Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Next Signature Edition: 'Bambi'

So much for The Lion King being the Fall 2017 release in the Signature Collection series, the actual title is the very film that inspired a lot of The Lion King... Bambi...

LaughingPlace reports that Disney Movie Club now has pre-orders for this, and yes, they certainly are on the site... A Blu-ray edition, a DMC exclusive pack that pairs it up with direct-to-video midquel Bambi II, and a DVD-only edition. Without a release date or an official announcement, it seems strange, but here we are...

All of these covers do little for me, but it's no shock because I don't think any of the Signature Collection covers have been anything to write home about. Also, why couldn't they put "75th Anniversary Edition" on the cover? It does turn 75 this year, but maybe that's tentative artwork. If you notice, the two-pack cover uses the "Walt Disney" heading above Bambi. The Signature Editions of Snow White and Pinocchio use the "Disney" heading, no "Walt" in there. Bambi II is also referred to as Bambi II, and the cover artwork for the new standalone Blu-ray of the DTV film uses the Roman numeral.

The Signature Collection series is more or less following the order the Platinum and Diamond series went in. Only anomaly here is Pinocchio.

The Platinum line's first four titles were: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin.

The Diamond line's first four titles were: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Bambi, and The Lion King.

So now, the Signature line: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, and Bambi.

Who knows what order this series will go in at this point. Will some titles come out just in time for their photoreal remakes? The Lion King's remake is about to go into production, and I presume it'll be in theaters by the end of 2019, the year the original classic turns 25. I can see the Signature Edition's release lining up with it.

Five (!) Diamonds recently just went into the Vault: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid. It took them nearly 5 years to vault Cinderella! If some of these titles come back in, say, 2020, the wait time will be unusually short. A sign that the Vault kind of needs to... Come to an end.

Anyways, new prediction...

Spring 2018 - Lady and the Tramp (5 years in vault)
Fall 2018 - Fantasia (7 years in the vault)
Spring 2019 - Peter Pan (5 years in the vault)
Fall 2019 - The Lion King (6 years in the vault)
Spring 2020 - Sleeping Beauty (3 1/2 years in the vault)
Fall 2020 - The Little Mermaid (3 1/2 years in the vault)
Spring 2021 - The Jungle Book (3 years in the vault)
Fall 2021 - 101 Dalmatians (4 years in the vault)
Spring 2022 - Aladdin (hasn't vaulted yet)

That is, if Blu-ray or physical media is still a thing by next decade...

One thing I hope they do with this re-release... Fix the opening!

Bambi was first released in 1942, when Walt Disney's films were being distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The original film opened with a stylized RKO title card, the usual for Disney's animated features at the time. They kept this tradition after RKO was out the door and Walt's own distribution company Buena Vista was in.

Anyways, when re-released after 1953, Bambi's RKO logo was replaced with a standard Buena Vista card.

Home video...

The Classics edition, released in 1989, didn't open with anything. Just the first few seconds of the opening fanfare, but nothing onscreen.

The 1997 LaserDisc of the film contained the RKO logo and music intact. The corresponding VHS edition had the music, but no logo.

The 2005 Platinum Edition DVD used the Walt Disney Pictures castle logo with the music playing over it.

The 2011 Diamond Edition Blu-ray used the CG Walt Disney Pictures logo, with the music intact! Jarring, jarring, jarring!

Hopefully the new release *finally* corrects the problem, and restores the RKO logo to the film's opening credits.

Oh, and add some cool new bonus features, please?


  1. Amazon lists the Blu-Ray release date as June 6.

  2. I think the standalone cover is attractive. The title design is very basic, but the art is good.