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>
One of at least three films to feature J. S. Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor, the others being 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Rollerball (1975). See more »
In the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence, as Mickey Mouse
waves his hands in front of him to make the broom come to life, his sleeves spill over his hands. It then cuts to his shadow on the wall, where his hands are fully exposed. 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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Originally, the production credits were on a booklet distributed at the roadshow showings. They were finally put on screen for the 50th anniversary re-release. See more »
Walt Disney had originally intended to incorporate a segment set to Debussy's "Claire de Lune" into the original version of the Film. This scene was fully scored, recorded, and the clean-up animation finished when it was deleted from the already excessive lengthy film. "Clair De Lune" was completed as a standalone short (and for possible insertion as a new segment for insertion into a future version of the film) in 1942, but it was never released. The footage for this segment was re-scored and re-edited as the "Blue Bayou" sequence in Make Mine Music. The complete version of "Clair de Lune" was though to have been lost until 1992, when a complete nitrate workprint of the entire sequence was located. "Clair de Lune" was finally completed and exhibited in 1996, 44 years after it had been created. This version features a remix of the original Fantasound tracks and altered live-action orchestra footage from the regular version of Fantasia, to fill in for the half-minute of missing Leopold Stokowski/Philadelphia Orchestra footage that precedes the animated part of this segment. The 1996 version of "Clair de Lune" is available in the Fantasia Anthology DVD box set. 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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