Fantasia (1940) -- Leopold Stokowski, Walt Disney

Fantasia opens with live action scenes of members of an orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, gathering and tuning their instruments. Master of ceremonies Deems Taylor enters the stage and introduces the program.

  • 0:02:54  Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Live-action shots of the orchestra illuminated in blue and gold, backed by superimposed shadows, fade into abstract patterns. Animated lines, shapes and cloud formations reflect the sound and rhythms of the music.[5]
  • 0:13:39  Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Selections from Tchaikovsky's ballet suite underscore scenes depicting the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn to winter. A variety of dances are presented with fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves, including "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", "Chinese Dance", "Dance of the Flutes", "Arabian Dance", "Russian Dance" and "Waltz of the Flowers".[6]
  • 0:28:50  The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas. based on Goethe's 1797 poem Der Zauberlehrling. Mickey Mouse, the young apprentice of the sorcerer Yen Sid, attempts some of his master's magic tricks but doesn't know how to control them.[7]
  • 0:39:35  Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. A visual history of the Earth's beginnings is depicted to selected sections of the ballet score. The sequence progresses from the planet's formation to the first living creatures, followed by the reign and extinction of the dinosaurs.[8]
  • 1:05:21  Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack: The orchestra musicians depart and the Fantasia title card is revealed. After the intermission there is a brief jam session of jazz music led by a clarinettist as the orchestra members return. Then a humorously stylized demonstration of how sound is rendered on film is shown. An animated sound track "character", initially a straight white line, changes into different shapes and colors based on the sounds played.[9]
  • 1:12:14  The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. A mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, cupids, fauns and other figures from classical mythology is portrayed to Beethoven's music. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine, is interrupted by Zeus who creates a storm and throws lightning bolts at the attendees.[10]
  • 1:36:08  Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli. A comic ballet in four sections: Madame Upanova and her ostriches (Morning); Hyacinth Hippo and her servants (Afternoon); Elephanchine and her bubble-blowing elephant troupe (Evening); and Ben Ali Gator and his troop of alligators (Night). The finale finds all of the characters dancing together until their palace collapses.[11]
  • 1:49:20  Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. At midnight the devil Chernabog summons evil spirits and restless souls from their graves. The spirits dance and fly through the air until driven back by the sound of an Angelus bell as night fades into dawn. A chorus is heard singing Ave Maria as a line of robed monks is depicted walking with lighted torches through a forest and into the ruins of a cathedral.[12]

70+, M
2 Responses Dec 6, 2012

Nice Fantasia: So magical I like the fairies, mickey, and my favorite part was the human horses, the musicians was so so talented.

Wow amazing!

Oh! Ah! I've bookmarked this to enjoy the film again. What fun!

I have seen some of the parts in recent years but it has been a real long time since seeing the whole thing in the theater. I enjoyed it again.