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Walt Disney's classic animated feature returns to the big screen.
The film is fresh an updated with new music and awe inspiring animation. Fantasia 2000 offers an exciting new showcase for the talents of a new generation of Disney animators and filmmakers as they visually interpret classical compositions by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Respighi, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Stravinsky. The original Fantasia was conceived as a repertoire programme with changing musical selections and Fantasia 2000 celebrates that same creative spirit for the millennium with six new selections and one returning favourite from the 1940 classic.
World renowned conductor James Levine takes up the baton this time out as he leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Like its pioneering predecessor, this new version of Fantasia embraces all the technological tools and innovations to tell its stories and create breathtaking imagery. This production is under the personal supervision of Roy E Disney.
Persons of interest
- Leopold Stokowski .... Himself
- Ralph Grierson .... Pianist
- Kathleen Battle .... Featured Soprano
- Steve Martin .... Himself
- Itzhak Perlman .... Himself
- Quincy Jones .... Himself
- Bette Midler .... Herself
- James Earl Jones .... Himself
- Penn Jillette .... Himself
- Teller .... Himself
- James Levine .... Himself
- Angela Lansbury .... Herself
- Wayne Allwine .... Mickey Mouse
- Tony Anselmo .... Donald Duck
- Russi Taylor .... Daisy Duck
- Deems Taylor .... Himself
- Gaëtan Brizzi .... Animator
- Paul Brizzi .... Animator
- Yefim Bronfman .... Pianist
- Oliver Thomas .... Storywriter
- Joe Ranft .... Storywriter
- Elena Driskill .... Conceptualisor: Death and re-birth of the forest
- Hans Christian Andersen .... Author: The Steadfast Tin Soldier
- Carl Fallberg .... Story Director: The sorcerer's apprentice
- Joe Grant .... Creator
- Irene Mecchi .... Screenwriter
- Perce Pearce .... Story Director: The sorcerer's apprentice
- David Reynolds .... Screenwriter
- James Algar .... Director: The sorcerer's apprentice
- Gaëtan Brizzi .... Director: The firebird Suite")
- Paul Brizzi .... Director: The firebird Suite
- Hendel Butoy .... Director: Pines of Rome, Piano Concerto No 2
- Francis Glebas .... Director: Pomp and circumstance
- Eric Goldberg .... Director: Rhapsody in blue, The Carnival of the Animals
- Don Hahn .... Screenwriter
- Pixote Hunt .... Director: Symphony No 5
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Studios and distributors:
Media intelligence (Music)
- Symphony number five (Beethoven): set to the familiar strains of Beethoven's classic symphony, director Pixote Hunt uses abstract imagery and a beautiful pastel palette to tell this tale of good versus evil. The story follows a "great controversy" between two groups of objects, differing in shape and colour, and the build-up to a climactic confrontation. Using an innovative approach that texture-maps pastel colours onto traditional hand-drawn animation as well as some dazzling computer-generated effects, this fantasy takes flight.
- The pines of Rome (Ottorino Respighi): stunning three-dimensional computer animation is used to bring life to a pod of whales that miraculously take flight when a supernova explodes above their iceberg-laden habitat.
- Rhapsody in blue (Gershwin): director Dric Goldberg first paid homage to the style of legendary caricaturist Al Hirschfeld when he designed and supervised the animation of the genie in Aladdin. Set in Manhattan during the jazz age, this whimsical tale follows several diverse characters as they weave in and out of each other's lives during the course of their daily routines.
- Piano concerto no 2, allegro, opus 102 (Shostakovich): director Hendel Butoy matched Hans Christian Andersen's magical fairy tale for his version of The steadfast tin soldier. The story follows the adventures of a brave tin soldier who overcomes incredible odds to rescue a beautiful ballerina from a sinister Jack-in-the-box and win her heart.
- Carnival of the animals, finale (Camille Saint-Saëns): the story of a flamboyant yo-yo-playing flamingo who stands apart from the flock.
- The sorcerer's apprentice (Paul Dukas): Mickey Mouse cast a magic spell over moviegoers with his entrancing role in Fantasia and rode a new wave of popularity. The versatile mouse star finds himself in over his head when he puts on a different hat and tries to work a little magic of his own. Naturally he lands in deep water.
