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Fantasia (1940)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 57,026 users  
Reviews: 161 user | 86 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)

Fantasia (1940) on IMDb 7.8/10

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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:

All the BEAUTY...All the DELIGHT...All the EXCITEMENT of the world's greatest music! 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 major Hollywood film to be released with no written credits appearing onscreen except the intermission title card. See more »

Goofs

The character Chernobog, the demon in the sequence "A Night on Bald Mountain", switches from no nipples on his chest to having nipples numerous times. 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

This is the second Walt Disney feature-length film ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was the first) on which the credit "Walt Disney presents" never appears. It appeared on all the other feature-length films that Disney personally produced. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Care Bears Movie (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6 ('Pastoral') Op. 68
(1808)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played by The Philadelphia Orchestra (as The Philadelphia Orchestra)
Conducted by Leopold Stokowski
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic
23 July 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

There cannot be one verdict on "Fantasia". There must be eight: one for each of the seven segments, and an eighth for the film as a whole - for, varied though the seven segments are, they undeniably belong together. And, alas, space does not permit me to lay out all eight verdicts. I shall have to confine myself to details representative of the whole. At any rate, I shall try.

We learn the modus operandi of "Fantasia", the linking theme, in the second segment - an abridged version of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" suite. (Missing are the overture and the march.) Tchaikovsky's ballet involves anthropomorphising inanimate things, plus the odd tiny animal. So does Disney's "Nutcracker". But Disney has thrown out the particular details. The Chinese Dance is danced by mushrooms (who look, but are not, Chinese); the Arabian Dance by "Arabian" goldfish; the Russian dance by "Russian" thistles and orchids. Sometimes it goes further: "Waltz of the Flowers" shows two entire changes of seasons, with leaves, fairies, seed pods, seeds, snowflakes - everything but flowers. But in ignoring the letter of the instructions Disney is perfectly true to the spirit. Indeed he is more true to the spirit than the original ballet - for, let's face it: stage ballet is a degenerate and over-formalised art, which makes some of the world's most exciting music dull as wallpaper. Disney's amazing images express Tchaikovsky's sense of motion more than earthbound dancers ever could. This, one feels, is the kind of thing ballet music was TRULY designed for. The same goes to a lesser extent for the other two pieces of ballet music on the program.

This basic device - ignoring explicit instructions, but remaining true to the spirit - is carried through into every segment. (Some segments are better than others, but none can be called a failure.) Dukas's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" has been turned into a Mickey Mouse cartoon - but it's the best Mickey Mouse cartoon ever made; and we realise that the story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice is really the archetype that all of the best Mickey Mouse cartoons had been reaching towards, all along. The Pastoral Symphony adheres to Beethoven's program but moves everything from the woods of Central Europe to a dreamland from classical mythology. (The second movement - the section with the courting centaurs - is a failure. For once the spirit as well as the letter of Beethoven is ignored. Unfortunately some critics cannot see beyond this movement to the superb interpretations that flank it on either side.)

I doubt that so much genuine creative work has gone into a film, before or since - even if you don't count the contributions made by the composers. What's my favourite film? I really don't know. But if you tell me that I must sit in a large dark cinema for two hours; and ask me what I would like to occupy my eyes and ears over those two hours, I would answer, without hesitation, Fantasia.


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