innocent_man: (mouseketeer)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Fantasia 2000 is, of course, a sequel of sorts to the 1942 Disney classic "concert movie" Fantasia. Like its predecessor, it's a series of classical music pieces set to animated shorts, and it includes "Pomp and Circumstance", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Pines of Rome", "Firebird Suite", Beethoven's fifth symphony, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, "Carnival of the Animals," and a repeat of the original's "Sorcerer's Apprentice."

It's very pretty, and having celebrities introduce the various pieces was a nice touch. The Firebird Suite, in which the forest is ravaged by an erupting volcano taking the shape of the fearsome firebird, is beautifully animated, and the Carnival of the Animals, where we have a flamingo who just wants to yo-yo, is fun. Pomp and Circumstance set to the myth of Noah's Ark was a nice touch, though it's such a somber piece that having Donald Duck in the background being wacky felt out of place at times.

The Rhapsody in Blue segment, animated in the style of Al Hirschfeld, is the best one, in my opinion. It's not as complex art-wise as some of the others, but it's the most playful and the most fun. My kids liked the movie as a whole a lot more than I thought they would, but that, I think, was their favorite (maybe the flamingos, too).

On the whole, though, I don't think it approaches the heart and innovation of the original. I think part of that is that in 1942, it was hugely original, and my father was there in Philly when it first opened, 10 years old, and said that "Night on Bald Mountain" scared the hell out of him. There's nothing so scary as the demon Czernobog in Fantasia 2000, and the movie kind of reads like chasing the high of the first one. Worth watching, though.

My Grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Ferris Beuller's Day Off

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