Entertainment

Fantasia and Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition Review

Title: Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Release Date: November 30, 2010

About the Movie:

Fantasia, an unprecedented and magnificent feast of music and animated images, was initially released by the Studio in 1940 as a “road show” release. The following year, at the 14th Annual Academy Awards, Fantasia earned two Special Awards. The first was given to Walt Disney and associates for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures, being the first commercial film released in multi-channel sound using a process called Fantasound, and the second to conductor Leopold Stokowski and his associates “for…unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music…thereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form.”

Considered avant-garde during its time, Fantasia has gone on to become one of the most popular movies of all time and today is considered a classic. In 1990, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Stokowski, this groundbreaking film, which consists of animation set to eight musical pieces, is narrated by Deems Taylor and includes an appearance by Mickey Mouse (voiced by Disney himself).

Equally impressive is Fantasia 2000, the awe-inspiring extravaganza of sight and sound, executive produced by the late Roy E. Disney. Featuring an array of celebrity hosts including Steve Martin, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn and Teller, Angela Lansbury, Itzhak Perlman and Quincy Jones, the film, like its predecessor, expertly visualizes classical music compositions with various forms of animation and live-action introductions. Fantasia 2000 is primarily performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by James Levine.

The dreams and visions of Walt Disney come to life in Fantasia, which blends music and film magic into an exhilarating movie-going experience. Unforgettable images are brought to life by some of the world’s best music, and highlighted by the comedy of Mickey Mouse as a troublemaking sorcerer’s apprentice, along with the beauty of winged fairies and cascading snowflakes, the majesty of Noah’s ark and even plump hippos performing ballet in tutus.

Motivated by his uncle’s foresight, Roy Disney continued the magic with Fantasia 2000 which begins where its predecessor left off. There are seven completely new segments, and viewers watch a bustling Depression-era metropolis in the style of Al Hirschfeld’s famous cartoons, a flock of flamingos with slapstick yo-yo talents, an ark full of animals gathered by Donald Duck as Noah’s first mate, and musical life breathed into a family of flying humpback whales.

Fantasia DVD Bonus Features:

•    New Audio Commentary with Disney historian Brian Sibley
•    Disney Family Museum (running time: approx. 5 minutes) – Walt’s daughter Diane Disney-Miller takes viewers on a tour of the new Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, California featuring a very large exhibit on Fantasia and most importantly, the Schultheis notebook with long lost Fantasiaproduction notes found in more recent years in the walls of a convent.

Fantasia Blu-ray Bonus Features: Everything on the DVD plus:

•    Disney View – This viewing mode maximizes the Blu-ray viewing experience with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio. Original artwork created by a Disney artist, in a style that complements the beauty of the film.
•    The Shultheis Notebook: A Disney Treasure (running time: approx. 14 minutes) –An in depth look at the recently discovered Schultheis Notebook. The detailed log was created by Herman Schultheis, an effects man on Fantasia, and intricately breaks down the film from a technical view. Many of the special effects used in Fantasia were a mystery to modern day animators until this notebook was recovered.
•    Interactive Art Gallery and Screensavers – Viewers can explore the artwork of Fantasia as never before, in HD resolution with unique Blu-ray interactivity and programming.
•    Audio Commentaries from Fantasia Legacy Collection – With executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, animation historian John Canemaker, and Scott McQueen, manager of film restoration.

•Audio commentary with interviews and story note recreations by Walt Disney, hosted by John Canemaker.

Fantasia 2000 DVD Bonus Features:

•    Musicana – Walt’s Inspiration for a Sequel (running time: approx. 10 minutes) – This documentary reveals rarely-seen art created for Musicana, a late 1970’s project intended as a Fantasia sequel with a focus on exploring other cultures via their greatest musical compositions. Viewers are offered a look at the origins of pieces that were started by Walt, such as “The Emperor and the Nightingale” which was then taken over by a very young John Lasseter. Ultimately, Musicana was stopped to begin production on “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” but the memories of this piece still live on with the animators who conceived it.

Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray Bonus Features: Everything on the DVD plus:

•    Dali & Disney: A Date With Destino (running time: 82 minutes) – This feature length documentary explores the collaborative relationship between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, revealing how and why the Destino short came to fruition under the lead of Roy E. Disney in 2003 so many years after its inception in 1946.
•   Destino (running time: approx. 7 minutes) – The legacy of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali lives on in this highly anticipated short film.
•    Disney’s Virtual Vault — BD-Live Feature Original DVD Bonus Features from Legacy Collection
•    Audio Commentaries from Fantasia Legacy Collection (total running time: 84 minutes) With executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, and producer Don Ernst. Audio commentary with the directors and art directors for each segment.

My Review:

This was my first experience watching both Fantasia movies and I had no idea what to expect when sitting down to watch the DVDs. I thought it would be like a regular Disney movie and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a completely different experience!

The movies feature classical music by famous composers and then shows Disney’s interpretation of what they think the music would look like on screen.  From very abstract with colours and shapes to scenes with Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, it is very very different from anything I have seen before. Fantasia 2000 was my favourite of the two films because the technology is much advanced than the original. I liked the introductions by modern day stars like Steve Martin and Bette Midler. There was even a scene from the cartoon version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice where the apprentice is using his magic to clean with the mops and buckets and things go awry.

I found it a very relaxing movie to watch and found my mind just drifting away as I absorbed in the sights and sounds and watched the visuals move in beat with the music. It was educational since it features classical music and gives info on the composer. Many of the songs I had heard before but never knew what it was called or who made it so I even learned something!

This set is a classic gift that can be enjoyed by both young and old. It’s only out for a limited time so pick it up the next time you are in the store!

Check out the pdf activity and coloring pages for your kids to enjoy.

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*


Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

more by Stacie »