Disney: Fantasia

aka: Fantasia 2000

Fantasia will amazia!

Fantasia is a 1940 animated film from Walt Disney and the third entry in the Disney Animated Canon. It's a surreal, yet classic blend of animation and Classical Music, often considered to have been ahead of its time back in the day. Another way to describe it as is Silly Symphonies: The Movie.

The film consists of animated sequences synchronized to classic pieces of music. They are as follows:

A sequel was made in 1999: Fantasia 2000.note  Unlike most Disney sequels, this one was actually in accordance with Walt Disney's intent; the original idea was to update the film every year, animating one or two new songs every time and rotating older ones out of the print to make room for the fresh material. In addition, the prestige of being in a Fantasia film meant that Disney had no trouble lining up celebrities to introduce the various sections of film.

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-Saëns. 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 

Disney later planned an international-themed follow-up, called Fantasia/2006, and later Fantasia World. After the cancellation of its theatrical release, some of the completed shorts received limited or direct-to-video releases. Disney announced plans to include the feature on the Blu-Ray set of the 1940 and 2000 Fantasia movies, but by the time the discs actually came out, they decided to only include one short.

The sequences prepared for this one include:
  • Destino, composed by Armando Dominguez. The long-awaited result of a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, this short depicts Dahlia, a woman dancing her way through Dalí-inspired environments and the doomed love the god Chronos has for her. Premiered at a 2003 French film festival, and became available to own on the Fantasia Blu-Ray collection.
  • The Little Match Girl (Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2 in D Major, composed by Alexander Borodin). Disney relocates the Hans Christian Andersen story to Russia, but otherwise adapts it to a surprisingly faithful extent. Premiered at a 2006 French film festival, and included on the 2006 Platinum Edition DVD and 2013 Diamond Edition Blu-Ray and DVD of another Disney-produced adaptation of an Andersen story: The Little Mermaid, as well as the 2015 Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection.
  • One By One, composed by Lebo M. This short features South African children preparing and flying colorful kites to the accompaniment of a deleted The Lion King song (that was later salvaged for the musical). Included on the 2004 Special Edition DVD of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
  • Lorenzo, composed by Osvaldo Ruggiero. A cat is jinxed into having a tail with a separate personality. Premiered during the theatrical release of the 2004 Kate Hudson movie Raising Helen, and released on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the August 2015 Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection.

A platform game for the Sega Genesis loosely based on the first movie was released on 1991, though it's widely regarded as mediocre at best. A 2014 rhythm music game by Harmonix, Fantasia: Music Evolved has been released for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

A Live-Action Adaptation of the "Night On Bald Mountain" sequence is in development, and is being written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the creative team behind Dracula Untold.

Not to be confused with the American Idol winner, or the name of the fantasy world in the film version of The Neverending Story.

Compare later Disney films Make Mine Music and Melody Time which both feature music-based shorts, even using a few of the unused ideas from Fantasia. Contrast Allegro Non Troppo, the 1977 Bruno Bozzetto answer to Fantasia, which hovers comfortably somewhere between Affectionate Parody and Take That (and is just as breathtakingly beautiful).
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Tropes

