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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Restoration
I first saw Fantasia during the late 1960s when I saw it on a local flea-pit, now long closed. Being a lover of classical music, I expected to be really disappointed with expectations of poor performances and sound. However, this was not the case, and to this day I have never lost my admiration of this film and believe it to be one of Disney's finest creations...
Published on 10 Nov 2010 by E. A. Redfearn

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars loved fantasia as a child but hadn't seen fantasia 2000
Found fantasia 2000 disappointing - especially the twaddle that was used to introduce each piece which was not even informative about the music or composers. The original fantasia is much better.
Published 19 months ago by Kali


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Restoration, 10 Nov 2010
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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I first saw Fantasia during the late 1960s when I saw it on a local flea-pit, now long closed. Being a lover of classical music, I expected to be really disappointed with expectations of poor performances and sound. However, this was not the case, and to this day I have never lost my admiration of this film and believe it to be one of Disney's finest creations.

And now, this Blu-Ray version has come along with high expectations from me, and I was not disappointed. The picture is beautiful to look at, with some scenes, especially in the Beethoven Pastoral scenes, showing fine detail and outstanding colour. This applies right throughout the film, and makes purchasing of Blu-Ray machines all the more worthwhile.

As for the audio, I did have a slight problem with this. My hearing has deterioted over the years, since I am now in my 60s. Luckily, I haven't lost the tone altogether, and using a Yamaha Home Cinema 7:1 amplifier I was able to spread the sound much wider around the room. But, I didnt like the DTS Theatre Mode, seemed too bassy and flat for me, so I switched the sound mode to Movie Spectacle 5:1 and found it sounded much better, with more treble. Of course, everyone's hearing is different, so viewers should find the right sound mode for them.

The same applies to Fantasia 2000. I already had a copy of this on DVD bought a few years back, so I knew what to expect anyway. I particularly enjoyed the Blu-Ray version however, with much sharper detail and fantastic colour. I also used the same sound mode Movie Spectacle 5:1 and it sounded superb.

There are some extras which are worthwhile too, especially the Dali Destino segment which you will find on the Fantasia 2000 disc.

This could be one of THE Blu-Ray releases of the year.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practically perfect restoration, 8 Nov 2010
By 
Paul (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Disney have out-done themselves with this restoration of Fantasia. It would appear that all the original live-action footage and narration have been restored and (other than the removal of the "racist" character from the Pastoral Symphony) Fantasia has finally been returned to how it played back in 1940.
The animation has been cleaned up to a sparkling shine and the 4:3 aspect ratio has been retained (so no awful 16:9 stretching or cropping!). Disney even thought to include a feature that replaces the "pillarbox" black strips with custom borders that reflect each scene of the film, which actually manages to enhance the viewing experience.
The restoration is so good, in fact, that I think Fantasia 2000's visuals actually pale in comparison, though are by no means poor.

As for bonus features, there's a lot on offer if you're a fan of behind-the-scenes documentaries and Disney history (which I personally love) but not so much for those who want deleted segments or anything from the abandoned Fantasia 2006 project (which doesn't seem to even get mentioned). The best bonus is definitely the Salvador Dali collaboration film Destino and its accompanying feature-length documentary "Disney and Dali: A Date with Destino". The short film itself is a moving work of art that I could watch again and again and never tire of; the documentary is a very interesting insight into the lives of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali and how they came to work together. There's also a brief look at "Musicana", an abandoned spiritual successor to Fantasia that was dreamt-up but then abandoned in the 1970s.
(It should be noted that all of the above features appear on the Fantasia 2000 disc so may not be available in the stand-alone Fantasia release - just a word of caution.)

All-in-all, a fantastic restoration of a timeless masterpiece and a must-have for any animation fan.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhapsody in Blu, 8 Nov 2010
By 
possessed.by.a.lemon - See all my reviews
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To cut a long review short, I'll open with the tl;dr (too long; didn't read) version. Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 on Blu-ray is a perfect release. The transfers are flawless and the 7.1 DTS HD representation of the classical scores are aural nirvana. The stunning picture and audio bring the old Fantasia soundbite of 'seeing music and hearing pictures' to new levels of immersion. I'll put my neck on the line and describe Fantasia as the finest moment of Disney's Golden Age, an act of startling genius, and similarly claim this to be the most impressive Blu-ray release for any of the House of Mouse's classics yet. Fantasia 2000 makes this edition well worth choosing over the Fantasia solus release, although it is undeniably the lesser of the two films. Your kids might not love the world of Fantasia initially, but that's nothing that a trip to the hospital for a soul transplant can't fix.

