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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Throughly enjoyable and a delight to watch
Disney's core audience are children. I have to applaud Disney for encouraging children to express interest in classical music through the inspring and clever use of animation. Adults would appreciate the beauty and splendour of what the animation offers. I simply could not resist gaining a taste of Fantasia. Disney conveys the core values of humour and charm in this...
Published on 24 April 2011 by Mr. P. Datta

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I remembered
I remember this from my childhood and thought my two girls would love it. They enjoyed parts, but it wasn't as good as I remembered. Obviously the quality of the animation does not compare with current Disney standards due to its age, but there are probably only about 4 or 5 sections that are good and the rest are a bit boring.
Published 4 months ago by Bargain Hunter

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Edition due late 2010, 21 Oct 2009
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fantasia [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
This 60th anniversary edition of the classic Disney animation Fantasia was released in the year 2000 and deleted from the catalogue at the end of 2004. It is now a much sought-after collector's item. If you can wait a bit longer Disney has announced that a "Diamond Edition" will be released in late 2010 in both standard DVD and Blu-ray formats, along with the sequel Fantasia 2000. Hopefully this will finally give us the definitive version of this old Disney masterpiece which has appeared in many cuts and versions over the years. This 2000 release is the most complete version to date, with just a little editing, and deserves a full five stars. It's just a pity that it is not still more widely available!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney's classic take on classical music, 17 Jun 2005
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fantasia [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
Fantasia is a film that has stood the test of time thanks to its originality and the magic that is Disney. Unlike most movies, this one has no story to follow. Instead what we have is vignettes of Disney animation set to some of the best classical music to be found, played by the Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by the renowned Leopold Stokowski).
The film begins with Bach's Toccata and Fugue being played to a backdrop of kaleidoscopic images. There are no real forms to see, just random moving images that fit the music perfectly. The second segment uses more 'classical' animation, and shows fairies, fish, and flowers, and so on through the changing seasons. This section has Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker suite as its theme. Particularly good is the 'Chinese Dance' featuring dancing toadstools.
Segment three is the best known by far, Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice which is set to Paul Duka's music of the same name. Here we see the famous cartoon of Mickey trying to use magic on brooms in order to lighten his work load only for it all to go disastrously wrong as the brooms run out of control. From here, the film moves on to 'Rites of Spring', by Stravinsky, and this animation shows evolution, from the beginning of the universe through to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
There is then a short 'respite' in the form of 'The soundtrack', a thin beam of light that changes pattern as the music alters of the instrument playing changes. Soon the movie is back in full flow with Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony set to idyllic country images, complete with cherubs, unicorns and centaurs. This section includes a dramatic scene of a thunderstorm complete with the god Vulcan hurling his lightening bolts.
Segment six has the wonderful ostrich and hippo ballets, who wouldn't laugh at the sight of an alligator trying to run off with the hippo he has 'fallen' for. All of this is played out to Ponchielli's 'Dance of the Hours'. Finally we end up with the dramatic 'Night on a Bald Mountain' (Mussorgsky) which depicts evil being celebrated during the witches Sabbath. This section is actually divided into two and in the second half we hear the beautiful, haunting Ave Maria (Schubert) and see pilgrims crossing a bridge into a picturesque meadow. The image is one of good triumphing over evil.
This is a truly magical film, matched only by Fantasia 2000, and one that should be in any film/music lovers' collection.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasia is exceptional, but the disc-features are terrible, 6 Nov 2010
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
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Fantasia was produced at just the right time for the Walt Disney studio. Due to the success of 1937's Snow White (the film with so much color, sceptic's believed viewers may be blinded!), three major projects could be funded; a brand new studio at Burbank, the production of Pinocchio and then the grandest yet, Fantasia, released November 1940.

As a brief synopsis, Fantasia takes the guise of a Concert Hall, presenting eight famous pieces of classical music and decoding them into a set of visual images or stories. The only speech heard throughout the entire film is that of Mickey Mouse (voiced by Walt Disney), the singer for the song `Ave Maria', and the narrator/music critic of the time Deems Taylor, who accompanies musicians on screen in between each segment, and provides a nice explanation of what we should expect from each segment. In true style of such an epic film (125 mins long) there is also an Intermission slap bang in the middle, so you can go water the flowers as it were... (tee-hee)

If you've seen the film on DVD/VHS before, then you may want to read on. Deems Taylor's vocal sections are still over-dubbed due to complications during the restoration. Since Disney re-discovered film elements and didn't have their matching audio elements (as they've been lost for years), they made the choice of over-dubbing all of Taylor's appearances, rather than having the mismatch of a voice actor and the original surviving footage itself. Given these newly discovered film elements were in the original 1940 release, it makes sense that they've been included, though of course it's disappointing that the entirety of Taylor's live-action scene's are not original. Can't be helped, though.

