The most sensational sound you'll ever see!
Fantasia is a 1940 animated musical fantasy anthology film directed by Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen, David D. Hand, Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley, Ford Beebe, T. Hee, Norman Ferguson, and Wilfred Jackson, written by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, produced by Walt Disney Productions, and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. It stars Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor. This is the first film in the Fantasia franchise. It was followed by Fantasia 2000. In 1990, Fantasia was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant.
"Well, that isn't quite what I had in mind." - Deems Taylor
Walt Disney and Leopold Stokowski collaborate to create a beautiful motion capture of classical music through Disney animation.
Fantasia: Quick Thoughts
While I appreciate Fantasia for being this wondrous experiment of animation and music, I can't say that I like it.
This film is definitely unique. It's a very cool blending of Disney animation with classical music that is absolutely revolutionary. The way that sound is visualized is unlike anything else in any other movie. There isn't a Disney film like Fantasia (except for Fantasia 2000). There isn't an animated film like Fantasia. There just isn't another film like Fantasia, and that's something that you cannot say about most movies.
However, while it's a very cool film and I appreciate it for the artistry and beautiful animation, I just don't really find it that enjoyable. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is fantastic. Everything besides that is kind of boring.
It just feels like Fantasia was crafted with art in mind. Which, obviously, it was, but almost all of the segments are completely lacking in any story whatsoever. They are just images that accompany music for two hours. Sure, Rite of Spring and The Pastoral Symphony have elements of story, but they really are just mostly beautiful images without any substance.
And that isn't really my thing. I fully acknowledge and admire Fantasia for the craft and the artistry behind it, but I just can't say that I enjoy this movie, because it's just classical music paired with animation. There needs to be story and entertainment value for me to be able to like a movie, and, unfortunately, Fantasia does not have that.
The Disney Evaluation
Fantasia is so difficult to evaluate here, because it's so different than any Disney movie ever. It feels nothing like The Lion King or Peter Pan. There aren't any classic songs. It doesn't have the swelling Disney imagery and storytelling that a lot of these movies have. But it's so iconic. And catapulted Mickey Mouse into the mainstream audience. While I don't like Fantasia, it's another Golden Age Disney movie with so much iconic about it, so I have to give it a good score here.
Fantasia gets a Genie's Lamp.
THE DISNEY SCALE
Mickey Mouse (Top Tier Disney)
Genie's Lamp (Great Disney)
Glass Slipper (Good Disney)
A Sword in the Stone (Bad Disney)
Poison Apple (Terrible Disney)
Family Factor: 6.5/10
Disney Imagery: 8/10
Final Thoughts and Score
Fantasia is a masterclass in blending music and animation. It's a beautiful piece of art. But it's not my thing. I was bored throughout and just waiting for it to be over.
I have to go Sour here. Age range is 4+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)
Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 3.5/10
Story: N/A Characters: 6.5/10
Directed by Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen, David D. Hand, Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley, Ford Beebe, T. Hee, Norman Ferguson, and Wilfred Jackson
Released on November 13, 1940
Rated G for disturbing images
2 hours and 6 minutes
Leopold Stokowski as Leopold Stokowski
Deems Taylor as Deems Taylor Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse