Western Animation / Allegro non Troppo


Allegro Non Troppo (Not Too Cheerful) note  is an Italian animated film functioning as a parody of Disney's Fantasia. Like Fantasia, Allegro Non Troppo melds classical music with animation, the sequences ranging from utterly bizarre to depressing beyond belief. Between the pieces are short, sepia-tone, live-action shots of the orchestra and the animator. Pieces played in the film are:
  • Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy—A parody of Beethoven's Pastorale from Fantasia, where an elderly faun tries to get a nymph for himself, but fails every time.
  • Slavonic Dance No. 7 Op. 46 by Antonín Dvořŕk -A caveman sets out to build better dwellings than the other cavemen, who repeatedly mimic every act he does.
  • Boléro by Maurice Ravel—Possibly the film's most famous sequence, where a soda bottle left on a wasteland creates an evolution of bizarre creatures in a parody of The Rite of Spring from Fantasia. It was frequently used as filler on HBO in the 1980s (so the next movie would start at the top of the hour).
  • Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius—The film's saddest piece, in which a small cat is left in a destroyed house, remembering the good times spent there only to have reality come crashing upon it.
  • Concerto in C major for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, Strings and Continuo RV 559 I. Larghetto - (Allegro) by Antonio Vivaldi—A bee tries to enjoy a meal on a flower only to have a rowdy couple thwart her attempts.
  • The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky—God makes Adam and Eve and the serpent tries to get them to eat the apple of knowledge. When they refuse, the serpent eats it himself and is thrown into a hellish environment of Western materialism and commercialism.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Despite needling Disney, this movie does a great job of capturing Fantasia's flavor.
  • Alternate Continuity: Ever wonder what would happen if Adam and Eve didn't eat that apple?
  • Art Initiates Life: Some of the Artist's characters come to life and attack the Director and the Conductor.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted. Since it's a European film, it's not afraid to show some nudity.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The monkey in Bolero.
  • Big Damn Hero Moment: Though it's more True Neutral as it is done during the march of evolution, a sauropod creature saves an aquatic life form from being eaten by a squid life form.
  • Body Horror: Some of the evolutions of the weird creatures in Boléro qualify, as well as the ending where many of the creatures becoming construction machines.
  • Breather Episode: You'll be glad for the lighthearted piece with the bee after Valse Triste.
  • Cut-and-Paste Suburb: The old house in Valse Triste is surrounded by look-alike pre-fab houses.
  • Dead All Along: The cat at the end of "Valse Triste".
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The live-action sequences.
  • Deranged Animation: The Firebird sequence is this, without a doubt.
    • "Bolero" is this with its rapidly evolving alien creatures
  • Dirty Old Man: The satyr of the first piece, he's way past his prime years.
  • Downer Ending: Especially Boléro.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: At the beginning of Valse Triste.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Inverted in the second half of Boléro, where a demonic monkey species slowly grows in dominance and eventually kills off the rest of the species.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Boléro features a lot.
  • Fauns and Satyrs
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The evil monkey in Boléro starts off as a confused inhabitant of the forest, who later leaves with the rest of the animals. Bitter about it, the monkey starts off as a Jerk Ass whose purpose is to frighten the other animals during the march. However as it discovers the use of tools, it becomes more vile as it begins murdering other animals in order to take their place in the line of evolution and begins to burn animals to death with sickening delight after discovering fire and by the finale (through leaping ahead of the line by a long shot) all the animals have either perished in the emerging buildings or turned into construction machines in the construction of its new civilization, while a towering giant admires his work. The giant's face cracks to reveal the monkey, grinning maliciously.
  • Gainax Ending: The finale.
  • Giant Woman: In Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, one of the nymphs the Faun chases makes herself bigger to defend herself. In the end of the segment, the hill the Faun is standing on turns out to be a giant woman
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The monkey at the end of Boléro.
  • Happy Ending: Parodied. Even though the words "HAPPY END" appear as the movie finishes, the actual conclusion of the movie feels more like a Gainax Ending.
  • Hilarity Ensues
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Central theme in Bolero and Concerto in C major. Slavonic Dance and Firebird also depict humanity/civilization as a bad thing.
  • Intoxication Ensues
  • It's Been Done: The director gushes about the originality of his concept. Then he gets a phone call...
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: At the end of the scene with the monkey (after Bolero), the Director stops the "party" and we get this effect.
  • Meaningful Name: The film itself. Allegro, ma non troppo is a musical direction meaning "Fast, but not too fast." Allegro non troppo means something closer to "Not so fast!"
  • Panspermia: Spoofed on Boléro. Apparently, the primordial soup was actually Coke.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The main concept of the film.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The cartoon characters occassionally wander into the live-action.
  • Scare Chord: In Firebird, after the snake bites into the apple.
  • Take That!
    • The conductor couldn't care less that they're ripping off some guy called "Grisney".
    • In-universe example: After seeing the conductor abuse the animator for three full segments, is it any wonder that the villain at the end of Boléro is drawn to look like him?
    • Socialist Italy in The '70s wasn't a big fan of American capitalism, and it shows. Particularly noticeable on the Boléro and Firebird segments.