Now with that out of the way, let's do this thing.

Packaging:

In truth, the packaging isn't much to write home about. While the very reasonable price has to be taken into consideration, it's just two separate common or garden Blu-ray cases in a box of thin card. No booklet beyond an advertorial pamphlet. It does conform to the stylings of the splipcases from previous Disney classics and has an embossed front, but if you were hoping for a digipack, stop hoping.

Picture quality:

The likes of Dumbo and Pinocchio have been fine on Blu-ray but watching Fantasia is the first time I've been blown away by a Disney classic. The drawings and animation truly do have an ageless quality to them and it's difficult to imagine how they can improve on this. One thing you want from HD is great colour and Fantasia has a lot of colour for Blu-ray to work its wonders on. Naturally, Fantasia 2000 benefits from being little over a decade old but could have suffered because of those scenes that use what is now eleven-year-old CGI. As it happens, while there is a comparative soullessness to some of the CGI sections, it still looks good. The more traditional animation is spectacular and the transfer is again flawless.

Fantasia comes in its original aspect 1.33:1 ratio while 2000 is widescreen. You also get the optional Disney View for Fantasia to fill in the black bars down the sides with still drawings, but that usually just ends up intrusive.

Audio:

Audio is often relegated to a secondary concern for the average consumer, but with Fantasia it's at least as important as the visuals. Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schubert and Beethoven demand the finest quality and they get it with the 7.1 HD surround sound. Thunderous percussion and lush strings all the way. Of all the releases on Blu-ray, this is a prime example that demands you take your audio set-up seriously.

Extras:

Brian Sibley's audio commentary for Fantasia delivers worthwhile insights into all aspects of the film. You'll never need Wikipedia again! The other major bonus comes on the Fantasia 2000 disc in the form of Destino, the six-minute collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. The audio here is 'only' stereo and the visuals aren't as crisp as the main features, but it's good enough. The remaining extras aren't all that worthwhile beyond another commentary for each film from previous DVD releases, but when you're getting two great films and another short one, that's more than worth the asking price.

The films:

Fantasia remains a genuinely remarkable film, quite unlike anything else from Disney. In places it still matches the finest in avant-garde. A visual concert from start to finish with the only dialogue coming from Deems Taylor's introductions. In Nutcracker Suite two leaves perform a pas de deux, later echoed by a hippo and alligator in Dance of the Hours. It famously flopped on release. Well, of course it did, some things are just too ahead of their time and outrageously imaginative for their own good.

Mickey Mouse has always been the poster boy for the film, and although he isn't star in the way newcomers might expect, his one sequence, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, is perhaps his most iconic short (sorry, Steamboat Willie). It also has some of Mickey's darker moments, but Night on Bald Mountain is Disney at its darkest, with demons and nudity (yeah, well, as a prude, I think nudity is a pretty dark place to go...). Not forgetting The Rite of Spring, which depicts the extinction of the dinosaurs. I'm a little surprised there's not a single word of caution beside the U rating.

Fantasia 2000 is a worthy if understandably inferior follow-up. The introductions by the likes of Steve Martin and Penn & Teller are the worst parts, in fairness. On the plus side, you do get to feel the presence of a James Earl Jones intro. In places, such as the excellent Rhapsody in Blue, it completely does away with conventional Disney style for something altogether more European, but when juxtaposed with the CGI elsewhere, it leaves the film feeling more disjointed. No one segment can be singled out for criticism, though. Firebird Suite would not be out of place in a Studio Ghibli film and Donald Duck makes a crowd-pleasing appearance in Pomp and Circumstance.

Conclusion:

Are you really still reading? I do apologise, just buy it already! There is no Blu-ray collection that this doesn't belong in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney does Art!,, 16 Mar 2011
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
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It's many years since I saw the first film and it has always been a bit of a 'guilty pleasure' - so I'm not sure about Stokowski's "interpretations" of classical greatest hits. And I have always been disappointed by previous versions not matching the experience I remembered from childhood.

But now all those quibbles are swept away by a version that finally does justice to the original vision. It's wonderful that we now have these films in Blu Ray and you can really appreciate the work and artistry that has gone into creating these unique visions to accompany some of the best music ever written.

This package may not suit everybody - but I loved it, as I am not a big fan of loads of extras and just want to see the films in as high a quality as possible and this is it! However, there is one extra that is certainly worth having - the Dali collaboration on "Destino" is not to be missed.

