Animation / Classics / Fantasy / Musical
Narrated by Deems Taylor
Produced by Walt Disney
Cast: Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra Leopold Stokowski
This famous Walt Disney animation has Mickey Mouse trying to be a magician, yet goes a little overboard and tells different types of stories along the way. At the end a new day approaches.
Fantasia is a collection of animated interpretations of great classical Western compositions. The eight segments of the film are colorful, imaginative, and surreal, helping to create a masterpiece of fantastical family cinema.
The first piece, J.S. Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, is used to show impressionistic, abstract images. The next selection, Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite”, employs a series of ballets led by fairies, mushrooms, flowers, fish, and thistles to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” trails, featuring Mickey Mouse as the title character who must battle numerous brooms carrying seemingly never-ending buckets of water. Following is Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”, which depicts the beginnings of the universe – space, volcanoes, dinosaurs and all. The fifth score is Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral Symphony”, and it takes place on Mount Olympus. Characters from Greek mythology comically cavort on the countryside to the music. A humorous animal ballet succeeds, in tune to Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours”. The cast includes such creatures as hippopotamuses, alligators, elephants, and ostriches.
The final segment is split into two songs, beginning with Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain”, a dark and apocalyptic celebration of evil. The Black God, Chernobog, rises up, brings the dead to life, and drops cursed night spirits into pits of fire. Light penetrates the darkness however, causing the spirits to draw back. Goodness triumphs over evil, and the segment seamlessly sashays into the next song: Schubert’s “Ava Maria”. A line of figures come into view, each bearing a golden light. The focus makes a shift to in front of the figures, concentrating on a view of the rising sun – the sign of a new and peaceful day.