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Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Walt Disney’s timeless masterpiece is an extravaganza of sight and sound, now brilliantly presented in high definition with an all-new digital restoration. With Blu-ray you can finally experience Fantasia the way Walt envisioned. Plus, an exploration of the new Disney Family Museum and dynamic bonus features allow generations of moviegoers to enjoy this musical masterpiece like never before. No family’s Disney Blu-ray collection is complete without Fantasia so see the music come to life, hear the pictures burst into song and experience the excitement that is Fantasia over and over again through the magic of Blu-ray.
Experience an extravaganza of sight and sound in Fantasia 2000, the triumphant classic inspired by Walt Disney’s vision of Fantasia as a work-in-progress, now brilliantly presented in high definition. Plus, for the first time ever on Blu-ray, experience the 2003 Academy Award-nominated animated short Destino; the extraordinary collaboration between Walt Disney and legendary artist Salvador Dali Through the magic of Blu-ray, fully immerse yourself in the wonders of this innovative blend of music and animated imagery. See the music come to life, hear the pictures burst into song and share the excitement that is Fantasia 2000 with your family again and again.
Subtitles on Fantasia:
English / English / Spanish / Portuguese / Dutch / Polish / Hebrew
Audio tracks on Fantasia:
English / Spanish / Portuguese / Dutch / Polish
Please note that the Hebrew audio track advertised on the product packaging is faulty
Subtitles on Fantasia 2000:
English / English / Spanish / Portuguese / Dutch / Polish / Hebrew
Audio tracks on Fantasia 2000:
English / Spanish / Dutch / Portuguese / Dutch/ Belgian / Polish / Hebrew
Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, resulting in surreal fantasy and playful escapism. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra provided the music for eight segments by the composers Tchaikovsky, Moussorgsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Bach, Dukas and Schubert. Not all the sequences were created equally, but a few are simply glorious, such as "Night on Bald Mountain", "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "The Nutcracker Suite". The animation ranges from subtly delicate to fiercely bold. The screen bursts with colour and action as creatures transmute and convention is thrust aside. The painstaking detail and saturated hues are unique to this film, unmatched even by more advanced technology. --Rochelle O'Gorman
More ambitious in scope than any of its other animated films (before or to come), Disney's 1940 feature Fantasia was a dizzying, magical and highly enjoyable marriage of classical music and animated images. Fantasia 2000, originally made for the IMAX large-screen format, features some breathtaking animation and storytelling, and in a few spots soars to wonderful high points, but it still more often than not has the feel of walking in its predecessor's footsteps as opposed to creating its own path. A family of whales swimming and soaring to Respighi's The Pines of Rome is magical to watch, but ends all too soon; a forest sprite's dance of life, death and rebirth to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring too clearly echoes the original Fantasia's Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence. But when it's on target, Fantasia 2000 is glorious enough to make you giddy. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a perfect narrative set to Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Donald Duck's guest appearance as the assistant to Noah (of the Ark fame) set to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches is a welcome companion piece (though not an equal) to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the one original Fantasia piece included here. The high point of Fantasia 2000, though, is a fantastic day-in-the-life sequence of 1930s New York City set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and animated in the style of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld; it's a perfect melding of music, story and animation style. --Mark Englehart
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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.
This was the first movie to incorporate beautiful classical music into the movie form with pretty colourful pictures. Nowadays, other people have the same idea, like "A View From Space with Heavenly Music" blu ray disc where classical music was played while spectacular scenes were displayed (e.g., playing of Ride Of The Valkyries during a Space Shuttle launch). So Fantasia was way ahead of its time.
The musical segments in Fantasia included: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, The Nutcracker Suite, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Rite Of Spring, The Pastoral Symphony, Dance Of The Hours, Night On Bald Mountain, and Ave Maria.
VIDOE: It was 1080p 1.33:1 with all-new digitial restoration. For a seventy-year-old film, the result was simply outstanding. Colours were extraordinarily vivid and punchy. (4.5/5)
AUDIO: In my over-sized Fantasia laser disc box set, the sound was only Dolby Surround. Now we have DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. Wow! The sound made you feel that you were in front of an orchestra inside your home theatre. Simply outstanding (5/5)
TRIVIA ABOUT FANTASIA:
In the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence, as Mickey walked toward a stone wall his shadow grew slowly larger. Instead, it should grow smaller. The dancing ostriches in "Dance of the Hours" were portrayed as females, but it was only the male ostrich that was black and white. The females were grey brown. The animators also secretly modeled elements of the Sorcerer in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" on their boss, Walt Disney. The raised eyebrow was regarded as a dead giveaway. They called the character Yen Sid, which was "Disney" spelled backwards. The orchestra that appeared in the interstitial segments of the film was not the actual The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, but rather a collection of local Hollywood musicians and Disney studio employees. Lastly, when Fantasia, with a budget of $2.38 million, was first released into the theatre, it was considered a financial flop.
BAD POINT: It was really unfortunate that the original version of Fantasia was used, which was the "censored" version, which eliminated a lot of the film's un-p.c. elements.
The musical segments included Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, The Pines Of Rome, George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, Carnival Of Animals, Sorcerer's Apprentice and Pomp and Circumstances.
VIDEO: It was 1080p 1.78:1. If Fantasia was amazing, Fantasia 2000 was simply outstanding. It was completely flawless. Colours and details were top-notched. (5/5)
AUDIO: Again the DTS-MA Master Audio 7.1 has great fidelity and presence. Simply outstanding (5/5)
TRIVIA: In "Rhapsody in Blue" in the young man's room. The first shot showed the whole room and pans left showing him in bed with the alarm clock upright. The very next close-up showed the clock to be face down. In "Rhapsody in Blue", a sign inside Monica's cafe read "2 EGGS ANY STYLE 25c". A sign outside the cafe read "2 EGGS 10c".
Did you also know that George Gershwin himself featured in the Rhapsody in Blue segment? He was the slender man seen playing the piano through his apartment window, above Rachel and her piano lessons.
In summary, this Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 blu ray collection is worth its weight in gold. Thank you to Disney to put the two films in one set with very reasonable price. Both audio and video are top notch. The whole family, young and old, will enjoy these two movies, again and again. I feel that they are also a good attractive way to introduce classical music to young children. Just like you can have Lord Of The Rings trilogy marathon, or Toy Story Night (1, 2 and 3 in a row), a Fantasia evening will be simply FANTASTIC. Both discs are highly recommended.
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