Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination. For in a moment, you could experience a beautiful fantasy, or an exiting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination. For it could also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare.
Fantasmic! is a nighttime show presented at the Disney Theme Parks, specifically Disneyland Park, the Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, and Tokyo DisneySea. It starts with Mickey Mouse having dreams inspired by such pieces of the Disney Animated Canon as Dumbo and Peter Pan. Eventually, the villains take over, and Mickey has to battle them in the center of his mind. What exactly Mickey dreams about, and how many villains he faces, differ depending on which theme park viewers watch the show at.The show tells its story with help from people in Disney character suits, pyrotechnics, movie clips, and animatronics. The use of mist screens for projecting the clips felt especially innovative during the 1992 premiere at Disneyland. Only outranked by the Main Street Electrical Parade in fame, it still stands as one of the Disney Parks' most popular and beloved shows.
Fantasmic! provides examples of the following tropes:
The Artifact: The elaborate Pocahontas sequence in the Florida version. Ironically, the original California version, which has a Peter Pan sequence, seems much less dated.
The version at Disney World replaces the pink elephants and puppets with floating bubbles containing various movie clips.
The Tokyo DisneySea version has animals from The Jungle Book and The Lion King sail around to the accompaniment of "Hakuna Matata" and "Circle of Life", Stitch assume control of lasers and fountains for a while, and Genie appearing in giant crystal balls.
Evil Gloating/Evil Laugh: By the time Mickey appears to be a goner, the villains all laugh at his predicament and the Queen boasts that his imagination isn't powerful enough to save him.
Famous Last Words: When they're being defeated, most of the villains just scream and groan, but Frollo has a particularly memorable line:
Frickin' Laser Beams: As the gratuitous fireworks in Disneyland's old finale caused huge clouds of smoke to drift out into the audience, today's incarnation relies much more heavily on lights, fountains, and of course, lasers.
Legion of Doom: Key part of Fantasmic!, especially in the Florida version. The only villains (besides the Evil Queen) who actually do anything are Ursula (in the Disneyland and Tokyo Disney versions), Jafar (Hollywood Studios), and Maleficent (all versions). Though the inclusion of Frollo into a group including demons, witches and pagan gods is rather confusing...
Long Runner: The original (Disneyland's) version turned twenty in 2012. Hoo, boy.
Make My Monster Grow: When Disneyland's dragon succumbs to malfunctions prior to a performance, the climax instead features Mickey slaying a giant version of Maleficent.
The Tokyo DisneySea version opened during the park's 10th anniversary.
During the 20th anniversary of the Disneyland premiere, Annual Passholders could attend an exclusive performance. It began with a video compiling behind-the-scenes footage, archival news reports hyping the show, and highlights from the premiere. Plus, the finale included cameos by characters who made appearances in the initial performances, but eventually got replaced by the stars of newer Disney movies.
Mind Rape: The villains are trying to do this to Mickey.
Negated Moment of Awesome: Disney centered Disneyland's summer 2009 promotion, "Summer Nightastic!' around the replacement of the Fantasmic! dragon puppet with a full-bodied animatronic. Unfortunately, technical difficulties delayed the dragon's unveiling until September 2009, when the summer had long past.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Tokyo DisneySea version has Mickey summoning the Magic Mirror to ask if he's "the greatest sorcerer of all", only to fall into the Mirror's trap when it invites him to look closer within.
In the Hollywood Studios one, Mickey finds a magic lamp and rubs it, hoping it will help him. Instead, it turns Jafar into a genie and effectively makes him even HARDER to beat.
Oh Crap: Mickey's response when Maleficent shows up.
Maleficent: Now you shall deal with me, and all the powers of MY IMAGINATION!
Maleficent enters while threatening, "Now, you will deal with me, and all the powers of my imagination!" This quote sounds very similar to what she told Prince Philip right before turning into a dragon: "Now, shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!"
Kingdom Hearts contains scenes of Mickey fighting villains who did not face him in their respective movies.
World of Color features clips projected against mist screens, including one of Sorcerer Mickey. (Chernabog also had a sequence until 2011.)
Recursively, the Tokyo DisneySea Fantasmic! seems like a Spiritual Successor of both Disneyland's Fantasmic! and World of Color, retelling the basic concept of the former with technology on par with the latter (especially apparent if one tries to compare the fountains).
Suddenly Voiced: Chernabog does more yelling and moaning here than he did in Fantasia. However, he doesn't say any actual words.