With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
In this update of Disney's masterpiece film mixture of animation and music, new interpretations of great works of music are presented. It begins with an abstract battle of light and darkness set to the music of Beethoveen's Fifth Symphony. Then we see the adventures of a Humpback Whale calf and his pod set to "The Pines of Rome." Next is the humourous story of several lives in 1930's New York City, scored with "Rhapsody in Blue." Following is a musical telling of the fairy tale, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. Then a goofy Flamingo causes havoc in his flock with his yo-yo to the tune of the finale of "Carnival of the Animals." This is followed by the classic sequence from the original film, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" starring Mickey Mouse and followed by "Pomp and Circumstance" starring Donald Duck as a harried assistant to Noah on his Ark. Finally, we see the awesome tale of the life, death and renewal of a forest in a sequence ... Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Although I was aware of the original plan to renew the Fantasia concept every so often, and that it was visualised as an ongoing project, I felt that going back after 60 years was too much, and that the original classic should be left alone. However, my initial scepticism was dispelled within seconds of the opening sequence. What we have here is a lush, vibrant fusion of animation and music, each fully complimenting the other to perfection. It's hard to pick a favorite sequence, but if really pressed, for personal taste alone, it would be the awesome sequence with the whales. Mickey's Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence is the only carry over from the original, and a worthy match for it in the 2000 lineup is the Donald "Noah".
The only criticism I have of the film is the bridging sequences, featuring Steve Martin, Penn & Teller, Bette Midler and others. I would have preferred that they stuck to one presenter, preferably James Earl Jones or Angela Landsbury. They seemed to take the material and the project far more seriously than Martin and Penn & Teller who's humor detracted from the dignity of the movie as a whole.
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