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 <email@example.com>
Before Leopold Stokowski agreed to conduct the music for the film, Arturo Toscanini was considered as conductor. In the 1990s book "Fantasia", John Culhane describes how he was told that members of the Disney staff were busy listening to a 78-RPM album of Toscanini conducting 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', but quickly hid it when they heard that Stokowski was actually on his way to the studio. See more »
In the full-length introduction to the "Nutcracker Suite", heard only in the roadshow version of "Fantasia", Deems Taylor states that this music is from a longer ballet called "The Nutcracker", which "nobody performs it anymore". The full-length "Nutcracker" had not been performed in the U.S. yet in 1940, but in both Russia and England it had been staged in 1934, and had already been staged in Russia twice before that, in 1892 and 1919. However, although the "Nutcracker Suite" was immensely popular even in 1940, the full-length ballet was still a long way off from becoming the annual phenomenon it now is in the United States. 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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