Disney: Fantasia 2000

Fantasia 2000 is a 1999 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 38th film in the Disney Animated Canon and the sequel to the 1940 film Fantasia. As with its predecessor the film consists of animated segments set to pieces of classical music, with The Sorcerer's Apprentice being the only segment that is featured in both films. The soundtrack was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with conductor James Levine. A group of celebrities introduce each segment in live-action scenes including Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Bette Midler, Penn & Teller, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, and Angela Lansbury.

Production began in 1990, and the film featured computer generated imagery, as well as hand-drawn backgrounds in certain sequences. Peter Schickele worked with Levine on the musical arrangement of each musical piece.

Fantasia 2000 premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 17, 1999 as part of a five-city concert tour, with performances in London, Paris, Tokyo, and Pasadena, California. An exclusive release in IMAX theaters followed from January 1 to April 30, 2000, becoming the first animated feature-length film issued in the format. Fantasia 2000 was opened wide in the United States on June 16, 2000.

The sequences in this one include:
  • Symphony No. 5, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Like Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, this is an "abstract" sequence, featuring butterfly-like triangles flitting about.
  • Pines of Rome, composed by Ottorino Respighi. This one features a family of humpback whales that fly (yes, fly). note 
  • Rhapsody in Blue, composed by George Gershwin. In this sequence, several city people in 1930s New York go about their lives, set to the lively jazz-inspired music of Gershwin with visuals inspired by the drawings of Al Hirschfeld.note 
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major-I, composed by Dmitri Shostakovich. Basically, this one is Hans Christian Andersen's The Steadfast Tin Soldier set to music.note 
  • The Carnival of the Animals, Finale composed by Camille Saint-SaŽns. This one centers on a flamingo playing with a yo-yo, much to the disapproval of his peers.note 
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice, back by popular demand.note 
  • Pomp and Circumstance, composed by Edward Elgar. This scene is based on the story of Noah's Ark, featuring Donald Duck as Noah's assistant.note 
  • Firebird Suite, composed by Igor Stravinsky. A sprite brings spring to a forest, only to accidentally awaken the destructive Firebird.note 

