Fantasia 2000

Posted in Cinema, DVD, English, Reviews by Suganth on December 24, 2010

Fantasia 2000, like its predecessor, is an eclectic piece of work comprising seven episodes of inventive and often breathtaking animation

Walt Disney’s ambitious decision to visually interpret classical music forms through animation resulted in Fantasia in 1940. The abstract nature of the film — which involved short animated episodes for each classical piece — evoked mixed response from the public at that time. However, the stature of Fantasia grew over the years that Roy Disney decided to revive the project as envisioned by his uncle. Fantasia 2000, like its predecessor, is an eclectic piece of work comprising seven episodes that include flying whales, a depression-era comedy, flamingoes with yo-yo, Donald Duck on Noah’s Ark and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (featuring Mickey Mouse) from the original Fantasia. The film opens with the most abstract episode – a battle between butterflies and bats set to the tune of Beethoven’s magnificent Symphony No 5. Visualizing Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome, the animators tell a tale of pod of whales that magically get the power to fly! The surreal visuals easily beat most of the 3D animation of today. Beginning with a single line, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue becomes a subtle comedy set in depression era New York City. Hans Christian Anderson’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier gets a positive ending in one of the easily accessible episodes in the film while Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite gets visualized as an eco feature with the visuals being similar to Japanese animes. Mickey’s comeback vehicle The Sorcerer’s Apprentice still feels like a brilliant fusion of notes and strokes and doesn’t seem out of place amidst works done more than half a century later. The special edition DVD also has a nine-minute documentary, Musicana, which recounts the failed efforts of Disney animators, who valiantly tried to produce a sequel to Fantasia in the late 70s. Early artworks from the sequel, planned as a showcase for various cultures of the world, provide an insight into the scope of the project.

Copyright ©2010 Chennai Times

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