Although the background is sparse, you immediately get thrown into the atmosphere of a Dali painting. As I had never seen this before, I found it be the real highlight of the package - a surprise that it was actually quite "racy" for a Disney film and the sensuality of the early images was matched by the visceral nature of some of the more grotesque figures. This is certainly Art and the soundtrack is beautifully simple - even the crackles on the recording hint at an earlier era and add to the experience.

Talking about the sound - the 2000 film certainly has the most impressive sound - making full use of Dolby surround and the low percussion is truly thunderous! It is a demonstration quality disk for Blu Ray and there is no doubt that the Chicago Orchestra, James Levine, Itzak Perlman etc. are top-notch performers, recorded immaculately. Coupled with stuunning visuals, these pieces are enhanced and have a hugely emotional impact - which some may find manipulative - but no doubting their power.

Most people will know all about the original Fantasia and the sound is nowhere near as impressive and Stokowski is ideosyncratic at best in these performances - but the visuals have been restored to stunning clarity! It's like watching an animated painting - this is the first time I have been truly impressed by the quality of what is essentially a cartoon.

This is a great advert for Blu Ray and what can be achieved - the whole is by no means perfect - but what we have here is so enjoyable that it seems truly ungrateful to complain? The links by famous stars are just silly and the best thing about having this on disk is that you can skip all the little set pieces to camera and just concentrate on the music and the accompanying visuals.

People might say it's for kids or it's just a cartoon - but at times this transcends all those categorisations and is truly glorious in its meeting of two art forms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great combo pack, the first film is actually region ABC., 6 Feb 2014
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I have great memories from this movie, I loved it when I was a child. the first film was brilliantly restored, but had the old censorship on the Pastoral Symphony on it (come on, Disney, a simple note before the begining of the movie would solve the problem). Fantasia 2000 comes inside its own case, what is great. Extras are fine, including Destino, and a documentary about its creation, but WHY the Fantasia Anthology extras had to be on BD-live?? the discs would have space for it. That's all, the product is 4 stars for me because of the censorship and the extras from Fantasia Anthology on BD-live, the rest is great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars loved fantasia as a child but hadn't seen fantasia 2000, 13 Mar 2013
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Found fantasia 2000 disappointing - especially the twaddle that was used to introduce each piece which was not even informative about the music or composers. The original fantasia is much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney Animation Treasures, 18 Jun 2011
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This Blu-ray box is a necessary item for any Disney Fan! I love the high definition fantasias, I love the shiny package. My only complaint is that I think there should be an extra blu-ray disc for the special features.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasia, 16 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. I. Howcroft "BMW2000CSI" (Maidstone, Kent. UK) - See all my reviews
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I ordered this because I enjoyed the original Fantasia on video so much. Its an excellent way of introducing classical music to children. Fantasia has been restored to its original colours, which came as a bit of a shock because I find the colours somewhat garish especially in the Nutcracker Suite. I preferred the more muted & faded colours of the video. However it has lost none of its charm and Dance of the Hours still seems to captivate children as does Mickey Mouse in the Sorceror's Apprentice. In the Bonus Features there is some fascinating archive on how the Special Effects were achieved (as there was no computer animation in those days) and details of the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco. Its in 4:3 format and the sound is still 2 channel stereo. For purists this might be great but for BluRay a re-recording would have made it sound much better.

Fantasia 2000 is a great new addition to the Fantasia 'family' which was intended to be extended on a regular basis. The quality of picture in Widescreen and 7.1 Dolby sound on BluRay is outstanding. It has the traditional Disney characters - this time featuring Donald Duck in the story of Noah's Arc - but also has some great modern cartoon drawings to the music of Rhapsody in Blue and a very touching story of a Toy Soldier to Shostakovic's Piano Concerto No 2 There is also a repeat of MM in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. The Bonus material has unseen footage of a project between Dali and Disney. Some of the introductions are abysmal but will highlight who were the some of the actors of the day, in future years! Use the top-menu button after the first use to skip the annoying previews of other Disney films.

For BluRay this is outstanding value. Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney's greatest...., 20 Dec 2010
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Tom Lauridsen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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Disney's greatest performance is Fantasia. A symphony of pictures and music. I love it and love to see it with my family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasia, 14 Dec 2010
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Stunning Stunning what a transformation, I have this on Video and on DVD when it came out the 1st time, it had been restored but The Sorcerers Apprentice was not very good, but on Blu Ray OMG it's just as if this has just been made I love Mickey Mouse and anything Disney so well worth the money I now have 4 copies of this as I got the double play version so I can watch it in the kitchen on my laptop.
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Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 [DVD]
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