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
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Bela Lugosi served as a live-action model for Chernabog, the demon named after the god of evil in Slavonic mythology in "Night on Bald Mountain". Lugosi spent several days at the Disney studios, where he was filmed doing evil, demon-like poses for the animators to use as a reference. However, Bill Tytla, the animator in charge of Chernobog, was dissatisfied with Lugosi's performance, and had sequence director Wilfred Jackson pose for the cameras. Thus it was Jackson, not Lugosi, who appeared on-screen as Chernobog. Bill Tytla supervised the animation of both him and the sorcerer in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", whose name Yen Sid (Disney spelled backwards) was originally going to be used for Chernabog. The animators modeled sorcerer after Nigel De Brulier but secretly added in some elements of their boss, Walt Disney. The raised eyebrow was regarded as a dead giveaway. See more »
When introducing the "Pastoral" sequence, Deems Taylor mixes Greek and Roman names of deities: Bacchus, Vulcan and Diana are Roman; Zeus, Iris and Morpheus are Greek. Apollo is the only one whose Greek and Roman equivalents have the same name. See more »
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 ...
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The "Fantasia" title card for all releases prior to 1990 (including the original roadshow version) was slightly different from the one seen in the 1990 re-release and in the videocassette version. In the original title card, the letters spelling out the word "Fantasia" are of a slightly different shade of color, as is the blue background, and the title card reads "In Technicolor", just below the word "Fantasia". There is also an RKO logo at the bottom. In the 1990 version, there is no RKO logo, and below the title it says "Color By Technicolor". See more »
I've recently bought the Silly Symphonies DVD. My daughter Sarah and I have watched one cartoon every day, culminating in Fantasia. We didn't watch it all at once, but spread it over the course of a week (I tend to agree with other comments - it's too much for kids in one viewing). She sat on my lap and loved every minute of it, even 'Night on Bald Mountain'. I must admit I hadn't watched it for years and forgot about this section, but she wasn't scared by it. This is surprising when you consider the spider in 'Mother Goose Melodies' frightened her!
In my opinion Fantasia is the ultimate Silly Symphony. It's obvious all the groundwork for the film came from them, which is why it's so good - the artists had ten years to hone and perfect their skills while Walt Disney had the vision to realise it. I wonder if he had thought of it a decade earlier and waited until the right moment to create it...? It's a real shame he never lived to see its success because he deserved to.
It's hard to find the right words to surmise this film; I suppose I could break each section down and give my opinion as others have done, but as a whole - well, it's got good bits and bad bits; happy and sad bits, it's scary and funny and gloomy and sunny. It's spirited, colourful, sparkling, animated... but let's not get carried away here. It's only a film and some bits of it are quite boring.
If you randomly wound through it you could find yourself watching any one of the above, and this to me sums it up - it's unique. What other film can you say that about?
Fantasia is a light that will shine for generations to come. 9/10.
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