DisneyToons review: Bambi 2

DisneyToon's 34th film.
DisneyToon’s 34th film.

http://freedisneycartoonblog.blogspot.ca/2015/01/bambi-2-2006-watch-online.html

My opinion right after watching the film

My opinion right after watching the film is that I am shocked with how much I enjoy this film. I might enjoy it more than the first one. For the most part, they kept the same atmosphere and tone that the first film had, which was great, since it could have easily went the wrong way. The film seems organically structures.

Production

Once again, there is no information on the production of this film.

Story

Since the film is a midquel, it starts off right where the father (Patrick Stewart) of Bambi (Alexander Gould) tells him that his mother has passed away, and takes his son to his home. The father’s job as the Prince of the forest prevents him from being a hands on father, so he assists help in Friend Owl (Keith Ferguson) to find a suitable doe to raise Bambi. The season then turns to Spring to signal new beginnings and change, which was a nice touch.

Bambi is taken on a walk with his father, who has to do his job. He is learning about what he needs to do to become a prince, which involves leaving things in the past, looking out for the forest, and...... to have a life of no fun, or interaction with others. The relationship between the two is interesting enough to hold the film together. The father then tells Bambi to hang out with Thumper (Brendon Baerg), and most of the children go to watch the groundhog to see if the shadow will appear or not. It doesn't show, so it is Spring.
Bambi is taken on a walk with his father, who has to do his job. He is learning about what he needs to do to become a prince, which involves leaving things in the past, looking out for the forest, and…… to have a life of no fun, or interaction with others. The relationship between the two is interesting enough to hold the film together. The father then tells Bambi to hang out with Thumper (Brendon Baerg), and most of the children go to watch the groundhog to see if the shadow will appear or not. It doesn’t show, so it is Spring.

We are introduced to another deer who is about Bambi’s age, named Ronno (Anthony Ghannam) who tries to impress Faline (Andrea Bowen), and to start stuff with Bambi. Ronno is trying to act tough around the others, and is not fitting in, so he lashes out at Bambi. It is clear that he is just an insecure baby. Adding him is pretty unique, since I am almost sure that he is the reindeer Bambi fights in the second half of the original. The film did not need to pull something random out of their asses to add a new element to the film, unlike the other sequels I have covered.

In the next morning, his father tells him to stay by the den, and he feels a way, since his father is not letting him go on walks with him. Thumper and Flower (Nicky Jones) soon join him, and the former attempts to teach him how to be brave……. That fails when he messes with a porcupine (Brian Pimental).

Ronno soon shows up, and taunts him for hanging out with a rabbit and a skunk. Thumper soon pushes Bambi into him, which leads into a chase. Bambi ends up jumping over a large ledge, which his father sees. Things start to look up from here, as Bambi gains more confidence and their relationship improves.
Ronno soon shows up, and taunts him for hanging out with a rabbit and a skunk. Thumper soon pushes Bambi into him, which leads into a chase. Bambi ends up jumping over a large ledge, which his father sees. Things start to look up from here, as Bambi gains more confidence and their relationship improves.

Bambi learns how to be a prince, while his father learns how to be more laidback and….. a father. Owl returns to see them having fun, and asks him if he is still sure about giving Bambi up. This apparently causes some sort of epiphany in him, since he is not on his guard, so Bambi must go. His caretaker is Mena (Cree Summer), who was a good friend of his mother. Bambi pretty much tells his father to screw off when he finds out the truth, but when he is going to be taken away, he engages into an emotional embrace with his father.

Ronno finds them, and tries to pick a fight with Bambi, who gets physical. Ronno ends up unleashing a trap, which captures Mena. Bambi’s father overhears him screaming, and decides t show up to save Bambi. He sets Mena free, only to be chased down by a bunch of wolves. Bambi ends up defeating the wolves, and stays with his father. The film ends with Bambi getting his antlers, which he shows off to everyone before he is whisked off by his father, who tells him that they are at the location where he met Bambi’s mother.

