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>
Early story treatments for the "Rite of Spring" extended the time line to the evolutionary appearance of humans and the discovery of fire. However, creationists threatened to cause trouble for the film if that was included. That, along with other factors, resulted in the segment being cut to what is shown in the film. 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 ...
See more »
The roadshow cut shows the title card at the intermission rather than the beginning, as on most prints. See more »
In January 1941, Disney's distributor RKO Radio Pictures (which had initially backed out of Fantasia), took over the roadshow bookings. This version is identical to the one Disney had been distributing in months prior, except:
it features a monophonic soundtrack in place of the four-track "Fantasound" soundtrack
The RKO distribution tag is added to the front of the film.
The film's single title card (played over the intermission) now also features the RKO logo.
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.
28 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this