Secondly, the title card is now the original RCA version (as Disney distributed the film in its first year), and is only present during the intermission. Amazingly, this has never been seen by anyone since mid 1941!

Lastly, censorship [provoked by so called 'Disney Buffs']. It is still present on this release, and thanks to modern technology, has been edited better. In the case of the red carpet rolling up the staircase, 'Sunflower' has been digitally removed so that the frame didn't have to be zoomed in, whilst on the shots that had to be zoomed, they are again seamless. An objection to the cuts is that the society (and indeed, the world) of 1940 was very different to now, but we shouldn't forget that an organization like Disney, whom have developed great power, also require great responsibility in feeding the modern family audience who in many cases, will not have seen Fantasia before.

So in short, "demand" for an un-cut version seems like wasted energy when;

1. It has been present since 1969.
2. They add up to less than 15 seconds in length.
3. People have a right to be offended in life. The images are crude, and have no relation to the plot or narrative of the film.

End of story.

Fantasia has such deep significance in thatre history for its contributions to art and sound production. Consider watching this film in November 1940, and its the first time ever you've heard stereo. Imagine the excitement that was Fantasia - the worlds first commercial film to 'place' sound in relation to what was happening on screen. This excitement hasn't left, for as one New York Time's critic said, "...there is nothing quite like Fantasia... It is one of the strange and beautiful things to have ever happened on screen". I really couldn't have put it better myself.

This relationship between sound and art is what makes Fantasia so special, and the restoration only makes the experience more beautiful. Right from the opening of Toccata and Fugue, conductor Leopold Stokowski directs the sound from ear-to-ear, leading us into the abstract visions of the Fugue. It is here that we leave the concert hall as a space, and ascend into the imagination. It is the most daring sequence of the film, for not everyone has the ability to decode and enjoy such abstract imagery. The beauty is not in trying to understand what is on screen through a literal sense, otherwise, the viewer is just as clueless as the next person that says "Picasso should'a gone to Specsavers."

The beauty is in being open-minded enough to understand how a musical composition can be disassembled and then given a visual life through new, creative possibilities. This is just one of the running motifs in the film.

From the twist and turns of rushing shape and colour, we move from the absolute music to program music - that being it evokes a narrative. The Nutcracker Suite provides a beauty and grace that, at many points, required up to 4-levels of Cel animation. The theme of nature and changing seasons is beautifully captured - so graceful that its hard to fathom the images were painted by hand.

Mickey arrives next, deciding to be mischievous and, after 'acquiring' his masters Magician hat, has some fun. At first, all is well when he gets his chores done by the enchanted broom, but going to sleep and dreaming of his power wasn't the best idea... The sequence is a favorite among film fans, and the inspiration for an otherwise drab live-action movie staring Mr Personality himself, Nicholas Cage. As far as restoration goes, I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty revealed as Mickey ascends to the night sky. The newly discovered artwork from the backgrounds are, quite frankly, gorgeous.

Then we have The Rite of Spring - a cut down interpretation of "how science believes life began". At over 20 mins its certainly the longest of the film, but features some wonderful animation and has an exciting dinosaur battle.

Of course, the T-Rex would just have to win!

The transformation of this sequence from the VHS/DVD is wonderful, and finally reveals a much brighter picture quality. This is the most 'changed' scene from the restoration, and I'm thankful for this as its far more enjoyable now that one can seem background paintings that, previously, didn't even know existed.

After the frolicking of Beethoven's 'Pastoral Symphony' and its beautiful mythological setting, the film provides comical relief with 'The Dance of The Hours' - a purposefully silly set of movements that act as total counterpoint. Elephants dancing like delicate ballerinas? Alligators thinking they're majestic dance-partners? You better believe it!

'Night on Bald Mountain' is chosen for what at first appears to be a powerful and haunting end, represented on screen by Chernabog; a nocturnal demon who comes to life from a mountain top (and whom is now red/maroon, which makes perfect sense as he is of course a devil), and precedes to spread darkness over a nearby village, whilst toying with his merciless power. Bill Tytlas animation of this terrifying character is truly outstanding - quite easily some of, if not, the greatest work the Disney studio offered during this era.

