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Fantasia (1940)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 59,326 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 88 critic

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors:

(as Norm Ferguson) , (uncredited) , 9 more credits »

Writers:

(story), (story), 23 more credits »
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Title: Fantasia (1940)

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Deems Taylor ...
Himself - Narrative Introductions
Edit

Storyline

Disney animators set pictures to Western classical music as Leopold Stokowski conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" features Mickey Mouse as an aspiring magician who oversteps his limits. "The Rite of Spring" tells the story of evolution, from single-celled animals to the death of the dinosaurs. "Dance of the Hours" is a comic ballet performed by ostriches, hippos, elephants, and alligators. "Night on Bald Mountain" and "Ave Maria" set the forces of darkness and light against each other as a devilish revel is interrupted by the coming of a new day. Written by David Thiel <d-thiel@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where every sound creates a picture See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1940 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Bach to Stravinsky and Bach  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,280,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$361,800 (USA) (14 February 1941)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored roadshow) | (original release) | (cut) | (VHS) | (VHS release)

Sound Mix:

(1942 re-issue) (RCA Sound Recording) (3 channels) (4 channels) (5.0) (L-R) (LPCM) (musical score)| (1942 re-issue) (RCA Sound Recording) (3 channels) (4 channels) (5.0) (L-R) (LPCM) (musical score)| (1942 re-issue) (RCA Sound Recording) (3 channels) (4 channels) (5.0) (L-R) (LPCM) (musical score)| (1942 re-issue) (RCA Sound Recording) (3 channels) (4 channels) (5.0) (L-R) (LPCM) (musical score)| (1942 re-issue) (RCA Sound Recording) (3 channels) (4 channels) (5.0) (L-R) (LPCM) (musical score)

Color:

(1947-1955) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first feature film to be shown in multichannel sound. The original prints featured soundtracks that were recorded in a process known as Fantasound, a four-track directional stereophonic system that was invented especially to record the soundtrack for the film by RCA and the Walt Disney Studios technical team, led by William E. Garity. The Leopold Stokowski-conducted orchestra audio was recorded onto eight separate soundtracks (six channels recorded individual sections of the orchestra, the seventh recorded a mix of the first six channels and the eighth recorded a distant pickup of the entire orchestra), which were then mixed down to three tracks (left, center and right). The three music tracks were optically matted with a fourth control track (containing signal tones that varied the speaker dynamics) onto a filmstrip separate from the projector print. Over 90 speakers were used for the playback of the Fantasound audio during the premiere of the film on 12 November 1940. A more typical Fantasound setup used three speakers behind the screen and 65 others placed around the other three walls of the theater. However, Fantasound was discontinued due to the amount of sound equipment required and the time necessary to make the installation. The advent of wartime conditions also precluded the possibility of developing mobile units that could have lessened installation time and costs. Therefore, only 12 venues ever played the original Fantasound version of the film, and only 16 Fantasound-equipped prints were ever created. When RKO took over distribution for the roadshow version in January 1941, the film was shipped with a conventional monaural track. Disney technicians recreated Fantasound for the 50th Anniversary release in 1990 using modern digital technology and the original sound cues from the Disney archives, and this mix was encoded into the subsequent VHS and laserdisc releases. This mix is active, and even aggressive at times, with music swirling or jumping around the room. However, the DVD's mix sounds considerably different. While no official verification can be found that it was changed, the DVD's surround mix is more passive, with the music in the front channels and only concert-hall reverb in the rear channels. The sound is cleaner, but it is not Fantasound as it was described in 1940 and as it appeared in 1990. See more »

Goofs

The creatures gathered at the dinosaur water hole include animals exclusive to different time periods. Stegosaurs lived only in the Jurassic Period, Ceratopsians only in the Cretaceous, and Dimetrodons only in the Permian. It is possible that this was not yet known in 1940. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: How do you do? My name is Deems Taylor, and it's my very pleasant duty to welcome you here on behalf of Walt Disney, Leopold Stokowski, and all the other artists and musicians whose combined talents went into the creation of this new form of entertainment, "Fantasia". What you're going to see are the designs and pictures and stories that music inspired in the minds and imaginations of a group of artists. In other words, these are not going to be the interpretations of trained ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no closing credits of any kind. Not even the words "THE END" appear on the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Aladdin: SandSwitch (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Night on Bald Mountain
(1867)
Composed by Modest Mussorgsky (as Modeste Moussorgsky)
Orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski (uncredited)
Played by The Philadelphia Orchestra (as The Philadelphia Orchestra)
Conducted by Leopold Stokowski
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
For Back Then!!!!!!
1 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Why is this film so incredible? If for no other reason, consider it is the year 1940!! Things like: Special effects, synthesized sound which interacted with animated motion, and color enhanced collage authentications, are things that just sort of roll off the end of our tongues today, but, back then, these techniques were very new to us!! Walt Disney is avant garde in so many uses of cartoon perfection!! In 1931, he came out with the first color cartoon. In 1937, the film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was a landmark in animated entertainment..."Fantasia" is absolutely one the best films ever made!! The color, the music, and the correlation between reality and illusionary depictions, culminated a brilliant montage of spectacular amusement for the movie audience!! My favorite segments were: Nutcracker Suite / The Russian Dance, Pastoral Symphony / Beethoven, and last but not least, Sorcerer's Apprentice / With Mickey Mouse. My mother said that I laughed hysterically for three hours in the movie theater at that scene with the multiplying brooms in the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment!! This film is synonymous with Christmas, as synonymous with Christmas as "It's a Wonderful Life" The movie "Fantasia" is considered one of the greatest films ever made, I wholeheartedly agree, in my book, it ranks 12th best movie ever!! "Fantasia" is usually in AFI's list of top 100 films ever made!! Imagery and the succinct use of color graphics are second nature with technical film artists today, back then, however, it was a revolutionary concept which dazzled the moviegoer!!! Walt Disney films are not just "cartoons" they are computerized digital artistry which evoke a rare art form of paramount escapism on the silver screen!! The "Fantasia 2000" movie was excellent too, but merely a rendition of the classic, while the segments were different, there just was not as much originality to them!! As a result, it lost a little panache in the process!! As a Chicagoan, I should like the "Fantasia 2000" more in one area: The music was performed by the Chicago Symphony!! In the original, the music was done by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra!! "Fantasia" is a rare treat that every movie aficionado should witness.. I definitely recommend seeing this movie, preferably around Christmas!!


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