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Fantasia (1940)

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A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors:

James Algar (uncredited), Samuel Armstrong (uncredited) | 10 more credits »

Writers:

Joe Grant (story direction), Dick Huemer (story direction) | 23 more credits »
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4,253 ( 1,118)
8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leopold Stokowski ... Himself - Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Deems Taylor 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:

Greatest Color and Music Feature Ever Produced! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1941 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bach to Stravinsky and Bach See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,280,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$980,798, 10 February 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$76,408,097
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2000 roadshow restoration) | (original 1940 roadshow release) | (1942 cut) | (VHS release) | (1946 cut)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound System) (as Fantasound)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beside's Ludwig van Beethoven's own love of nature and some musical influences by previous works, the loving depiction of nature in the "Pastoral Symphony" (1808) can be traced back to a popular book of the time. The religious book "Reflections on the Works of God in Nature" (1785) by Christoph Christian Sturm (1740-86) had a strong nature theme. The book was at once a detailed study of nature containing up to date references to scientific studies of it, a nature-loving paean to the beauties of the physical world, and a theological book connecting every aspect of nature and the natural world to the wisdom and kindness of God. It was one of the of the most popular works of the late 18th century and Beethoven owned a copy. His copy of the work survives and includes his detailed annotations on the content, indicating he studied it for years. See more »

Goofs

During the "Pastoral" segment, when the first centaur and centaurette walk away together arm-in-arm, a bush in the lower right fails to track properly, and winds up going with the pair. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Deems Taylor: How do you do? Uh, 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 of the film features no credits or title music, just the Art Deco title card placed at the intermission. The general release cut (the one shown most often) places the title card at the beginning, as on most films. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2015, the film was re-released in theaters for the 75th Anniversary. This showing of the film had an introduction by the current conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra Yannick Nézet-Séguin that played before the film began. The film itself had a new title card at the beginning of the film, the intermission was cut out completely, and the original title card was placed at the very end. It's highly doubtful that this version will get a home video release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cuphead (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski (uncredited)
Played by The Philadelphia Orchestra
Conducted by Leopold Stokowski
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Unusual & Very Creative
5 November 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This unusual and very creative classic of animation combines a very interesting idea with quite a bit of imagination, plus visual effects that still hold up quite well. All but a couple of the sequences are quite enjoyable, and some especially so. Even the segments that don't work as well are usually at least interesting, since you can at least appreciate what they were trying to accomplish.

You don't really have to be all that familiar with the specific pieces of music for it to be worthwhile, since in several cases they chose to match the music with material that is rather different in nature from any original context that it may have had. And in any case, the animated sequences are intended to provide the context, in terms of the movie.

No doubt, everyone will have his or her own favorite segments, based on the music itself and on the choice of accompanying visual material. The "Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence, with Mickey Mouse, is certainly one of the most memorable. The adaptation of "The Rite of Spring" is quite imaginative in using an entirely different setting for the music. "Night on Bald Mountain" has striking and sometimes bizarre visuals.

Many of the classic Disney features still hold up well as family entertainment, but "Fantasia" is unique for its combination of imaginative concept and visual creativity. Not every minute of it works, but that's the price of being willing to experiment. It's an enjoyable and satisfying feature that well deserves to be remembered.


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