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Fantasia (1940)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 61,139 users  
Reviews: 167 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)

Fantasia (1940) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

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

The ultimate in sight and sound 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:

$76,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(1947-1955) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

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 »

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

The roadshow cut shows the title card at the intermission rather than the beginning, as on most prints. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Complete Citizen Kane (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
(1897)
Composed by Paul Dukas
Partly re-orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski (uncredited)
Played by an unnamed orchestra (offscreen) and onscreen by The Philadelphia Orchestra (as The Philadelphia Orchestra) conducted by Leopold Stokowski
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Best Animated Film Ever
17 November 1999 | by (PA) – See all my reviews

This without a doubt the greatest animated film in history. While highly acclaimed and well-known today, it was not terribly popular when it was first released. The idea of "Fantasia" is to take great pieces of music and draw animated sequences that match them. In doing so, it reverses the purpose of a movie's score; the movie serves and matches the music, not the other way around. This set up also means that there is no typical formula plot that is present in the vast majority of movies. In the first piece, the animation is vague and abstract, but in later ones it is of definite actions, objects, and stories. The two most famous(and my favorite) parts are probably "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Rite of Spring". "Fantasia" is not only the best animated film ever made, but one of the greatest films period.


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