    Both films provide examples of 
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Rhapsody in Blue does this to everyone no matter their race, keeping with the cool tones of the style. This also applies in "Pastoral Symphony" for everyone, notably the centaurs.
    • In the original theatrical release, there was a centaur named Sunflower, with glossy black DONKEY (not horse) parts, brown human parts, and a stereotypical blackface head. Her function was to serve the others—polishing their hooves, bringing them refreshments, etc. She was removed from theatrical rereleases after 1969 and is missing from home video releases.
  • Animal Gender Bender:
    • Pomp and Circumstance seems to feature two male ostriches being led into the Noah's Ark.
    • The Male-colored ostriches in Dance of the Hours were obviously intended to be female.
  • Animation Bump: Both are considered this for Disney. The 1940 version included dynamic backgrounds, color shifts, changes in lighting, translucent paints and numerous effects shots that had simply never been done before (lightning, waves, stars, lava, earthquakes). The 2000 version had combination of traditional animation and CGI (that was actually started back before production on Toy Story began), as well as watercolor cells for the Carnival of Animals and pastel backgrounds in Beethoven's Fifth.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Mainly the centaurettes and the cherubs in the "Pastoral Symphony".
    • The forest sprite in the "Firebird" segment. It's entirely possible that this character doesn't even have a sex.
    • Averted by the Succubi in "Night On Bald Mountain".
      • Then there's the shots of the flying harpies.
  • Deranged Animation: The entirety of the first film, the second at least attempted to not be as lucid.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The entirety of the films, especially the first.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chernabog from the original; the Firebird from the sequel may also qualify. Chernabog, if interpreted as evil, is an identifiable evil, motivated by sadism and boredom. The Firebird, however, is a force of nature; it is nigh-incomprehensible in motives, just laying waste to everything in front of it.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Chernabog covers himself in fire near the end of "Night on Bald Mountain". The Firebird may also qualify, as it is a destructive force.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: See Explosive Breeder in the Fantasia 2000 section. And in the "Night On Bald Mountain" sequence, naked women can be seen several times — most blatantly in the form of three flickering flames. Of course, they're so artfully drawn that no actual naughty bits can be discerned, but it's the thought that counts.
    • The harpies that start flying around not long before the Church bells start chiming have nipples, and fly right towards the camera.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Chernabog and the Firebird.
  • The Great Flood: The "Rite of Spring" segment actually ends with the entire Earth being flooded by a massive tidal wave caused by a solar eclipse.
    • Retold in Fantasia 2000 in the re-imagined "Noah's Ark" adaptation of Pomp and Circumstance.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Specifically, hippo/gator in the Dance of the Hours segment.
    • Also implied between the elk and the forest sprite in the Firebird segment.
  • Leitmotif: Done retroactively with some of the narrative segments.
  • Mickey Mousing: Done in reverse!
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon
  • Mind Screw: Many examples throughout the movie.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the last sequence of the original Fantasia the whole "undead being raised" thing in Night on Bald Mountain ends with churchgoers singing Ave Maria in a sharp contrast to the first part of the segment.
    • In Fantasia 2000 the humor in Rhapsody in Blue is interspersed with scenes that remind you that it takes place during the thirties, which can be a bit depressing.
    • Pomp and Circumstance does this a few times where it starts off with a hilarious slapstick sequence where Donald tries to get the animals to board the ship, but changes to sad when Donald and Daisy both think the other was killed in the flood, then goes back again to slapstick.
    • The Firebird Suite begins with sweet, gentle lilting music as the Sprite awakens, greets the new day with her animal companion, and begins spreading the growth of spring; switches to trepidation and unease as she discovers the dormant volcano, only to explode into full-out nighmarish horror when she unwittingly releases the Firebird which destroys her home; and then after a deeply sorrowful My God, What Have I Done? moment, returns to celebration, joy, and awe as she draws upon her powers stronger than ever to completely restore the land.
  • No Name Given: In many of the numbers with original characters, the main characters' names are never mentioned in the movie, but according to Word of God, they do have names.
    • For example, in Rhapsody in Blue they are, in order of appearance: Duke, Jobless Joe, Rachel, and John. Rachel and John are named after Eric Goldberg's youngest daughter and animation historian John Culhane, respectively.
    • The same goes for Carnival of the Animals, where the yo-yo playing flamingo is called "Our Hero" and the other flamingos are named "The Snotty Six."
    • The little mushroom in The Nutcracker Suite is named Hop Low.
    • The leads in Dance of the Hours are Madamoiselle Upanova (ostrich), Hyacinth Hippo and Ben Ali Gator.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Some of the sequences in the original. The intro to the "Pomp and Circumstance" segment brings up this trope as well.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The point was to introduce children to not only to classical music, but to post-modernism as well.
    • Averted with "Rhapsody In Blue", which they had to get permission from the Gershwin estate to use. They probably didn't have much difficulty.
    • Averted with "The Rite of Spring", as Igor Stravinsky was still alive at the time of the 1940 film's production, and the development team had to get permission from him, also without any difficulty.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The T-Rex in "Rites Of Spring" has devilish ones, as do the Sewer Rats in "Steadfast Tin Soldier."
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Mickey shaking hands with Leopold Stokowski, and in the sequel, adjusting James Levine's lapel.
  • Scare Chord: Built into some of the pieces, and taken full advantage of by the animators.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the sequences in both movies, with Firebird and Pines of Rome showing some particularly stunning backgrounds.
    • Even for the 40s, many pieces, even the deleted "Clair de Lune", had beautiful backgrounds.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Arguably, the Firebird (well, maybe sleeping evil). More so with the "Cutterflies" in the "5th Symphony". Chernabog is sealed in a timed can, since he gets let out of the peak of Bald Mountain once a year on St. John's Eve.note 