Tropes

  • Adult Fear: In "Rhapsody in Blue", the little girl pulls away from her nanny and runs into a busy street.
  • Animated Actors: In one of the Blu-Ray commentaries of Fantasia 2000, Mickey Mouse commentates with Roy Disney on Sorcerer's Apprentice; apparently it took over forty takes to dance down the stairs and they had to borrow brooms from Warner Bros. in addition to bringing in the whole union. During Pomp and Circumstance, Donald Duck comes in near the end asking where the song they promised him for working with all those animals is, which results in the commentary room flooding. "Does anyone remember where we parked the ark?"
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The toys in The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: The baby whale in the "Pines of Rome" sequence. D'awwww.
  • Badass: The Firebird as well, mostly because it's a phoenix made of lava.
  • Biblical Times: "Pomp and Circumstance" is a retelling of the Noah's Ark story.
  • Break the Cutie: The sprite. She gets better, though.
  • Brick Joke: Overlaps with The Stinger, as after the credits, Steve Martin is still waiting for the camera to come back to him.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Symphony No. 5 is the most obvious offender, but the Pines of Rome has several long shots that are incongruous to the close-ups.
    • Granted, the Pines of Rome animatics actually were started several years before the film was released.
  • Continuity Nod: Besides the actual discussion on the first film, 2000 begins with a speech on the "types of music" that is taken straight from the first film.
    • The ending of the first film, with its Mood Whiplash, Dark Is Evil/Light Is Good structure set up between Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria, is mirrored in the ending for 2000, where the horror and evil of the Firebird is contrasted within one song by the sprite and her glorious restoration of spring.
  • Corrupt Cop: A brief but rather funny example in "Rhapsody in Blue". Jobless Joe picks up an apple that seems to have fallen from a fruit stand, and heavily considers eating it himself (being broke and starving), but ultimately chooses to leave it. Just as he's about to put it back, a cop shows up and shouts at him for stealing...and then proceeds to eat the apple himself once Jobless Joe is gone.
  • Creator Cameo: Eric Goldberg was one of the four main artistic directors on 2000 and animated the flamingos and Rhapsody in Blue. That's him drawing at the light table, and handing James Earl Jones the sheet of paper.
    • A posthumous, animated creator cameo is done with George Gershwin in the "Rhapsody in Blue" segment. Gershwin is the man playing the piano, upstairs from the little girl's piano lesson.
  • Disney Death: One of the little butterfly...things in the "5th Symphony" video has its wing broken while trying to protect its baby from a swarm of evil bat...things, and soon afterward gets swarmed, leading us to assume it died. In a blink-and-you-miss-it moment at the end, however, it turns out to be alive.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Steadfast Tin Soldier when the Jack-in-the-Box falls into the fire.
  • Disneyfication: The adaptation of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, though that was mostly from the original ending not matching the music. Check out the storyboard reel on the DVD for that.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During the Firebird Suite, a noble-looking stag watches as his once-peaceful forest home burns to the ground.
  • Easter Egg: If you've got time to kill, watch the Rhapsody in Blue sequence with your finger on the pause button, to see all the names hidden in the background elements. It's a Shout-Out to Al Hirschfeld, who hid the name of his daughter Nina in his drawings from time to time.
  • Explosive Breeder: The horde of baby bunnies exiting the Ark.
  • Eye Awaken: The Firebird.
  • The Faceless:
  • Fertile Feet: The Spring Sprite in Firebird. More like fertile fingertips. And tears.
  • Furry Confusion: Lampshaded most brilliantly in Pomp and Circumstance, when Donald does a double take at a pair of realistically-drawn ducks boarding the Ark. (This is the current page image for that trope.)
  • The Great Depression: The implied setting for "Rhapsody in Blue", or around that era at the least.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: The Jack-in-the-Box in "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" sequence has one.
  • Henpecked Husband: John, the fourth main character in Rhapsody in Blue.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In Rhapsody in Blue, since every taxi passes right by, Duke grabs a kid's scooter and immediately charges off on it, though at least he had the decency to give him some money.
  • Hot Wings: The Firebird.
  • Imagine Spot: The skating rink scene in "Rhapsody in Blue", where all the characters imagine what their fantasies would be.
  • Jump Scare: The chord when the Firebird first opens its eyes.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Rachel (the little girl) in "Rhapsody in Blue." Unlike most Lonely Rich Kids, though, what she longs for is not friends her own age, but to spend quality time with her hard-working parents.
  • The Marvelous Elk: In the Firebird Suite, the being that wakes the nature spirit, and encourages her.
  • Missed Him by That Much: In "Pomp and Circumstance", Donald goes out looking for Daisy just as she comes in looking for him, and they subsequently spend the entire voyage of the Ark narrowly missing each other and each believing the other has drowned.
  • Murder by Cremation: At the end of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" segment of Fantasia 2000, the evil Jack-in-the-Box is flung into a fire while attempting to kill the titular tin soldier. To be fair, all the tin soldier had to do was put up his staff when the Jack-in-the-Box was flying at him with his sword; Jack's own momentum carried him the rest of the way. (Though it's pretty clear that's what the soldier was going for).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • To past Disney films and characters, especially "Pomp And Circumstance". The snake that's about to eat the mice towards the end of "Pomp and Circumstance" looks an awful lot like Kaa from The Jungle Book.
    • And the elephants are Winifred and Hathi!
    • The frilled lizards.
    • The shot over the bird's back revealing the ark mirrors the similar shot in The Lion King of Zazu revealing Pride Rock.
    • Speaking of The Lion King, those two lions leading the column of animals out of the ark look awfully familiar...
  • Nature Spirit: The sprite in Firebird Suite.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The sprite in the Firebird Suite accidentally awakens the titular firebird, which almost kills her and the forest.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Amongst many "what on earth were they smoking?" moments, the animation for Pines of Rome is about as far from pines or Rome as it's possible to get. Violinist Itzhak Perlman lampshades this in his introduction to the sequence.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: The nature spirit in Firebird brings the springtime.
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Duke, the construction worker in the "Rhapsody in Blue" sequence, eventually quits his job, during The Great Depression no less, to pursue his dream of being a jazz drummer.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "Firebird" is based on the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens (but with more lava than a pyroclastic flow). It also includes the hollowed out volcano post-eruption and could possibly allude to the incredibly fast regrowth of the forest decimated by the Mount St. Helens eruption (though not as fast as the animation, or course.)
  • Shout-Out: "Firebird" is awfully similar to Studio Ghibli's green aesops.
    • The DVD commentary by the animators of "Firebird" did acknowledge Miyazaki as a source of inspiration.
    • The appearance of the volcano at the end of "Firebird" is based on Mt. St. Helens.
    • The whole concept of Donald and Daisy narrowly missing one another in "Pomp and Circumstance" was partially inspired by Sleepless In Seattle.
    • The scene in "Pomp and Circumstance" when the multitude of bunnies exit the ark is a nod to the Silly Symphony "Noah's Ark".
    • Much of the text that makes its way into the animated sequences are shoutouts to the creators. In the "Steadfast Tin Soldier" sequence, "Ernst's Fish" is a reference to producer Don Ernst.
    • Rhapsody in Blue for a 12 minute number, is nearly Reference Overdosed. Sequence director Eric Goldberg's name pops up very often, noticeably on the plaque for the "Goldberg Hotel". The "Ninas" that Al Hirschfeld (the artist whose style inspired the look for the number) added in his drawings are present in the animation as well. Hirschfeld, his daughter Nina, his wife Susan, and writer Brooks Atkinson are among some of the people rushing out of the Goldberg Hotel. The original song's composer, George Gershwin, shows up in the sequence as himself, playing the piano one floor above Rachel during her piano lesson.
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: The end of Pines of Rome is a literal example.
  • Space Whale: Pines of Rome.
  • Spiritual Successor: It's notable, considering Disney's track record for sequels, that 2000 truly has the same tone and feeling to it as the original 1940 Fantasia.
    • Many of the shorts serve as Spiritual Successors to shorts from the original.
  • Standard Snippet: Most of the music, although Rhapsody in Blue is stuck in this state, thanks to United Airlines commercials.
  • Swiss Army Tears: The Spring Sprite sheds some.
  • Trope 2000: Justified somewhat as it was released in the year 2000. At 12:00 midnight on the first day of the year, no less.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: James Earl Jones asks something similar in Fantasia/2000 after animator Eric Goldberg hands him a synopsis of the "Carnival of the Animals" segment.
  • World-Healing Wave: The nature spirit in the Firebird suite gives a glorious example of this.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The firebird in the Firebird suite.
  • You Dirty Rat: The Steadfast Tin Soldier is menaced by frightening rats with glowing red eyes.
  • You Shall Not Pass: One of the triangle-butterfly-things pulls this in "Symphony No. 5", fighting off some of the evil bat-things and getting injured so its smaller friend can escape.