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'Bambi' to Go Into Hiding

26 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Bambi II, the sequel to the timeless classic, will go on moratorium 70 days after its release and will be locked in the Walt Disney Co.'s vault for seven years.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Bambi II bows Feb. 7 on DVD and VHS at $26.99.

The “Bambi” franchise is among 14 in the studio's Platinum Collection earmarked for release every seven years for a new generation.

It seems to be a winning strategy. In 2005, Buena Vista dominated the children's nontheatrical market, with 28.8 percent market share based on units sold, according to Nielsen VideoScan.

Bambi II is a coming-of-age story of a son's courage and a father's love. Following the tragic loss of his mother, the young fawn reunites with The Great Prince (voiced by Patrick Stewart), who must teach Bambi the ways of the forest.

The original Bambi, which debuted in theatres in 1942, bowed on DVD last spring and is slated to go back into the vault soon.

Lori MacPherson, SVP of brand marketing and product management for Buena Vista, said the Bambi II campaign differs from other Platinum titles in that the 70-day release period was selected to coincide with the 70th anniversary of when Walt Disney began work on the original.

Disney last week launched an 11-minute sneak peek of select animated scenes from Bambi II online at www.bambi2DVD.com.

“From all of our video premieres, Bambi II has gotten the highest audience scores in research screenings,” MacPherson said. “That's why we wanted to make sure as many people as possible got a chance to see even part of it.”

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