But 'Ave Maria' wraps up the film breathtakingly, causing me to well-up every time I hear those lush vocals. The beauty of choosing this very song and to then place it right after 'Night on Bald Mountain' is that it not only provides an artistic narrative of retaliation, but it contrasts so wonderfully the power and intensity of the evil beforehand; so much so that it is the only piece of music in the film to feature vocals, and to then sing them so captivatingly. Without the visual content, 'Ave Maria' is a nice piece of music, but when placed alongside a calm recession of people who slowly track across screen with their individual lateens, it becomes something quite beautiful, almost jouissance.

The biggest light of all is the sunrise that precedes fill your screen; a message of hope, and the one message that is used throughout the entire film.

Fantasia, to me, was the one film that restoration and HD was made for and it clearly shows. Just about every scene in the film is different in some way, revealing artwork never seen before, colours that suddenly pop out and make sense, and brush detail that is so gorgeous, you can even see the texture of the card many backgrounds were painted on. During the live action scenes, whereas past prints have shrouded the musicians in darkness, the detail now lights up individual faces, hair, clothing, instruments... Its fair to say that the viewer finally does feel like they're at a concert, which was what the film intended in the first place!

Audio - a bit hit and miss. Because the Disney technicians were so obviously engrossed in drowning out noise and hiss (a lot of which was original in the first place), the final soundtrack sounds very thin/plastic-like when the entire orchestra is in full power. The problem is that filtering out noise to drastic measures lessens the dynamic range of the recording, and thus natural elements such as hall reverb have been completely drowned out. Yet on the other hand, many sections of the film rival modern recordings, which is particularly surprising - the best example being the Pastoral Symphony. The stereo panning of this soundtrack is also very poor and does not reflect the original Fantasound output; as is best heard on the VHS.

The improvements visually come down to restoring the film in the correct method; using the original RGB Technicolor camera negatives rather than old CYMK prints. The result is that the colour timing is now correct for the first time on a home media, and suddenly, everything just makes that bit more sense on screen. The live action shots of Taylor, previous in darkness, now show him up as a character that could have been filmed yesterday, he's that bright and clear.

The product is far from perfect though. Be as it may the flawless restoration, Disney released a trailer stating this film would be a 'Diamond Edition' (their top-tier for releases), and that it would include a feature called 'Fantasia World', amongst other un-seen shorts. This was sadly all dropped, and after at least 3 delays since the start of the year, the result is that the film has had a very lousy treatment when it comes to extra features, in comparison to Disney's other Blu-Ray releases. In fact, it would be easier to list the features that aren't even included on disc:

No 'Making of...' documentary[s] (Every other Platinum/Special/Diamond Edition has had one)
No Deleted Scenes (Which in Fantasia's case, was 'Claire de Lune')
No alternative concepts (Ride of The Valkeries...)
No alternate soundtracks (The 1982 release?)
No 'Classic DVD Extras', aside from Commentaries.

It would appear that Disney have been biased towards their 'family favorites', for the sheer amount of content on the recent 'Beauty and The Beast' release makes this Fantasia product look ultimately drab. Whats more frustrating is that, historically, Fantasia is a far more significant film for its contributions to cinema.

An upside is that 'Disney B.D Live' (the online service) is now active and you can access much of the Anthology material, but in my view, this simply doesn't make up for not even including a new 'Making of...' feature at the very least. Especially when it only fills 25% of the screen.

To make matters worse, this 'Virtual Vault' is only available on the Fantasia 2000 disc from the Combo Pack - despite the fact it contains features for the original Fantasia, too! Now how does that make any sense?

"The Schultheis Notebook" for the 15 mins its lasts is also interesting, but why-oh-why not just make a virtual/interactive version of it so that users can explore this book on the disc? The Notebook is packed with secrets about the film, yet the documentary only talks briefly of a handful of effects.

With new schemes such as 'Double Play' and the two-tier system of 'Special' and 'Diamond Edition', I can't help but feel that Disney is focusing more on quantity of sale rather than quality of the product. Why this film was abandoned from the Diamond Edition line, we'll never know, but it was obviously a close call since placing the disc in a PS3 console reveals the title "Fantasia: Diamond Edition". Great quality control.

Regardless, the film is undoubtedly Disney's folly and is truly the realm of art and animation. Alongside Pinocchio, it is one of the masterpieces of film-making for its contributions to both multi-channel sound re-production and avant-garde qualities. This ultimately highlights the biggest conundrum of all; had Fantasia of succeeded as being a commercial triumph, there is no telling what the studio could have gone on to produce in later years.

Hopefully, it wouldn't of been Hannah Montana.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An innovate and ambitious experiment, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Fantasia [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
Over a thirty year period I have seen Fantasia (1940) in theaters on a few occasions. During each showing I witnessed several members of the audience walk out. That is usually a good sign. There is little doubt that this experimental film (yes, Disney once was innovative) has unmitigated moments of lurid kitsch, with equal parts cinematic magic. It's a flawed masterpiece, which begs the questions: does an infallible masterpiece actually exist? Fantasia represents it's creator, Walt Disney, as utterly possessed by obsessive, artistic, and innovative ambition. It may be one of the most stand apart films ever crafted, which is why, seventy plus years later, it still has the power to provoke dumbed-down audiences who still look at artmusic with suspicion. Simultaneously, it also annoys insufferable academic elitists who cannot find it in themselves to embrace the film's tawdrier moments.

Another supposed "strike" the film has against it is its choice of conductor: Leopold Stokowski. Stoki was the P.T. Barnum of transplanted Euro conductors residing in America. Mention him to any "serious" classical music lover and he'll make a face like he's heard fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. Stokowski was known for his Bach transcriptions, one of which--"Toccata and Fugue in D minor"--opens the film. Essentially,he romanticized Bach, making him sound more like Tchaikovsky. One wit described such tampering as "High Cholesterol Bach." It's a dishonest reaction, molded by unimaginative attachments to "historical correctness" and hyper-realism. Avoid such persons like the plague (they probably started life by pulling the wings off butterflies). For those of us who have no qualms admitting that we like plenty of syrup on our musical flapjacks, embracing this wizard's transcriptions presents no problems. Seeing only Stokowski's brazen self-promotion amounts to blindness. This former organist had one of the most prodigious gifts in drawing color out of every orchestra he worked with, which made him the quintessential choice for Fantasia. Compare his achievement in this film, awash in personality, to the comparatively monochromatic conducting of James Levine in Fantasia 2000.

The meeting of Stokowski and Walt Disney, in 1937 at Chasen's restaurant, is the stuff of legend. Disney was starstruck with the conductor's celebrity, mysterious accent, and fierce mane. The seed of an idea for a "concert film" sprang from the meeting. At this time Disney had only produced and released one previous feature: Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937). The idea of an animated feature had seemed risky and radical, with the naysayers predicting bankruptcy. The profits and critical acclaim from Snow White forever silenced those constipated doomsday prophets. Now, Disney was ready to take another risk. 1940 saw the release of Disney's second and third feature films. Artistically, it paid off as Pinocchio (1940) and Fantasia are, to date, Disney's two greatest films (yes, I said that), released only nine months apart. The former was a critical, box office hit. The latter did not make money for nearly twenty years. Disney had proven one can go indeed broke overestimating the American public.

The Fantasia deal signed, Stokowski was excited and predictably offered numerous ideas about the use of color. A later biographer wrote that the conductor's fascination with color was sincere, describing his various experiments with mixing alcoholic drinks for color effects. Stoki did a similar thing with "sound color" by incessantly changing the orchestra seating layout. Even visually, "Toccata and Fugue" is pure Stokowski. The opening piece is introduced via the superb narration of American composer Deems Taylor (to the public he was primarily known as a commentator for the NY Philharmonic Radio Broadcasts). This "absolute music" is total abstraction. Entirely hand painted, at times the watercolors almost appear to still be wet. Vibrant with texture, this is far removed from contemporary slick and soulless computer animation. Stokowski used no baton, so his beautifully powerful long hands are highlighted, jabbing through the splashing backdrop. The french horns are hauntingly lit in diaphanous color before the violin bows transform into silvery beams of light reaching for infinity. Sound and vision collide, producing crashing tides, ending in a literal fireworks display.

For those, like myself, who have overdosed on Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite," Fantasia serves up a refreshing alternate vision, the most incandescent and sensual vignette of the entire program. Naturally, it is abridged and rearranged like one of Stoki's infamous "Symphonic Syntheses." Unwittingly, Disney tailored this Nutcracker Suite for the upcoming hippie acidhead generation (who eventually elevated Fantasia to masterpiece status). Darting fairies, spectral spider webs, and psychedelic mushrooms are followed by larger, dew-shaking `shrooms engaged in a Chinese tango. Being a ballet, naturally there is plenty of dancing, but the Disney team imaginatively improve on the yawn-inducing holiday imagery that we have come to associate with Tchaikovsky's most famous music (which, as Taylor reminds us, the composer himself detested). Guaranteed, you will not find blue fairies, Russian Cossacks, pink fairies, waltzing flowers, orange fairies, or rhythmic goldfish mating with fairies (?) and swimming through an erotic Busby Berkeleyesque aquatic Arabic dance sequence at your local ballet company anytime soon.

Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice is justifiably Fantasia`s most famous segment. Having a narrative (albeit a wordless one) to work with inspired the team to great heights. It is possibly the last time we will see Mickey Mouse before he succumbs to total blandness.With its narrative of white magic and sorcery, it is remarkable that the evangelical zealots of the day did not hone in on this segment (the way they did more recently with the Harry Potter series). It's either that such types are somehow even more de-evolved than they were seventy years ago (possible, but not likely) or they stayed away from anything with the tag of "classical music" attached anyway. Since they didn't see it, they didn't know to get their feathers riled. Regardless, Stokowski had no such qualms. This being a tone poem, it is tailored for his bag of tricks. Even the most art-constipated among us can enjoy our once favorite mouse in the expert choreography composed by the Disney team.

Igor Stravinsky's ballet "Le Sacre du printemps" ("The Rite of Spring") is served up here for the eternal dinosaur-loving eight-year-old boy. Actually, the ballet is about pagan sacrifice and is so dissonant and barbaric that it caused one of the biggest scandals of music history in the form of a violent riot during the 1913 premiere at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Regardless of the ballet's narrative change (and the necessary abridgment), the composer (the only living composer chosen for the film) at first loved the Disney/Stokowski version. Years later, he did an about face (as he was apt to do), vilifying it. Still, given the time, the Darwinism included here was a damned provocative decision. This was only fifteen years after the Scopes trial, yet Disney and team are showing us the beginning of life on earth as science has revealed. Fish mutating into amphibious lifeforms show the artists clearly siding with Scopes and Clarance Darrow. Naturally, the dinosaurs come, and no Creation Museum is going to stop them. While the Le Sacre du Printemps (2004) film by the tragically short-lived Oliver Herrmann might be aesthetically truer to the avant-garde nature of Stravinsky's masterpiece, Fantasia`s interpretation is rousing (and exhausting). After carnivorous lizards and the extinction of much life on earth, we deserve an amusing intermission with the soundtrack and, again Taylor is the host for the job.

Fantasia`s treatment of Beethoven's "Pastorale" symphony has always been a point of debate. Skinny dipping centaurettes are lured (by mooning cherubs) to square jawed, beefcake centaurs. Fortunately, the centaurettes do manage to squeeze into their garland bras because their male counterparts don't seem to know what to do next. Confused libidos and a bacchanal (where the wine is pouring) is rudely interrupted by none other than Zeus himself (wielding a lightening bolt forged by Vulcan). This is the famous "storm" movement of the Pastorale. Helios' chariot brings forth a much-needed sunset, and Selene tucks the Earth in with the night of her cape. Stokowski's reading, like Disney's animation, is anything but subtle.

Ponichelli's ballet "Dance of the Hours" (from the opera "La Gioconda") becomes what may be the most eccentric burlesque in the history of cinema. This is also a highly debated segment, which is to be expected with an amorous alligator cavorting with a hippo, alligators riding ostriches, and elephants riding alligators. Perhaps the Fantaisa-loving acid heads of the 1960s had a point.

Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" was part of Stokowski's standard repertoire. He has his own arrangement, as opposed to the Rimsky-Korsakov edition used in most concert programs. The Witches' Sabbath brings out the Satanic Chernobog (modeled, in part, on Bela Lugosi and Wilford Jackson), descending on the town below like the Angel of Death terrorizing Egypt in the Moses narrative. Chernobog's demons join their master in this violent, surreal nightmare, which, unfortunately for the victims, features a fiery pit to rival the worst of the gnostic apocalypses. The sadistic, phantasmagoric mayhem retreats with the chiming of the church bells that herald the segue into Schubert's "Ave Maria." Some have held these last two conjoined segments as the film's best.

Walt Disney had planned more editions of Fantasia (which included a collaboration with Salvador Dali), but its initial failure laid such plans to rest until sixty year later when Walt Disney Productions released Fantasia 2000. Fantasia 2000 had fleeting moments of brilliance, but was mostly a disappointing sequel; too clean, too crisp, lacking the risk-taking intensity and provocativeness of the original. Pinocchio may have had boys turning into jackasses, and Dumbo (1941) had it's mind boggling "pink elephants on parade," but Walt Disney's Fantasia is chock-full of progressive weirdness and an ardent embrace of art for the sake of art.

