Highlights: Fantasia is a really unique movie, in that it’s basically a series of shorts that are all set to music – so there is no dialogue, the story is told through the images and the music. It’s a really neat way to introduce people to many of these famous pieces, and the way they choose to portray the tunes is really interesting. It might sound cliché but I think Sorcerer Mickey is my favorite, though I also really enjoy The Pastoral Symphony and Night on Bald Mountain.
Low points: For me personally, I find it difficult to sit down and just watch it as a movie. I enjoy watching a short or two at a time, but the whole thing at once is a bit much for me. I’m not a big fan of the first one, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” as it’s very abstract, which is just not my thing.
Music: Fantasia is all about the music, of course. Again, this is different because it’s taking well known pieces and putting animation to them, rather than creating original songs. So it goes without saying that obviously the music is very good. There are lots of classic, very well known pieces that you’ll be familiar with, as well as one or two that might be new to you.
Villain rating: Given that this is more or less a series of “short stories,” there’s no real villain. But if you wanted to pick one you could certainly go with Chernabog from the last piece. As far as villains go he’s pretty darn evil, considering that he is basically a devil summoning lots of evil creatures into the world. He’s super creepy looking.
Fun fact: Most Disney fans know that the sorcerer in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is named Yen Sid, which is Disney spelled backwards. This name is never given in the film, but rather is what the animators referred to him as. Rumor has it they also tried to model Yen Sid’s facial features after Walt’s. The first time that the name was actually officially used was in a 1971 episode of the Wonderful World of Disney called Disney On Parade.
Where in the World? Fantasia appears quite a bit in the parks, though the majority of references are to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The main symbol of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Mickey’s sorcerer’s hat, and you’re greeted by it when you enter the park. Also, the show there, Fantasmic! begins with Mickey and references to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mickey’s Philharmagic at the Magic Kingdom also begins with a Fantasia feel, including playing the Fantasia soundtrack in the queue. Finally, Disney has a mini golf course called Fantasia Gardens that is themed like the movie, and plays the music while you golf.
My personal rating: Overall I give it a 7 out of 10. It’s very nice for what it is, but I have a hard time just sitting down and watching something like that straight. I can appreciate what it does, but it’s not something I would watch over and over again.
What do you think of Fantasia?
The Animation Commendation says
This is actually my LEAST favorite film in the entire animated Disney Canon! It just bores me so much!
Another reviewer I know likened it to an “art museum”. It’s not bad at all, but it’s not for everyone. And that best describes this film to me. I’d much rather watch ‘Fantasia 2000’ or any of the package films from the ’40’s than this.
This film is so different from other Disney films, but I do like it. I would say though, I have to be in a certain mood to watch it. I enjoyed the fun fact about the name of the sorcerer.