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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The "Pastoral Symphony" (1808) is considered a famous example of pictorial music, music telling a story and containing specific images to illustrate it. It is often considered among the best examples of the genre. It is also, however, one of Ludwig van Beethoven's rare experiments of this nature. While pictorial music was used in many works of his era and clearly had an audience, critics and intellectuals tended to dismiss it as lacking in seriousness, trivial in nature, ridiculous in its imitation of animal sounds, and (in the German-speaking world) too French in origin. Beethoven tended to avoid the genre in fear of his critical reputation suffering. See more »
The Pastoral sequence has Iris sweeping across the sky after the storm, leaving a rainbow in her wake. The colors of the rainbow are reversed: Red should be at the top and violet at the bottom. See more »
How do you do? Uh, 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 »
The roadshow cut of the film features no credits or title music, just the art deco title card placed at the intermission. The general release cut (the one shown most often) places the title card at the beginning, as on most films. See more »
This unusual and very creative classic of animation combines a very interesting idea with quite a bit of imagination, plus visual effects that still hold up quite well. All but a couple of the sequences are quite enjoyable, and some especially so. Even the segments that don't work as well are usually at least interesting, since you can at least appreciate what they were trying to accomplish.
You don't really have to be all that familiar with the specific pieces of music for it to be worthwhile, since in several cases they chose to match the music with material that is rather different in nature from any original context that it may have had. And in any case, the animated sequences are intended to provide the context, in terms of the movie.
No doubt, everyone will have his or her own favorite segments, based on the music itself and on the choice of accompanying visual material. The "Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence, with Mickey Mouse, is certainly one of the most memorable. The adaptation of "The Rite of Spring" is quite imaginative in using an entirely different setting for the music. "Night on Bald Mountain" has striking and sometimes bizarre visuals.
Many of the classic Disney features still hold up well as family entertainment, but "Fantasia" is unique for its combination of imaginative concept and visual creativity. Not every minute of it works, but that's the price of being willing to experiment. It's an enjoyable and satisfying feature that well deserves to be remembered.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?