    The original 1940 film contains examples of 
  • Affectionate Parody: Bob Clampett's 1943 Warner Bros. cartoon "A Corny Concerto" and Bruno Bozzetto's 1976 parody "Allegro Non Troppo".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The gators.
  • Arcadia: The "Pastoral Symphony".
  • Art Evolution: Freddy Moore completely redesigned the Mickey model sheet for this film (particularly changing the eyes), giving the appearance that is still used today.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The ostriches in the "Dance of the Hours" sequence are supposed to be female...but the plumage is that of a male ostrich. Females are brown. Not to mention the alligators look more like crocodiles (thinner snouts, visible lower teeth).
  • Ascended To Carnivorism: In the "Rite of Spring" sequence, Plateosaurus and Kannemeyeria (both herbivorous) are portrayed eating clams.
  • Astronomic Zoom: In The Rite of Spring.
  • Badass: Chernabog. Seriously, he's a giant winged cross-armed necromantic devil who can only be defeated by church bells. It's just temporary.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Chernabog's awakening. Seriously, that's what criminals see when Batman emerges from the shadows.
  • Battle in the Rain: The fight between the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus in The Rite of Spring.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: The ballerina, Hyacinth Hippo, to the point that the gators fight over getting to dance with her.
  • But Not Too Black: Averted with the two zebra centaurettes, who, unlike Sunflower are apparently meant to be sexy but are just as dark-skinned.
  • Children in Tow: The pegasus foals in the "Pastoral Symphony" segment of the original.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The female centaurs are paler shades of their male mates colors.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Nicely averted in Rite of Spring, when chunks of rock that look like any other part of the background get loosened and carried away by lava.
  • Dance of Romance: With hippos and gators.
  • Dark Is Evil / Light Is Good: Played straight with Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria sequence - in the first piece everything connected with Evil and Death is portrayed by the darkness, fires of Hell etc etc. during a dark and gloomy night, while the second piece is more lightened with sunshines and glowing candles symbolizing that the powers of light are triumphant over the powers of Evil.
  • Dark Is Not Evil / Opposites Attract: The Pegasus mother and father. The father's coloration makes him look very gothic, almost sinister while his wife's coloration makes her look angelic.
  • Deliberately Monochrome
  • Deranged Animation: Night on Bald Mountain
  • Door Closes Ending: The "Dance of the Hours" segment ends with the palace doors slamming so hard they're knocked off their hinges.
  • Double Take: An elephant does one when she realizes that the bubble she just blew has a goldfish in it.
  • Downer Ending: The Rite of Spring. If it hadn't been for the Executive Meddling, Walt Disney would have kept the happier ending where a band of early humans start a bonfire and dance in celebration of their discovery.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Chernabog was a black god, but wasn't evil as a pre-Christian Slavic deity. Subverted as Walt said he was meant to be Satan anyway, and in the roadshow version, Deems Taylor identifies him as such.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Anatomically and chronologically inaccurate dinosaurs (though not for the time), but dinosaurs nonetheless. But as kids, we didn't care and loved every single minute of it.
  • Expy: In "Dance Of The Hours", all the main dancers are expys for the main characters from the opera La Gioconda.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death and Violence: Again, "Rite of Spring". But it's dinosaurs, so it's okay.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: "Pastoral Symphony"
  • Finger Snap Lighter: Chernabog.
  • Forging Scene: In the "Pastoral Symphony" sequence, Vulcan/Hephaestus forges thunderbolts for Jupiter/Zeus to hurl at Bacchus/Dionysus.
  • For the Evulz: Everything Chernabog does is purely to have fun.
    • Zeus in "Pastoral Symphony" also counts.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: As is typical for Disney, the Pastoral is a huge aversion. They make no effort to hide intoxication, or the fact that Dionysus/Bacchus (and the unicorn he is riding) are drunk.
  • Ghibli Hills: Pastoral Symphony
  • The Golden Age of Animation
  • Gone Behind the Bend: During the "Dance of the Hours" segment. Ben Ali Gator is chasing Hyacinth Hippo, who hides behind a column that is far too narrow for her to hide behind. Ben runs around the column a couple of times but can't seem to find her, until she comes from behind and tramples him.
  • Good Hurts Evil: Chernobog is driven away by the light of "the sacred".
