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 <email@example.com>
When Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971, the only featured composer still living in 1940) was contacted about the rights to use "The Rite of Spring," he offered to compose a completely new piece for Walt Disney. This was not taken, and Stravinsky hated Leopold Stokowski's re-orchestration and re-organization of the piece, the original order of the sections was jumbled, and two of them were completely left out. See more »
In the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence, as Mickey walks toward a stone wall his shadow slowly grows larger. Instead, it should grow smaller. See more »
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 ...
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There are no closing credits of any kind. Not even the words "THE END" appear on the screen. See more »
The 60th Anniversary reissue for DVD in 2000 was an attempt to re-create the original 124-minute Roadshow Version, with missing footage from the interstitials (including Deems Taylor's expanded introductions and additional shots of the on-screen orchestra) restored, and the original midway-point title card (which included the RKO Radio Pictures credit), but still containing the edit to the "Pastoral Symphony." Because most of Taylor's original dialogue tracks had not been preserved, it became necessary for Disney to have voice actor Corey Burton dub Taylor's lines (Taylor had passed away 34 years earlier). Beyond these changes, this is the most complete version of the film that now exists. See more »
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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