The Disney Diamond Editions are the company’s top-of-the-line packages, new releases on Blu-ray with plenty of extras. (They’ve already gone through “Gold Classics” and “Platinum Editions”, which were two-disc DVD packages.) So far, Disney has released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Beauty and the Beast in this format. The line is intended to recognize “Disney’s greatest animated classics”.
The next release, the third, will be the Bambi Diamond Edition, due out on Blu-ray on March 1, 2011, at a list price of $39.99 US. The corresponding two-disc DVD edition will come out a month and a half later, on April 19 for $29.99. (This staggered release schedule is also part of the process, as they did with Snow White’s Diamond release.) Unlike the other two releases, the Bambi set is only two discs, one Blu-ray and one DVD. (The others had two Blu-rays and a DVD.) I suspect that, given the film’s age — it was only Disney’s fifth full-length animated film, released in 1942 — there just isn’t enough extra material to justify the third disc.
I’m not sure I want to upgrade this film — it’s an interesting choice for a prestige package, as there are others I’d have chosen before this one. We just watched our Bambi Platinum two-disc set recently, as part of our animation catch-up project, and it’s not one of my favorite Disney movies. It’s very pretty, with its natural landscapes, and the animators clearly studied a lot of animal behavior, but the story is pedestrian and old-fashioned.
Disney is strongly pushing this movie for families, although it is promised to have “newly enhanced digital restoration” and “enhanced picture and sound”. They’re also introducing “new Second Screen technology” that will “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.” You download the app to your iPad or computer and sync it with the movie, which provides interactive trivia and art galleries. Given my poor experience with internet connectivity with Fantasia, this doesn’t sound all that appealing to me, but maybe the younger generation will be intrigued. Other special features include:
- Two never-before-seen deleted scenes
- The deleted song “Twitterpated”
- Voice re-enactments of Walt’s story meetings
- Gallery of design images
- An “interactive educational gaming experience” called the Big Book of Knowledge that teaches about animals and the seasons
- The digital exclusive “The Golden Age”
As well as the bonus features from the previous DVD:
- The making of
- An excerpt from a 1957 episode of the Disneyland TV show about the multiplane camera
- “Inside the Disney Archives” of the Animation Research Library
- “The Old Mill”, a short cartoon that won a 1937 Academy Award and shows use of the multiplane camera and animal animation