Fantasia (1940)

Sometimes a film comes along that really breaks new grounds. Something that shakes the entire medium dn opens new doors for film makers. Citizen Kane was one of these films, so was Toy Story, The Wizard of Oz, perhaps, a third. This film, the third animated film released by Disney, is another. Today’s film is Fantasia.

The film has no story. It is a compilation of 7 classical scores put to animation. These include the sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Rite of Spring and the Pastoral Symphony, ending with a ‘clash’ of good and evil on Bald mountain, flanked by Ave Maria. In between each score is a brief description by a conductor.

This film is a landmark achievement. It tries to combine music and animation in a way that had never been done before. This was a massive risk, Disney’s third movie became the most disputed. Critics argued whether it worked and to this day there is some dispute over whether people actually like it. I think it works but I don’t think it’s a good movie. I feel it’s more of an experience but I didn’t feel myself pulled in, I think it’s far too long for what it’ trying to do. This isn’t tp say I didn’t like Fantasia per-say. For example I liked each segment but I felt that when they were all as one in one film then it would be easy for the viewer to drift off. I did love the animation, I thought the first segment perfectly reflected the things people see in their mind when they do listen to this kind of music, lights and colours flashing everywhere. I liked the Rite of Spring, It was a nice bit of brutality, showing us dinosaurs killing one another and then collapsing, dead in the desert. The best of the segments is the ones on Bald mountain. The Ava Maria part is beautiful while the parts with Chernabog were captivating chilling. The sorcerers Apprentice was charming and the first part was beautiful. The music is great although some parts were better than others, for example Bald Mountain and The sorcerers Apprentice. Not a lot else to say other than the fact that I have utmost respect for it. Disney took a risk, many critics didn’t like it but it broke ground. It looked great, sounds great and really is a beautiful film. I just wish it was shorter. You could’ve done it in 45 mins max.

A beautiful film with great music. I respect it highly although I wish it were shorter. Really should watch it.



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