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4.5 out of 5 stars414
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 April 2011
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 stunning musical piece of Fantasia. The unique love of animal characters are utilised effectively. The scenery at times varies to provide a fresh dimension to the animation as you are about to observe. It is a break-taking and truly amazing experience to watch. Initially, Fantasia in its earlier days was a commercial failure during its released in 1940. Fortunes have swiftly changed. It has become a massive success and enjoyed by millions. Theatres provide regular shows. Watching it on DVD is extra special. The Dvd version is the original work. I really appreciate the level of work and money invested in reviving this animation.

I love musicals and really enjoyed this well crafted piece for displaying a surreal world to really appreciate. It is engaging and educational. I find it hard to believe the animation was released 70 years ago. A narrator and the orchestra group are quickly introduced in the opening sequences amazingly in colour. Adding colours in films was possible to achieve in those days as Disney applied a technique known as Technicolor. In those days, it was quite expensive and sophisticated for other film-makers to follow the similar route. The sound and picture quality adds an amazing and unique viewing experience to the animation. The narration is first class and informative. The musical pieces featured are well thought out and displayed to perfection. The innovativeness of mixing animation and music promoted a new dimension.It continues to inspire future generations of animation.

The music comprises a selection of acts from some of the finest and gifted composers who embraced the world. The animation is divided by eight set pieces. We experience the world in its rich beauty, nature and humanity through the amazing world of what animation offers to viewers. The main pieces include Nutcracker Suite, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Dance of the Hours and few others as well. Each piece unfold a story and the music is expertly used to convey the story for its audience. The music tone changes for each piece. It changes from its soft touch to a dramatic atmosphere. The magic of Disney re-ignites. Fantasia is a delight to watch on DVD, as it is unique,charming, stunningly attractive, surreal and expertly displayed. It is a great collection item to include. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend for anyone who loves musicals.
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on 14 June 2006
If you only ever see one Disney movie PLEASE make it Fantasia. From the opening sound of the orchestra until the last note dies away it is a total joy. Eight legendary pieces of music by some of the world's most beloved composers joined by characters that only Disney could come up with. The most well known section, of course, revolves around a certain Mouse but that aside there is definitely something here for everyone. My advice is watch this once but don't judge it immediately watch it again and I think you too will fall in love with Fantasia.
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on 4 March 2004
Not your average film, I know. But I just loved this film, because of two aspects-
1)The visuals are absolutely stunning, and at the same time absolutely revolutionary. If you consider this was 1940 when they made this, what they managed to achieve was incredible, really taking techniques to the limit. I know these methods have now been superseded by other techniques, but what they achieved THEN was cutting-edge; and you just cannot help feeling admiration for the film-makers. Plus who will be able to forget Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerers Apprentice, the dancing hippos to Ponichelli's Music, the Rite of Spring sequence, the fire of Night on Bald Mountain, the visuals used in tandem to Bach's Toccata and Fugue? I certainly haven't! Okay, not your average plotline, but if you just take this film as showing what they could achieve when taking techniques to the limit, you cannot help but be amazed.
2)The music. I'm sorry, I just LOVE music! And in particular, I love classical music, and never will you get a better collection of classical music in a film(although Kubrick's Clockwork Orange and 2001 have wonderful soundtracks). Bach's Toccata and Fugue played by a full orchestra was a hugely revolutionary thing to do, given that it is an organ piece- and yet it is an absolutely brilliant arrangement. Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice, works so well in the film. Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, absolutely revolutionary in itself(causing riots when first performed in 1913), also wonderful piece of music(also listen to his Firebird or Petruchka). Beethoven's Pastorale(6th Symphony), okay not as good as his Fifth, his Eroica, his Moonlight Sonata or his Ninth(my fave classical piece), but again worked so well. Ponichelli's Dance of the Hours, unforgettable sequence with hippos that has to be heard and seen to understand the brilliance. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite- ballet at its best. As for Mussgorgsky's fiery Night On Bald Mountain seguing into the angelic Ave Maria of Schubert, a wonderful experience when combined with the visual. I know I'm being irrational, but the sounds just work so well with the visuals that the film just works. I cannot explain why, it just...works.
So... not your average film then. But a must buy for film and music afficionados, as this is just perfection at its most revolutionary, and revolution at its most perfect, both aural and visual. Fantasia is just revolutionary perfection, you will be spellbound watching and hearing it.
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on 25 November 2001
It is absolutely beautiful, every note is perfectly linked to the images: abstractionism, surrealism, but also funny. A powerful tool to stimulate the youth to the music.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 April 2012
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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on 9 November 2011
Having had the opportunity to watch both DVD versions of one of first animated classics from Disney and as a former (now retired) member of Disney Management staff, it is strikingly obvious that the charm and production of how we (of a certain age) remember so fondly the animation, and it is somehow lost that in the newer Disney releases, albeit digitally remastered, with the loss of widescreen vision, the over emphasis of sharp lines, etc.

