Bambi II
Directed by: Brian Pimental
Once Walt Disney was at the forefront of animated family entertainment, creating classic fables that spanned generations. Even theatrical efforts from the ’90s such as Aladdin are full of imagination. Now The Mouse ruthlessly screws the back catalogue with straight to DVD sequels aimed at babysitting the kids with something familiar. Bambi II picks up the story at the end of the original film’s second act, revealing how Bambi went from being traumatized by losing his mother to becoming a mature, if twitterpated, deer. Here the Great Prince (the voice of Patrick Stewart, slumming) learns how to be a sensitive, 21st Century American Dad, spending quality time with his boy and teaching him self-respect. Machine animation has kept the backgrounds surprisingly lush but made the characters flatter and more generic than in the hand-drawn original, and where once Bambi was clearly inspired by actual fawns, the sequelized little buck might as well be a Great Dane puppy as a deer. When you start to root for the hunters, you know it’s time to go back and check out the new two-disc DVD release of the classic Bambi, available now — but only for a limited time.
—Carsten Knox

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