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This very hard-to-find mix of animation, music and comedy is a real treat
for those who can appreciate it. I recorded it from TV some years ago, and
it's still one of the most valuable articles in my archive. Very clever use
of in-between b/w passages, great classical music and animations of totally
different styles, concepts and attitudes, but each so well-blended with the
music and the whole picture that you hardly get distracted.
I don't agree with the comparisons to Fantasia, this is something different. It deals with things (and uses imagery) that a Disney product would never dare, let alone in the days Fantasia was made.
If you have the slightest admiration for art, and can stand movies without the standard hollywood cliches, grab this one (though that won't be easy) and you'll not be sorry. 10 / 10
Many many years ago, I saw this film and I was absolutely transfixed. This film cannot helped BUT be compared to Fantasia due to the fact that they mention this themselves. But what sets this film apart is its absolutely brilliant interpretations, in animated form, of these wonderful classical pieces that don't get as much attention as the ones Fantasia made popular amongst the general public. And there is one classical piece, above all, that was so brilliantly interpreted that it STILL stands out as one of the most moving pieces ever to be put on screen and that is the "Valse Triste" segment set to the music of Sibelius. Don't get me wrong, Disney's "clean" animation of Fantasia is a wonderful film, but none of its segment moved me as much as Valse Triste. And I think it's free form, scrubby, its understated color use and none heavy handed animation fits BRILLIANTLY here. You don't feel you are watching an animation, you feel as you are watching a painter, with each stroke, visualize the musical note of this wonderful classical piece. You get to see the abandon cat go from fantasy, reality, fantasy, that you wish you could adopt the poor cartoon kitty. If you are a teacher of music, especially classical, get this film and show it to your students, if they are not moved, then nothing will move them. This is the type of stuff that stays with you for YEARS and I guarantee you will be the better for it.
If you are feeling at all depressed or bored with psychological thrillers,
this is just the film to brighten up your dark moments. It's not hilarious,
it won't have you rolling about in hysterical laughter, but it will put a
smile on your face and you may even manage a chortle or two. It's pure
fantasy, the stuff that dreams are made of....Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel,
Sibelius whose music forms the basis of this film would probably be amused
at how their music has been interpreted.
While the black and white scenes of the compere, the conductor, the orchestra and the cartoonist are amusing enough, they seem a bit forced in their attempt at humour (the cartoonist is no Charlie Chaplin) and the transition from black and white to colour is never very smooth. Even the sound level is not constant.
Wherever did they get the old ladies to represent the orchestra? They looked as if they stepped straight out of a Fellini film. In a couple of farcical scenes one old girl while blowing a fanfare on her trumpet ran out of breath and fell over backwards. Another was knocked off the stage when she was struck by a cork propelled from an exploding bottle of champagne.
While the film lacks the technical quality of Disney's Fantasia, it still has some amusing and original ideas. To the sound of Ravel's Bolero, we see some sludge at the bottom of a bottle give way to primitive life and then follows in rapid succession the origin of the various species of life on earth. Even Darwin would have been fascinated by this interpretation of his theory of evolution.
Allegro Non Troppo is far more sexual than any of Disney's work. The faun is depicted as a lecherous old man, an interpretation never seen before in any of the great ballets. There are heart-tugging moments too, particularly to the beautiful music of Sibelius, when we see a starved cat searching for food, warmth and company amongst the ruins of a home.
When one ponders over the number of hours the artists worked on this film, one can only admire their competence and artistry. See it at your first opportunity.
Surely not all of you know the Italian version of Coca Cola... it is called Chinotto, it has better (healthier) ingredients, got more flavour, a bitter-sweet taste, less sparkling effects... in a few words it is pretty good. (Un-)fortunately it cannot challenge the American giant, but for those who know... In a very similar way Allegro Non Troppo stands compared to Fantasia. Fantastic and funny animations, clever and never vulgar, made without a big budget, but with lot of thinking and skills, it creates something quite different from its original model. Obviously the music choice is also very good and both animations and movie (it is not only animation) work fantastically well with the musical selection...You may like it or not, but it surely is a very good and enjoyable effort. Try it once, and you might change your (mass-production) habits...
"Allegro non troppo" is the Italian answer to Disney's
The movie is a parody of the well-known American counterpart,
featuring a lousy orchestra (filmed in black and white), a
animator (the Italian comedian Maurizio Nichetti) and an
director. The live action part is filled with humor in the tradition of
silent-movie comedy, relying mostly on visual gags
and on the exceptional mimic of Nichetti. It is in stark contrast with
Disney's pedantic and boring intermissions.
But it's the animation that makes this movie a masterpiece.
Every piece is animated with a different style, showing
best work of Italian animators.
Guido Manuli interprets Debussy's Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun, presenting us the sad story of an ageing satyr that desperately tries to attract some nymphs. The tragi-comic character is a perfect match for the music's mood.
