Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 7 - Fantasia/2000

Movie: Fantasia/2000
Formats Release: 1 VHS, 2 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray
Format Watched: Blu-Ray
Watched With: My dogs Belle and Woody, although Belle slept through most of it
Snacks: Wendy's Double with Cheese meal with a Diet Coke

Fantasia/2000 is the long awaited sequel to 1941's Fantasia. Walt Disney always wanted Fantasia to be constantly updated but because of poor box office performance in the U.S. and the war in Europe preventing much of a release there it was just not feasible. Several of the ideas for follow up parts to Fantasia were reworked and included in other movies including "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" which was included in Fantasia/2000.

Roy Disney was the driving force behind Fantasia/2000 having worked on it since at least 1974. Production of the movie really didn't take off until the early 1990's when it was decided to fit production of the individual segments in around the other movies in production at the time rather than dedicate a whole production team to the project. The first segment finished was "The Pines of Rome".

My Thoughts on the Film:

I liked the movie. I saw it during it's initial IMAX release, driving almost 2 hours each way to get to the closest theater. It was amazing in IMAX and very enjoyable in my 5.1 surround sound. I thought there was the perfect blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI animation. The two styles mixed well and it was hard in scenes to tell where one ended and the other began. As an example, the Stag's antlers during the "Firebird Suite" were hand-drawn overlaid with CGI. I had to go back and re-look at it to tell. The whales in "The Pines of Rome" were CGI except for the eyes which were hand drawn.

My only complaint would be the introductory scenes. The use of stars that were relatively big at the time (although my nephews have no idea who any of them are) probably seemed like a good idea, but 60 years from now if people are still watching this film, like they are Fantasia today, they will have no clue who these people are. I just watched the Wonderful World of Disney Walt Disney World Grand Opening show last night and I could only identify Julie Andrews, very little clue who the other people were.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

I loved the "Pines of Rome". Something about flying whales does it for me. Plus the little whale is cute. The music is amazing, it was the personal choice of Roy Disney, and as I found out last night it was also played during the grand opening of Walt Disney World.

Things I Never Noticed Before:

- In "Rhapsody in Blue" when the little girl dances into the closet, a bowling ball falls out
- Also in "Rhapsody in Blue" when they are showing the packed subway car, a foot it sticking up near the hands
- In the "Carnival of the Animals" all of the artwork and animation was done in watercolors
- In "Pomp and Circumstance" everything is vaguely duck shaped

Final Thoughts:

My earlier thoughts on Fantasia applies to this film as well. Just because it is animated does not mean it is automatically a children's film. Think of what the reaction would have been if they included "Destino" as part of the film. I'm almost 40 and "Destino" makes little sense to me!

I also thought the run time was a little short at 75 minutes. Fantasia had just cleared the intermission mark at 60 minutes. At this watching I was amazed, partially because I was paying great attention to the film, and partially because of the quality of the animation, but I was left with wanting more. I was a little sad when the film ended and I can only wish that there are plans to make a future installment of this film.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite underrated Disney films. And there WERE plans for more "Fantasia" films but they dissolved after four sequences were finished (surprisingly, only one of these - the wonderful "Destino" [it helps if you already dig Dali] - is available as part of the Blu-Ray set.) Honestly, Walt's "Multiple Fantasias" plan is the one animation "coulda been" that haunts me the most. It could have changed animation history!

    Anyway, I walked in on a well-meaning but slightly misguided older relative trying to entertain the one kid at a big, long family gathering by popping "Fantasia" in for my *six-year-old* cousin. (Facepalm) Five minutes of "Tocatta and Fuge"and she was done with it. Once misguided older relative left the room, I skipped ahead to "Sorcerer's Apprentice" (could it be that this is the one thing people who don't get animation remember from the whole of "Fantasia"?) Then we enjoyed "Ponyo" and "Iron Giant" and "Secret of Kells" and a few episodes of "Dinosaur Train" on Netflix Instant -- while I silently thanked goodness mom didn't reach for "Akira" or "Allegro non Troppo" or "La Planet Sauvage" or...