- Pomp and circumstance, Marches 1, 2, 3, 4 (Elgar): Donald Duck has always been a bit envious of Mickey's star status and now, after 60 years, he finally gets equal billing. The highly flappable duck takes on the role of Noah's assistant and finds himself leading a procession of animal couples onto the ark. When he becomes separated from his own better half, Daisy Duck, confusion follows along with much pomp and some comical circumstance.
- Firebird suite: 1919 version (Stravinsky): long considered the most dramatic finale on any musical program, this powerful piece of music by Igor Stravinsky has death and rebirth as its theme. This segment personifies nature in the form of a sprite who is summoned by a lone elk, the monarch of the forest. When the beauty of springtime is destroyed by the fury of the firebird, who lives within an active volcano, it is up to the elk and sprite to once again bring life back to the ravaged forest and triumphantly reawaken what lies beneath the ashes.
Special Agent Matti
Fantasia 2000 more than lives up to the rosy hued memories of its progenitor. It takes the same format and adds some 90s marketing twists, some digital stuff, some wacky humour and some incredible beauty. Now here's my blow-by-blow opinion, track by track.
- Symphony number five: da, da, da dum... da, da, da dum... everyone in the western world knows those famous opening notes, unfortunately the animation lets this track down. It's a whole bunch of triangular shapes (which you will automatically think of as butterflies) fluttering about the screen. Not only was the imagery two-dimensional but so was the story. By far the weakest of the lot.
- The pines of Rome: oh, wow. This one is just incredible. the whales are awesome: ponderous in their size yet delicate in their movement. The baby whale is overly cute, but fortunately it gets lost inside a giant iceberg, allowing for some truly beautiful images to be produced. When the whales take flight it is a mind-blowing experience.
- Rhapsody in blue: ahhh, New York. What would Hollywood do without it? These folks are back in the 30s, bumbling and scraping their way through their little lives, looking for their one chance at happiness. It's a nice wee story without words, making it all the more effective.
- Piano concerto no 2, allegro, opus 102: a very traditional cartoon about the life of toys when all the children have gone to bed. Sound like Toy story 2? Where do you think they got the idea from?
- Carnival of the animals, finale: he, he, he, ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho! By far the funniest toon I have seen in years. Whichever demented Disney mind thought up the idea of giving a flamingo a yo-yo must be congratulated. This short piece is a classic in its own time, utterly hilarious and awesomely cool.
- The sorcerer's apprentice: easily the most popular track from the original, the morality gets in the way a little bit at this stage of the century (work hard, don't cheat, obey your elders) but doesn't stop you feeling glad you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.
- Pomp and circumstance, Marches 1, 2, 3, 4: a tragic love story that brings the most out of Donald's character; the (falsely assumed) loss of his one true love to divine retribution is a nod to the darker side of life. Both he and Daisy play their parts well, eliciting a tearful reunion at the end. It's a well made animation, combining humour and pain into a truly grand vision.
- Firebird suite: 1919 version: life, death and rebirth. People think of nature as cruel and uncaring, but really it is only people who can think these things. Nature simply is. There are cycles of chaos and order, large and small, that constantly change the face of the Earth. Death is not tragic, life is not beautiful, they are merely overlapping parts of the same whole.
Omaaah! Imax! It was huge!
All this wild imagery writ large on the world's biggest Imax screen and fantastic music in super duper sound... cool! The experience is so much more than you experienced when you first saw it down at the local mulitplex: it overwhelms your senses like a king wave, sucking you under the foamy brine and not letting you go until the master magician waves his hand.
You gotta see Fantasia 2000 at Imax, even if you've already seen it!
Media intelligence (DVD)
- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Roy Disney introduction
- Cartoon: Toot whistle, pluck and boom
- Languages: English
- Picture: 1.85:1
- Subtitles: English, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Hebrew
Security censorship classification
75 minutes (1:15 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 14 December 2000 - Imax
VHS rental: 29 November 2000
DVD rental: 20 February 2002
VHS rental: 20 February 2002