This film is pretty clever, and is one of the best films in the canon thus far. Sure, the story is simple, but so was the original film, and it actually works out. The father and son relationship is very strong, and I like how the other characters fit in the story without feeling like they are filler. I am thoroughly shocked.
This film is pretty clever, and is one of the best films in the canon thus far. Sure, the story is simple, but so was the original film, and it actually works out. The father and son relationship is very strong, and I like how the other characters fit in the story without feeling like they are filler. I am thoroughly shocked.

Characters

The characters are decent. Nothing special in either direction, but not a bore either.

Bambi
Bambi is the same character that he was in the first film. There is a lot of naivete in him, and is not very interesting, but is a fine enough protagonist.
Bambi's father is surprisingly complex. He is forced to stick with his duty, and wanting to care for his father, and to see how he reacted to every situation is very interesting.
Bambi’s father is surprisingly complex. He is forced to stick with his duty, and wanting to care for his father, and to see how he reacted to every situation is very interesting.
Ronno is the deer from the first film, and I am glad they introduced him in this film. He is an annoying little s***, but he is also an insecure coward, clearly. He was a strong enough character.
Ronno is the deer from the first film, and I am glad they introduced him in this film. He is an annoying little s***, but he is also an insecure coward, clearly. He was a strong enough character.
Thumper
He is a bit more of a loudmouth and a trouble maker in this film to be honest. I don’t really know how I feel about it.
Flower
He is the same character, though is not as feminine.
Faline
While she is still the same love interest, I feel like we saw more of her in this film. She has a bit more courage and a voice than I thought.

Animation

I am actually very impressed with the animation. While it is not close to being as impressive as the original, it is the best that DisneyToons have ever done. There is a lot of textures within the forest and the waters that catch your attention. There is pretty much nothing to complain about within this film.

Music

There are some songs, which do its job, but you are not going to remember and sing out loud. The score is soothing and calming, which is perfect for the forest the film takes place in, and the story that is being told.

Reception at Release

The film came out on February 7th, 2006 in North America, but since it was released theatrically in some places, there is a box office result. The film ended up making $34,958,637.

Reception Today

From what I know, people say that this is one of the better films in the canon, but I do not think many like it though. Kind of like picking a mediocre film out of a bunch of travesties.

Final Score

Story: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7.5/10

30.5/40 = 76%

Next time

Review: March 20th, 2016.
Review: March 20th, 2016.
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10 thoughts on “DisneyToons review: Bambi 2

  1. I remember being really annoyed by this film. It seemed trying to modernize Bambi but honestly I can’t remember why. Interesting to hear that you liked it so much

    1. I would guess it is the art-work and the fact that it causes a few minor continuity problems with the movie. But mostly the art-work. But once you get over it and that the laid-back feeling of the original is gone, the movie is not THAT bad. Between the Cheapquels, it is one of the few I don’t outright hate…nor do I like it. But it is pretty harmless overall.

  2. I agree with you. This is definitely one of the best films DisneyToons has made. I liked how they explored the relationship between Bambi and his father, and I liked that they didn’t phone it in at all.

    1. It was definitely one of the more craftier films, which usually does not apply in DisneyToom films. It is interesting how the father is never mentioned again after that one scene in the original.

  3. Like I mentioned before, I’ve forgotten a lot of the DisneyToons Canon, but if there are two Disney sequels that I can definitely say were worth it, it’s “The Lion King 2” and “Bambi II”. “The Lion King 2” was a strong and surprisingly messed-up take on Romeo and Juliet, and “Bambi II” is a strong character piece. Both of these sequels clearly had a lot of effort put into them, but I think it also helped that both of them had predecessors that were unique in the Disney Canon. There aren’t a lot of Disney films with real, fatal consequences, like a parent or beloved character dying midway through. “The Lion King” is one of them, and “Bambi” is another. A lot of Disney sequels remove characters from their original narrative and offer little more in terms of drama than meandering fluff, like the next film in the canon “Brother Bear 2”, but “The Lion King 2” and “Bambi II” had genuinely weighty topics to explore – the consequences of the original films. Scar was killed but that didn’t undo the evil he did; Mufasa was still dead and Simba and his family still bore the scars of the hell he put them through, a theme that runs through The Lion King franchise, all the way to “The Lion Guard” spin-off that’s going now. “Bambi II” has the death of Bambi’s mom, which the original film pulled the trigger on but also never really followed-up on, opting for a time jump instead.

