Bum ba dum ba dum...(can you guess which segment that is?)
Disney rewatch number three is here, and we have a bit of a different movie that we're dealing with. Fantasia has no songs, so we're switching up the usual ranking and talking about the different segments of Disney's most famous anthology film. I don't really like this movie, so I wasn't super positive on most of these segments, but the top few are pretty good. That said, here's my ranking of all seven segments of Fantasia.
7. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
This segment is exactly what it looks like. This doesn't even have sentient characters in it. It's literally just waves and kaleidoscope imagery accompanying a relatively forgettable piece of music. It's a cool use of color, but it goes on for way too long, and is easily the blandest animation of the entire film. And, to make matters worse, this is the first segment in Fantasia.
6. Dance of the Hours
Dance of the Hours is strange, because it has a bunch of animals in it that represent different times of day. There's hippos and crocodiles and ostriches. And, while that sounds like it should be fun and exciting, it isn't. It's so forgettable. I've seen Fantasia twice before this most recent watch, and this was the only segment that I genuinely did not remember being in the movie. It's short. And it's lame.
5. The Pastoral Symphony
I thought The Pastoral Symphony was one of the strongest segments of Fantasia, but I was wrong. I don't actually know how long any of the individual segments are, but it feels like this one was the longest, and that doesn't work in it's favor. Now, the animation is cool. I love the ancient Greece setting. They have Zeus and other gods make appearances in here, yet this segment has no story. It's so long. It has legit characters. But there's no story. And that was really, really frustrating.
4. The Nutcracker Suite
Fantasia's first truly animated segment is a rocky start to the program. The Nutcracker Suite is great music, but it's accompanied by some somewhat dull animation and some weirdly racist moments involving clear Asian stereotypes. This one also feels very long and very dragged out. Unlike The Pastoral Symphony, it shifts locations, making it feel a bit more interesting and less like it should be story-based. I still don't really like this segment. But it isn't awful.
3. Rite of Spring
Rite of Spring is almost good. The evolution of life and the fight between the dinosaurs is cool, but that isn't what most of the segment is. A lot of it is just showing natural environments and giving us a glimpse at prehistoric ages. Most of this segment is boring. But it shoots up this list as soon as the T-Rex and Stegosaurus duke it out. I think that part is great. And it makes me not fully dislike Rite of Spring.
2. Night on Bald Mountain / Ave Maria
This is one of two segments that I can definitively say I like. Night on Bald Mountain gives us Chernabog, who is considered to be the main villain of Fantasia. The best piece of music in the program is accompanied by some very creepy imagery that I really like. I think Chernabog is a really cool character that has a genuinely scary look to him. Ave Maria is the weaker part of this segment, but it doesn't really take away from Night on Bald Mountain being awesome.
1. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sorcerer's Apprentice is amazing. It's not even really in competition with any of the other segments. The music is great. The story is great. The animation is great. And the cherry on top? Our main sorcerer is the mouse himself. This is Mickey's only feature-length Disney animation film that he's in, and this part is great. It's just fun to watch him direct these broomsticks because he's too lazy to carry out his chores. The way it backfires on him is hilarious. The whole segment is just a lot of fun. It's a shame, because it feels pretty short, so it doesn't make up as much of the runtime as you'd like, but The Sorcerer's Apprentice is easily the best and most iconic part of Fantasia.