Walt Disney discusses the history of animation.
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Episode credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
The Philadelphia Orchestra ...
Themselves (archive footage)
...
Himelf (conductor in 'Fantasia') (archive footage)
Oliver Wallace ...
Himself
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Storyline

This episode takes a look at the history of animation and animation techniques throughout the ages. Especially profiled are many animation pioneers, including J. Stuart Blackton, Windsor McCay, J.R. Bray, Max Fleischer and, of course, Walt Disney. Included is nearly the entire "Nutcracker Suite" segment from "Fantasia". Written by Anonymous

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November 1955 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Features The Tantalizing Fly (1919) See more »

Soundtracks

The Nutcracker Suite
(excerpts)
from the ballet "The Nutcracker"
as seen and heard in Walt Disney's "Fantasia"
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played by the Philadelphia Orchestra
conducted by Leopold Stokowski
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Some great stuff in the first half, but title oversells it
16 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The first half of this is absolutely fascinating, starting with pre- film animation sequences, including an absolutely brilliant one on the beach that is an animated movie in every way except the technology involved.

When it moves into silent film, there is also a wonderful Fleischer film with an old-school organist showing how it was done back then.

But once Disney films get into the picture, the history of the animated drawing is suddenly a partial history of Disney animation. Cautious, I assume, about claiming too much, they don't describe Steamboat Willie as the first real sound cartoon but just Disney's first, and then do the same thing with Snow White, describing it as "their" first feature. Both are certainly important milestones, but it's an odd transition from the history of animation in general to a very specific Disney history (never a word about Warner Bros.).

Also, there is only a little of Steamboat Willie and none of Snow White shown. Instead, there's the full Skeleton Dance short, which has less historical significance than either (although it is part of the technological history). I also personally thought it was the dullest animation shown.

The final piece is a scene from Fantasia. Since this was shown on TV before the days of VCRs, it was probably wonderful at the time to see this, but now it's a beautiful colored scene shown in black-and- white, and it's rather disappointing.

For animation fans, the first half of this is required viewing; I just wish the second half wasn't such a let down.


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