    Like you, “Bambi” has never been a favorite of mine. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, but it’s not really my cup of tea. Since it was a nature film, there was a minimalist approach to it’s characterization that made it pretty hard for me to be engaged by what little actually happened to Bambi and his friends. I did like the third act though, when Bambi was a teenager and Man returned to the forest. “Bambi II” stays true to the original film and is respectful of it, but it’s also a different kind of story. A character piece over a nature film. Bambi and the Great Prince were wild animals before, but here they’re characters with character arcs and while I know some people found that to be disappointing, I found it to be kind of refreshing. I finally knew enough about these deer to form an opinion of them, and I wound up liking them a lot.

    First, I like that they made Bambi a more comedic figure in this one, they got some mileage out of the fawn’s expressions. Second, I would say that Bambi is a bit different here than he was in the original. He’s still a curious kid and eager to please, but he’s also older now and tired of being so timid all the time, so he’s a bit bolder and a lot more open, with Thumper’s encouragement. He charmed me with his pluckiness and I found myself not only rooting for this kid but pretty scared for him during the climax. Third, Bambi’s decision to risk his life for Mena’s made me realize that he has a nice growth over the course of these two movies. He goes from someone who’s always helpless and barely understanding to someone who can make a difference in his forest, and that’s wonderful. Bambi, you’re cool with me.

    The Great Prince has a nice arc as well, which is kind of reminiscent of a superhero story about why heroes need attachments, lest they lose touch with their humanity. Throughout the film, there’s a tug of war going on between sentimentality and stoic repression, with sentimentality winning out in the end. The first half is pretty much about the wake of Bambi’s mom dying and what her two lost boys decide to do with themselves; in Bambi’s case, it’s reach out to the new presence in his life. From there, the second half is about them finding some sort of balance in their lives between their duties as princes and their roles as father and son, which has an added bit of poignancy to it since, in reality, the bond between them would never exist. Disney deer have always been a bit more attached to each other than regular deer though.

    I half expected you to hate Ronno. People tend to agree that he’s an insufferable brat. I also thought he made for a good antagonist, moving the plot forward every time he appeared, irritating for the most part but not downright hateable until the climax when he decides to kick a deer when he’s down. The malicious streak he shows in this film (where he was just aggressive before) makes Bambi kicking his ass as an adult even more satisfying now. There is this bizarre plothole involving him though. In the second act, he taunts Bambi with ‘I’m talking about how you *froze* out there on the meadow’ and we’re supposed to think ‘Ronno, you dick!’ but I tend to think ‘Ronno, how do you know that?!’ He was nowhere nearby when that happened, unless he was spying on a guy he just met (and I wouldn’t put it past him).

    The modernization of the Bambi universe worked well for the most part since it wasn’t excessive, and there were only a few times it felt off. The one that always felt the weirdest was the Great Prince referring to the den as ‘home’. That always felt a bit too human to me. Mind you, I’m not sure why I thought deer wouldn’t have a concept of home, so I’m not sure how much of that weirdness is on me or the movie.

    The soundtrack is lovely. “There Is Life” and “The First Sing of Spring” are uplifting, and the theme for Bambi and The Great Prince is genuinely moving.

    Lastly, I’m glad that Thumper got some more screen-time in this movie. A stroppy bunny is a funny bunny.

    Well, that was longer than I thought it would be. If I ever decide to do a review of this movie, I can save myself some time and retool it from this comment. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the long and brilliant comment. I agree that most of the DisneyToon films decide to cover fluff than real issues that can be expanded on, which is why most of them are so tedious, unlike the two films you mentioned. Tragedies do not just disappear, and everyone becomes happy in almost an instant. Most Disney films tend to forget about the tragedies, and move onto the Happily Ever After, which is not realistic, and makes films like Big Hero 6 and The Lion King refreshing. I think most people do not handle nature movies like Bambi very well.

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