  • Grapes of Luxury: A couple of centaurs enact this trope during the original film's Pastoral Symphony scene while being fanned by cherubs.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The Elephant scene in Dance of the Hours
  • Hellish Horse: In Night on Bald Mountain sequence some of the skeleton knights rised by Chernabog ride some of these.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Near the end of "Rite of Spring", as the camera pans across the dinosaur skeletons. When it come to the skeleton of the T. Rex, it suddenly zooms in on it as the music descends mockingly. Not even the once terrifying predator could escape death.
  • Hot as Hell: A rather literal example in Night on Bald Mountain. Chernobog holds a flame in his hand, and turns it into three naked women, made of fire, who proceed to dance.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The male and female centaur in The Pastoral Symphony.
  • Intermission: The original roadshow version included one. Later versions re-edited the footage of the orchestra leaving for intermission and then returning for the opening and closing of the film. The DVD version restored the original intermission footage.
  • Jerkass Gods: Zeus, in The Pastoral Symphony, disrupts Bacchus' party with a storm and deliberately threw lightning bolts at them. And Chernobog, of course, incinerates or crushes his demonic minions simply for a moment's amusement.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While more antagonists than outright villains, the appearance (and build-up) of Vulcan and Zeus in The Pastoral Symphony changes the tone from whimsical to dramatic. Justified, as their sequence accompanies the fourth movement of the Symphony which supposedly depicts a violent thunderstorm.
  • Large Ham: Chernabog is a rare non-speaking example.
  • Limited Animation: The Ave Maria sequence has barely any animation at all—most of the movement is done by the camera.
  • Long Take: Ave Maria ends with a 160-second one.
  • Mushroom Man: The dancing mushrooms.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Promotional art for Fantasia often seems to imply that Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice faces off with Chernabog. The two appear in different segments and do not interact.
    • Critics in 1940 actually complained about this.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The original actually did this in a few scenes, with some very brief flashes of naked breasts that they could not get away with today.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: In the "Pastoral Symphony" scene.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Chernabog. Just look at him and try to tell us he wouldn't blend in on a church roof.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: The fairies in the Nutcracker Suite segment are shown changing leaf colors and putting rime frost on plants and water surfaces to change the seasons.
  • Pegasus
  • Punny Name: Mademoiselle Upanova (up and over).
  • Random Events Plot: "The Nutcracker Suite"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The T-Rex in "Rite of Spring" with good reason.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Dance of the Hours plays with this. The alligators are used to represent Night, and they often seem to be acting antagonistically, but at the same time, the short makes it clear that it's all a show and the other animals aren't really in danger.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Okay, "Night On Bald Mountain" needed a demon god, as they were basing the scene from an unfinished opera, but why not make him so big, he's literally the peak of the mountain?
  • Ret Gone/Un-Person/Canon Discontinuity: Sunflower.
  • Satanic Archetype: "Night On Bald Mountain" was originally introduced as starring "Satan himself" when Fantasia first premiered. His name was later changed to Chernabog (an obscure Slavic Pagan deity) in what was a reverse Jesus Taboo, but the change was not pulled out of thin air. (See Shown Their Work, below.)
  • Science Marches On: The dinosaurs in the Rite of Spring sequence are hopelessly inaccurate today, but were fairly in-line with scientific thinking at the time.
    • Artistic License – Biology: A flagellate protozoa in an early part of the sequence is shown using its flagellum as a feeler rather than a propulsion organ. The animator may have only looked at microscopic still photos, though.
  • Shown Their Work: At the time Fantasia was made, the only well-known version of "Night on Bald Mountain" was the one streamlined and rearranged (the All Music Guide says "bowdlerized") by Rimsky-Korsakov. However it was the third version. The first version by Mussorgsky ("St. John's Eve at the Bald Mountain") was about a witches' sabbath on St. John's Evenote , mentioned Satan explicitly and was rejected by the organizer of the festival for which it was written. The second and most obscure version of the music was heavily reworked, called "Dream of the Young Peasant Lad" and intended to be part of an opera which he never finished. According to the All Music Guide as a boy dreams on a hill, he is threatened by inhuman voices and finds himself mocked in the realm of shadows. The voices warn of the Devil and the "Black God" Chernobog; as the shadows fade, both appear. Chernobog is glorified, a Black Mass is sung, and a Witches' Sabbath breaks out. As a church bell intones, Chernobog disappears and the demons writhe in agony. A church choir sings, the demons fade away, awakening the boy. Sound familiar?
