inflammatory. Perhaps I am being a bit more sensitive than usual thanks to the disparaging remarks you have made about me on blu-ray.com.

So I have to question your motives when you post in a review thread of mine.

Regards,
All audio recordings are more transparent when represented with lossless encodes, regardless of the quality of the original signal. In fact, given that all soundtracks incur degredation from lossy compression, it could be argued that vintage tracks that are already compromised are in even greater need of lossless to avoid additional degredation.

Every vintage track I have thus far on blu-ray and laserdisc sounds clearly better in lossless than in lossy compression. This includes soundtracks sourced from old optical mono recordings.

This myth that lossless only has a sonic benefit for pristine, modern, multi-channel mixes is pervasive among consumers, reviewers, and studio engineers alike. This is the myth that needs to be corrected in order for blu-ray to fullfill its mission for the HT community: transparent replication of our beloved films.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #16 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post

The motive is to hope that using whatever pull you have, you will try use to correct this issue.

As *the* reviewer of an enthusiast forum, you are someone people look to for an informed opinion on the titles you review.

Up to now, Walt Disney Home Entertainment has provided lossless audio on all their animated titles (and as far as I know, live action titles).
Now they issue their latest Diamond Edition release, the Diamond line presenting the best possible audio and video on the Blu-ray format.

Bambi in DTS-HD HR is not the best possible: it is a lossy codec used when they want 7.1 because standard DTS doesn't allow for 7.1.

You should make it known that this is not acceptable. We have studios who were formerly 100% lossless now taking a step backwards and issuing titles with lossy audio, like Universal and Uncle Buck.

With downloads and streaming and VOD taking more and more studio attention, these Blu-ray releases may very well be the last opportunity for us to actually own our favorite films on media. It is even more imperative that the studios get it right the first time: we may never get another chance.

Please don't let the studios think that this is acceptable. These lossy audio titles, here in 2011 and in the 5th year of the format, sets a dangerous precedent.

Greetings,

All valid points that in retrospect make sense. Thanks..

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post #17 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 07:29 AM
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This classic animated movie is something a lot of people can't go wrong with. I think we all pretty much grew up on Bambi. Definitely a collectors item.

Cheers
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I have edited this review to reflect the use of lossy not lossless audio as well as adding an additional comment at the end of the audio remarks.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the review, as it definitely saved me a few bucks (I'm canceling my pre-order). I think I only have one lossy blu-ray because I didn't know it was lossy, and I do not feel like supporting blus without the best video/audio available. Yes, I know I wouldn't notice...but still .
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post #20 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 02:39 PM
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Thanks for the review, Mr. Potts. I'll be picking this up, despite the lossy audio track.

Another small complaint: is it true that the RKO logo is absent from this print, still replaced by the '80s Disney "blue castle" logo? If so, that's a shame. Disney's been doing a great job restoring it to their pre-Buena Vista films the last few years, and it'd be a bummer to see the practice stop with this release.
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-21-2011, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I have edited this review to reflect the use of lossy not lossless audio as well as adding an additional comment at the end of the audio remarks.


Regards,

Thanks.

My hope is that Disney doesn't allow this to happen again. My wildest hope is that they recall and reissue Bambi with lossless.

My opinions do not reflect the policies of my company
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-24-2011, 08:10 AM
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I wonder if Disney is holding back now that they fear this is possibly the last time consumers will see a reason to upgrade. We have pretty much transistioned over to a new TV standard in the last decade and other than the hobbyists who dream of 4k displays in the home, there really is nothing beyond since the current and possibly last physical format already provides the maximum resolution and the capability of the best audio. Until we change the TV standard again in another 40-50 years... there may be little reason to repurchase if a given title on BD is delivered in the best possible quality.

Some may be fearing that consumers have no reason to pay $20+ for classic titles. If this trend continues on future Diamond releases I will think twice about spending over $15 for any of them that feature lossy audio. There is no reason that lossless audio should have been omitted.

It's not like it costs anymore to do a lossless encode vs. lossy. It's just a setting on the encoding hardware.

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post #23 of 27 Old 03-05-2011, 07:45 AM
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Disney did a fantastic job in restoring the movie... Awsome PQ and despite the lossy soundtrack excellent sound...

Christian

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post #24 of 27 Old 03-06-2011, 08:17 AM
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I did an A-B comparison of the included DVD and the BD. It was pretty hard to tell any difference. DVD was playing in an Oppo BDP-83, BD on an Oppo BDP-93. Switching back and forth and watching the same scenes, it was easy to forget which I was watching. As soft and often blurry as this film is, this is not a surprise. That said, the restoration is excellent and worthy of the fresh release.
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-06-2011, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

I did an A-B comparison of the included DVD and the BD. It was pretty hard to tell any difference. DVD was playing in an Oppo BDP-83, BD on an Oppo BDP-93. Switching back and forth and watching the same scenes, it was easy to forget which I was watching. As soft and often blurry as this film is, this is not a surprise. That said, the restoration is excellent and worthy of the fresh release.

What kind of display do you have and what's your screen-width-to-viewing-distance ratio?

On my 1080p JVC RS2 projection system at 1.5 screen-widths the BD is clearly richer in fine texture and detail, though yes, the image is softer than many other BDs and so the "window effect" is less pronounced over the SD image.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #26 of 27 Old 03-06-2011, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the review. I picked up the BD and watched it last night for the first time in many years. It looked and sounded great. I was struck again by how adult the story and situations were. Sure, there are the iconic opening "new born prince" scenes, the ice-skating slapstick scene with Thumper and the very funny Spring Awakening sequence for each of the adolescent main characters. But the overall events and themes are just about as adult as any Disney or non-Disney mainstream animated feature ever made, belying the past and current "cutsie" marketing campaign that generally accompanies this special masterpiece, imo.
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post #27 of 27 Old 03-07-2011, 12:59 PM
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Just bought this this past weekend w/ my Disney coupon. Got it for $15(tax inc) out the door!
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