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on 4 May 2017
An absolute masterpiece. I'm ashamed I have only just witnessed it for the first time. I think everyone should see this at least once, if only to get a taste of what true music and art really is. :)
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on 24 April 2016
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2013
Fuelled with the noble ambition of bringing classical music to a wider audience, especially children, Fantasia succeeds and fails in equal amounts. Some of it works, some it bores. It could have made a perfect 85 minute movie if the crap was cut out.

The first segment is enough to put you off completely. We have to suffer blips and bloops twinkling across the screen as acid-trip visuals match the music that is being played (Toccata and Fugue in D Minor). Kind of like turning on the spirograph-like visuals on Windows Media Player. This is a bad way to introduce the film and it's techniques. I can only imagine the audience of the time watching it and thinking 'What the hell is this?' The good segments in the movie are the story of the Dinosaurs to the music of The Rite of Spring, the over publicized Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Nutcracker Suite and A Night on Bald Mountain. All effect a wonderful atmosphere that is so lacking in modern animation.

Segments featuring dancing Alligators romancing fat hippos (The Pastoral Symphony) or the 'meet the soundtrack' interstitial are yawnfests with pretty much nothing happening at all, I'm sorry to say. The animation is always top-notch however and very vivid as Disney cartoons of this vintage usually are. But ultimately, Fantasia is a mixed bag that not a lot of people will like or appreciate. Still worth checking out though.

As for Fantasia 2000, top quality animation and a sense of humor could have made this sequel/add-on a formidable animated movie in its own right. The running time of 74 minutes kills this potential though, especially when you consider that 6 of those are end credits and another 10 are recycled from The Sorcerers Apprentice, meaning there's not even an hour's worth of new footage. A bit of a rip-off.

But my favorite segments are the one with Donald Duck (Pomp and Circumstance) and the one with the volcano (Firebird Suite). The music matches the story perfectly and it has some truly beautiful animation. Far superior to the ugly CGI crap we get these days. The TV show-style introductions were more watchable than the dubbed Deems Taylor segments in the original, but the sequel loses many points for not being ambitious enough.

This was the first animated movie to be made for IMAX screens and the digital picture is amazing. See this preferably on an IMAX screen, which I guess will be limited to attractions as Disney Theme Parks.

Both movies look lovely on Blu-ray in their respective 1.33:1 and 1.78:1 aspect ratios with DTS HD-MA 7.1 sound. There are quite a lot of extras, but this BD has not been spared Disney's habit of cramming in a thousand upfront promos, meaning you'll spend about 5 minutes trying to get to the top menu.
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on 8 November 2010
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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on 8 April 2017
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on 6 March 2017
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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)

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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on 27 April 2017
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2010
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.


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 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.


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.


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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 March 2011
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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