Ravel's Bolero is used for a piece on the origin of life on earth. In this stunning and imaginative sequence, life is born from a Coke bottle! Strange creatures crawl, swim, fly and metamorphose in dinosaurs, finally succumbing to the meanest creature of them all: man. The story of evolution from lowest forms to complex ones is seen as a violent tale of survival, as obsessive as Ravel music. The visuals are superb, with expressionistic colors and weird creature design reminiscent of Bosch.
Another powerful metaphor is the Slavonic dance by Dvorak, a satire of the sheep mentality of modern masses. The cartoony style is appropriate for the fast paced and goofy music.
One of the best pieces is probably the incredibly sad Valtzer Triste, about a kitty remembering his better days. This is technically the most impressive piece, with a mix of techniques used at the best to tell this tale through the cat's wide and moving eyes. Again, the music is powerfully brought to life, with such a precise timing and great emotional impact that you won't be able to hear this Vatzer without recalling the image of the poor animal.
On a brighter note is the Concerto in C Minor by Vivaldi, starring a cute bee that has to survive two lovers rolling over her lawn. There is a subtle message here, when we see the supposedly romantic love play of the couple transformed in a deadly menace... is love not so innocent after all?
Finally, Stravinsky's Firebird is the soundtrack for another satirical piece about an ideal world where Adam and Eve resist the snake temptation, and the snake himself has to suffer all the consequences of the original sin.
Allegro non troppo is to Fantasia what Van Gogh is to Wyland. Ten times more imaginative and mature, it manages to be technically as impressive as Disney's masterpiece. There is more "fantasia" in each of the single pieces of this movie than in all Fantasia. Bozzetto shows how imagination can achieve results that no amount of money can buy. This is animation at its best.
If you liked Fantasia, you'll love this movie.
Allegro non troppo is one of my all time favorite movies. I am somewhat
unique in that I saw this movie before Fantasia. Frankly, once I saw
Fantasia, I was sadly disappointed. The spoof was more intelligent, better
crafted, and more thought provoking. I never cry at movies - except for
Valtzer Trieste (sad waltz) section of this movie. I know if I saw it
again, I would well up. Hey, I even liked the gorilla
I first saw Allegro non Troppo around 1985 in a VHS copy. I truly loved the
film, since it was so different from standard Disney fare. Even the B&W
interludes seemed wacky and added to the overall viewing
Specially great clips were the Sibelius Valse Triste and the Firebird Suite.
Well, I recently bought the DVD version from this movie (after joining a list in Amazon, so they would edit a DVD version of the film) and I must say that this version is GREAT. Not only is the original film complete and in an excellent version, but there's also 10 additional Bruno Bozzetto shorts plus a documentary about him and his filmmaking.
So I really got a wonderful deal and would truly reccommend this DVD to all animation fans.
The live-action scenes are kitschy, yes, but still very good. I prefer it to Fantasia, if you must know the truth. I never ever ever need to hear the overplayed 'Bolero' again, but even my exhausted ears still enjoy the sight of evolution from a Coke bottle. The Sibelius still brings tears to my eyes. Make sure you find the subtitled version, as the dubbed one is pretty atrocious.
A satire of Fantasia, this is one of the great animated films. The humor
and wry comedy are balanced by the music and animation. If you like
classical music and animation, you cannot miss this one.
Why has this film not been released on DVD?! This is a film to appreciate over and over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all a warning: my review will be VERY partial... Indeed, I already saw this movie several times, even when it was released (I was a child then). But lately in my favourite movie theatre in the frame of a series about animation I had the occasion to see it again just a couple of weeks after I saw for the first time Fantasia... Well, you already guessed which I preferred. Now actually I could appreciate the Fantasia-spoof part of Bozzetto's operation: when you see Debussy's Prelude a l'Apres-Midi d'un Faune you cannot help thinking for comparison to Beethoven's Sixth in Fantasia, where the Arcadian kitsch of Disney is turned into a funny-melancholic erotic fantasy. And what about my all-time favourite, Ravel's Bolero where a Boschian theory of monsters is generated by the rest of a Coke bottle and migrates toward the ruins of civilisation only to be at the end overwhelmed by man (which turns out to be an ape)? The comparison with the "6 millions years ago's documentary" (Disney's own words) of Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps is striking. But Allegro Non Troppo is not only a Fantasia's spoof. The Dvorak's and Sibelius' segments are two stand-outs, Vivaldi's is light-hearted and Stravinky's is very funny. And the variety of styles and tones, from the grotesque to the moving, from impressionistic to almost cartoonistic is stunning to everyone who loves animation. And for one who has always loved Bozzetto's work the series of finals reminding him of other shorts like Opera or Ego tears him always to laughters... And let me also say something in favour of the sure weaker live-action's scenes.Sure, they are too forced, Disney's spoof is here too explicit, but at least this atmosphere of "joke among friends" captures also the Bozzetto's fan... And one can see how Nichetti is really building his character, a cartoon-like little man in struggle with the external world, with a mimic reminiscent of Keaton or Tati... Well, I don't know if I transferred my enthusiasm: I would like to say more, but I already used so much space...
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