*Review originally published at 366 weird movies
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film, 28 Oct 2013
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Whilst growing up I never appreciated this master piece, but now I can truly say I love this film.
Full of Walt Disney's now famous cartoon characters incuding the one that started it all Mickey Mouse in his most famous role. The music to accompany this movie is also amazing and when combined is a feast for the eyes and ears.
Delivery of item was before schedule by amazon and arrived in good condition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars startling for its time, and still great for older and much younger viewers, 24 April 2012
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fantasia - [DVD] [1940] (DVD)
This was one of the earliest of Disney's full-length cartoons, and one of the boldest. I watched it with pleasure about 50 years ago, when I was 15. Now I have had the great pleasure of seeing it again, but this time in the company of grandchildren aged 3 to 6. They see many DVDs, but this one is not like the others, and I noticed that several times they actually gasped at the surprising visual things that were onscreen - and they were a little bit frightened too here and there, but pleasurably so. They loved it. For myself, I loved most of it (there's a bit too much sugariness about the centaurs and their ladyloves in the 'Pastoral' Symphony for me), and particularly the famous 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' 'The Rite of Spring', 'The Dance of the Hours' with its hippos, ostriches, crocodiles and elephants, and 'Night on the Bare Mountain'. OK, there is some Disney cuteness, but there is also a great deal of inventive animation, humour and atmosphere. Stokowski was an old showman, but he was also at the head of one of the very great orchestras of the time, the Philadelphia, and he was indisputably a great conductor. The music is mostly excellently presented, with only just too much drastic cutting in the 'Pastoral' for my taste - to tell the whole 'story' of a 40-minute symphony was perhaps a little over-ambitious. 'The Rite of Spring' was an interesting and bold choice in 1940. Presumably a good number of the target audience would never have heard it, and it was still a fairly advanced score for that time (there is in fact a neat little joke about this in the intro, when the tubular bells are knocked over off-camera). But the music and graphics work excellently, with necessary but sensitive editing of the score so it could fit the narrative in the images. In a nation which still has a vocal fundamentalist minority now, it's nice to see Disney offering, 70 years ago, the accepted scientific evolutionary view of creation. So there are far, far more plusses than minusses here, it has worn well and it still gives very great pleasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, 5 May 2011
Mr. J. Hewett (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fantasia - [DVD] [1940] (DVD)
Even better than I remembered when I first saw it - as a teenager, on re-release. It is for adults rather than children. This time around I found myself most enjoying different sequences than I had before - sign of a work with much to offer at several levels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasia - Fantastic, 30 May 2008
K. Taylor "Media Addict" (Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fantasia [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
Even though this film is over 60 years old it hasn't aged a bit. It still retains it's magic, sparkle and entertainment value. I first saw this at the cinema when I was in my early teens and even though I've seen quite a lot of disney films in my time, nothing comes close to the experience of the pure sounds and visuals of this film. Disney exceeded himself when he made this and I believe he has never bettered it, regardless of the advancement in technology. If you've never seen this I would highly recommend it. Children and adults will find different aspects of enjoyment in this film, but both will enjoy it on many different levels. This is a true Disney masterpiece, very different to the types of films the Disney studio tends to churn out these days.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic wallow, 17 May 2011
P. I. Browne (Derry City, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fantasia - [DVD] [1940] (DVD)
It is many years since I first watched "Fantasia" in the cinema. Now it has been released in the age of HD Big screen TV's and it is a treat to watch it all over again. An added pleasure was to have my grand daughter by my side and watch her reactions to the various sequences. A great introduction to classical music for the young.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars much loved favourite, 30 Jan 2011
This review is from: Fantasia (DVD + Blu-ray, with DVD Packaging) (Blu-ray)
We have been looking for Fantasia to come out on DVD for years after the VHS tape kept by Dad gave up the ghost and expired. One for Dad for his birthday and a sneeky one for me and everyone is very happy :) Am also loving the disney option of buying both a DVD and a Blu-ray copy at the same time for not a huge amount extra - means that when I upgrade to a Blu-ray player I won't need to buy another copy!
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Fantasia (DVD + Blu-ray, with DVD Packaging)
Fantasia (DVD + Blu-ray, with DVD Packaging) by Samuel Armstrong (Blu-ray - 2010)
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