There can be no better gift for Bambi on the film’s 75th anniversary than to be released on Blu-Ray as part of the exclusive club that is the Walt Disney Signature Collection.

It is a rare honor indeed as the classic tale of the adorable fawn joins only three other icons of Disney animation which have also received that moniker — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio.

Bambi arrived on screens in 1942 as the tale of the innocent fawn who must find its way in a challenging forest filled with all sorts of creatures, most notably the skunk Flower, his wise Friend Owl and his lovable best friend Thumper the rabbit. Bambi immediately leapt into our culture’s collective hearts. The film was a welcomed respite for movie audiences from the terrors of World War II.

It took five years to create and had Walt Disney’s handprints all over it. The most glorious aspect of this Signature Collection release is it practically serves as a time machine for Disney fans to go back and witness the making of the movie magic as done by one of the few geniuses in their field to never be matched in terms of vision, talent and innate storytelling gifts.

The could be any number of reasons why Bambi not only struck a chord with the crowds of 1942, and have continued to resonate with the human race for three-quarters of a century. There is something about that innocent young deer discovering the nuances of life as a little one in a big world that hits each of us firmly in the heart. The characters are all endearing, in fact, and it becomes a world that we want to live in for a few hours again and again. There is also the animation. Decades have gone by and the technology of telling animated tales has been revolutionized. The hand-drawn wizardry of Disney Animation, circa first half of the twentieth century, compels, charms, challenges and casts a spell of seismic significance.

There are numerous bonus features, created just for this Signature Collection release. “The Bambi Effect” does a stellar job of placing the importance of one of Walt’s first works and its place in history as an influence, inspiration and springboard for everything animated that would come after. Also awesome is the inclusion of saluting the several pioneering female animators and effects animators whose sole purpose was to zero in on the effects for the title character.

Bambi Fawn Facts” features a lively narrator dishing varied trivia about our favorite animated young deer, including a bit on the real animals that inspired the rendering of the character of Bambi itself, as well as a few skunks and rabbits who might share a likeness to a certain Flower and Thumper.

Fans of the work of Walt will not want to miss “Studio Stories: Bambi” which features newly discovered recordings of Disney himself enlightening us all as to the biggest tests to his team faced in making Bambi, as well as the moments that were absolute envelope-pushing victories. The most enlightening aspect is how clips from the film that illustrate the Mouse House founder’s commentary are interspersed with these rare recordings. We also get to witness the short film, Old Mill, that movie was crafted as a road test of sorts for visual representation ideas and camera angles for the making of Bambi.

As part of the DVD/Blu-Ray release package, the digital copy is also included. Load that puppy, because there is a featurette only available on that version (also… you can have it in your digital library to watch forever and whenever). “Celebrating Tyrus Wong” is a love letter to the soft water-colored landscape and palettes utilized throughout the movie masterpiece that was the Wong’s signature style. The artist was unique, and this doc short (essentially is what it feels like) is a tribute to a painting prophet.

The bounty of bonus features also have a few that have been previously available on previous home video releases of Bambi. The deleted scenes are fun, “The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born” takes a more story-centric look at the creation of the tale. “Characters: Drawn to Nature” and “Actors: Giving Voice to Animals” are related and highlights. Each illustrates the characters of the film as they were drawn by artists and brought to life by voice actors.

In the end when it comes to a release such as this, the question is begged: Is it worth the upgrade? For those of you who are Bambi or Walt Disney fans, the answer is inequitably yes. Those never-before-seen bonus features are enlightening and entertaining. They’re also pretty amazing given that Disney can find original content to celebrate a film marking its 75th birthday.