  • Solid Clouds: The cupids from the "Pastoral Symphony" segment sleep on clouds.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Silly Symphonies shorts, which had ended the year before.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Somewhat surprisingly averted in "Rite of Spring." Yes, the sequence gives us the standard plesiosaurs, Pteranodon, Dimetrodon, sauropods, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, hadrosaurs, and an anatomically inaccurate T. rex, but we also see the much less commonly portrayed mosasaurs, Kritosaurus, Plateosaurus, Kannemeyeria, and Ceratosaurus.
  • Swing Low Sweet Harriet: One centaurette is pushed on a swing by her mate.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Performed by thistles.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Hyacinth Hippo is comically obese whereas her partner Ben Ali Gator is very slim, short, and flexible. He can't even lift her over his head while they're dancing without great difficulty.
  • Unicorn
  • Villain Protagonist: Chernabog, arguably.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Chernabog, although the rest is cover by the mountain peak.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which appears in both films, provides examples of 
  • Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Mickey, as the Apprentice, sets a magic broom to the task of fetching water from a well and pouring it into a cauldron, then goes to sleep and wakes to the room flooded with water since he never told the broom to stop. Then he finds he can't stop it and when he tries chopping the broom to bits, every bit becomes a new broom, all "programmed" to fetch water and throw it into the cauldron. It takes the return of the Sorcerer himself to stop the brooms (and save the apprentice from drowning).
  • Adaptation Expansion: A comic adaptation added in an opening in which Mickey, wanting to be a sorcerer like Yensid (who in the movie, has no onscreen name), comes to his castle.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Mickey enchants some brooms to help him out with his chores. It doesn't go according to plan.
  • Asteroids Monster: Unfortunately for Mickey, splitting animated brooms to pieces is not a good idea.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Mickey's Sorcerer appearance is almost as famous as him wearing his red shorts and oversized yellow shoes!
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The iconic hat gives Mickey magic powers, or at least amplifies his own puny ones.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Mickey enchants a broom to do his work. It works too well that the enchanted broom becomes Absurdly Dedicated Worker (see above).
  • Hat of Power: The sorcerer's wizard hat that Mickey borrows.
  • Hope Spot / From Bad to Worse: Mickey stops the out of control broom by chopping it into little pieces. Just when he thinks his troubles are over, however, each broom piece starts to twitch, and then the pieces reconstitute themselves into hundreds of new brooms.
  • Inept Mage: Mickey.
  • Nice Hat: The sorcerer's hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Literally, as Mickey tries to destroy the water-bucket-carrying broom with an axe, only for each splintered piece of wood to grow into another full-sized water-bucket-carrying broom.
  • Oh Crap!: The look on Mickey's face when he stops in the middle of walking away, and realizes that the broom he just chopped up into hundreds of pieces reconstituted into hundreds of brooms.
  • Power Glows: Both Yen Sid and his Hat of Power.
  • Power Incontinence: Mickey finds it quite easy to animate his master's broom and have it fetch water for him, but he isn't experienced enough in magic to know how to make the broom stop fetching water, and when he tries to chop the broom into pieces, all that does is create more brooms with more buckets, and poor Mickey soon finds himself in way over his head.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Provides the page's image. Both Mickey and Yen Sid wear classic wizard robe. Yen Sid's hat is Hat of Power (see above) which Mickey wore that caused chaos.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The sorcerer is officially named Yen Sid. Think about it.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Mickey's chopping up the broomstick is shown only as a shadow on a wall.
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice Plot: The Trope Namer.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: The sorcerer's hat is adorned with star and moon symbols.