Buy the Original Release if possible - you will not be disappointed.
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on 30 May 2008
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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on 30 March 2011
at last!! lovingly restored and out at a great price this shows up the pretender fantasia 2000 for what it was DROSS!a brilliant way to get children into classical music (tho' night on bare mountain might be a bit frightening for younger children) and still marvellous for all us adults who can use them as a cover to watch it all again ourselves.if you dont have children then you can watch it as a guilty pleasure;you wont be disappointed as its lost none of its charm or humour!
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Can anyone possibly say anything bad about this movie ?

No.

This film was the very 1st full length animated feature film that Walt Disney ever split into segments.

Each segment is set to a different piece of Classical Music comprising of:

Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite
Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
Ludwig van Beethoven's The Pastoral Symphony
Amilcare Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours
Modest Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain
Franz Schubert's Ave Maria

Each segment also tells a different story from greek mythology to ballet, to fairies and demons.

Obviously it doesn't hold a candle to today's animation but if your children haven't see it yet, then i would sit them down and let them watch it, whilst secretly sitting there and travelling down memory lane to the 1st time you ever watched it yourself..

Classics always have to be seen..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 December 2015
Fantasia is still, in my opinion, the definitive cartoon film from the golden age of hand drawn Disney cartoons. Even in the age of computer generated imagery (CGI) is it unsurpassed in terms of its visual quality and attention to detail. It is hard to believe it was drawn in the 1930s and finally released in 1940. I guess a big proportion of the people reading this review were not even born then!
I bought the DVD recently for my four year old great grandson. I didn’t think he would like it but he was instantly transfixed when he saw. He is used to watching more modern CGI cartoons on TV and he was amazed when he watched Fantasia. The colours are absolutely beautiful. The original film plates really were hand-drawn and hand-coloured and the end result simply does not stand comparison with modern CGI animation. The sheer quality of the artwork and the vibrancy of the animation are guaranteed to appeal to children even after all these years.
It should also be noted that the film has been digitally remastered for DVD so the visual quality is just as good as it was all those years ago when people watched it at the cinema in the 1940s. The sound quality, which is all-important in this film, is excellent.
The film itself does not have a single storey line. It is essentially a series of separate animations set to classical music. In my opinion this is a very good combination for children as it introduces them to classical music in a unique and entertaining way. The animations are carefully set to the music. The guys who drew the original artwork and produced the plates for filming somehow managed to choreograph the animation to the music. The characters move and dance in perfect time to the music. It must have been so difficult to achieve that with glass plates and single shot cameras.
Some parts of the film are outstanding. For example many older people will remember the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene staring Mickey Mouse. Once seen never forgot. Even today it had the same impact on my great grandson. He sat and watched it and was totally mesmerised. He has already built up his list of ‘favourite scenes’ that he watches when he gets a chance.
In my opinion this film still has great appeal to children and adults alike. Younger children will sit and be amazed at the sheer beauty of the artwork and seamless flow of the animation and they might even develop an early taste for classical music in the process. Older family members will enjoy watching it simply because of its timeless and ageless entertainments quality.
I bought it for about £6 on Amazon and I consider it a real bargain at that price. My great grandson has watched it numerous times and he has never got bored with it. For £6 that has to be a good deal.
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