Reviews: Fantasia

Every One was a Hit (2000)

To the modern disney fan, the original fantasia could be described as hit and miss. For fantasia 2000, every single section succeeded in creating a powerful emotion to this troper, and not one was forgotten. It started well, choosing to show clips of the explanation from the first one instead of replacing it.

The Tocatta and Fuge in D Minor section was a nice opening, sticking to the abstract theme introduced in the original, get managed to create characters in the butterflies depicted that you could feel sad for.

The Pines of Rome segment was awe inspiring and definitively breathtaking, even if the audience likely found themselves wondering what they had just watched, even if it makes sense after half way.

The Rhapsody in Blue section was a hilarious, yet realistic depiction of every aspect of New York City rarely found in media in general.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier section was an exciting adventure, the villain seeming both comical and imposing while the relationship of the Soldier and the Ballerina appeared genuine.

The Carnival of the Animals was comical from the live action introduction to the final, side splitting payoff at the end. The sorcerers apprentice was good the first time around, and Mickey's conversation with the conductor from the original not only included, but elaborated on was very welcome and very funny.

Pomp and Circumstance was humorous with several witty jokes added (some becoming page images on this wiki), with a simple yet clever romance story arc included with Donald and Daisy.

The firebird suite was nostalgic of The Nutcracker Suite at the beginning, while also intensely terrifying with the firebird destroying everything and sad with the forest spirit in ashes. The placement of this number at the end, having a nightmarish creature attack, then goodness and life triumph, is reminiscent of the ending of the original.

A pinnacle of animation and art

Fantasia is more than just another Disney film. Dating from 1940, eg The Golden Age Of Animation, this film is a riotous, exuberant display of Disney's animators' artistic imagination. Disney was always excellent at synching music with animation - look at other works, both shorts and features, from this era to get an idea. This is them showing off. It is one of the greatest works of animation, even cinema as a whole, ever.

The stories, told as they are without dialogue, are pretty basic and there's not a lot of drama involved (despite the thundering soundtrack). The first two shorts don't even tell stories, they're just abstract works of moving art. But they're still fascinating. (The Tchaikovskiy part is my personal favorite.) The Stravinskiy piece midway through the movie starts with an Astronomic Zoom, followed by a depiction of primordial Earth's volcanic activity - and it's riveting. They managed to make astronomical & geological processes interesting. Now that's a work of art. But beyond that there's the classic Dukas segment and the bombastic, spooky Mussorgskiy finale, both excellent in their own right. Picking a favorite from this movie is like picking a favorite chocolate out of a box - they all have something to offer.

What I really like about this movie, however, is the animation. Not many people realize this since they usually watch it at a tender age (and never again), but this is a beautifully animated work. Water splashes like water, everything moves fluidly, lighting changes subtly, every frame is crammed with detail - it can be breathtaking to behold. Keep in mind, this was made in 1940. BY HAND. No other animated work has equaled Fantasias achievement. Its combination of powerful classical music and exquisite animation is flawless. It is the pinnacle of Disney's career and a triumph of the human spirit. Some sequences inspire that much awe in me.

Fantasia 2000 is a great sequel with an interesting jazz piece, a cute sequence with flamingos and a yo-yo, and some majestic bits. But it's shorter and can't quite match up to its predecessor. For one thing, it's done by computer, which looks more polished but less warm and loving. Watch both, but especially the original. It's a jaw-dropping masterpiece.