Fantasia 2000 is the sequel to the 1940 Disney movie, Fantasia. I love Fantasia, it’s so cool but Fantasia 2000 is meh. There is like one great segment, some good segments and the rest are meh. However since it’s music videos to classical music with Disney animation it very subjective, though we can all agree that the celebrity cameos were annoying and they screamed sell-out.
I’m going to take it by the parts.
Symphony No 5 Butterflies
Symphony No 5 in C-minor-I. Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven with abstract Butterflies.
They were trying to recreate the lines of the original’s Toccata and Fugue. I feel like they were trying way t0o hard to make this combo work. They also told a little narrative while trying to be abstract so it lowers the point of fluid shapes and movement with music. It just didn’t really work.
Pines of Rome Flying Whales
Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi with Flying Whales
I give them credit for imagination but again I felt a disconnect between the visuals and the music. I didn’t hear night or a cold climate in the music. The icy night with whales is pretty, I give it that. Also the narrative was weak. This doesn’t even need a narrative, Whales Flying is enough. Then there was storm because the music demanded it but not because of flow. There was also this lovely piano movement when the little calf was trapped behind the icy and they failed to capitalize on it. The ending scene was pretty and the Whales breaching the clouds was lovely.
Drummer from Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue by Geogre Geshwin with 1930’s New York
At first I liked this one. I thought the sync was fun but it worn on me. I just got bored with it. It was also a conventional choice for the music. I suppose the “risk” with this one is the animation. But you expect Disney to push animation boundaries and not narrative or visual boundaries.
Tin Soldier and Ballerina
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major-I. Allegro by Dmitri Shostakovich with Tin Soldier
Apparently the creators on the original Fantasia wanted to use this story for Fantasia but couldn’t find the right music. Given that, it’s not a surprise that the visuals just tell the story of the Steadfast Tin Soldier albeit with a Disney happy ending. I would have liked this more if not for the style of the CGs. They just looked not good but they did move well. If this one was tradition drawn animation it would have been way better.
Flamingos and a yo-yo
The Carnival of Animals, Finale by Camille Saint-SaÃ«ns with Flamingos and a yo-yo
Groans. I didn’t love this one. It was cute and goofy but it didn’t work for me. At least it was short. Personally with Camille Saint-SaÃ«ns I would have rather seen the Aquarium or Danse Macabre, I love Danse Macabre. The music choice isn’t the issue though this is too goofy and silly.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas with Mickey Mouse
This one was shameless thrown in to pad out the movie. I will admit this one isn’t one of my favorites from the original but it’s iconic. Though having this piece in here defeats the purpose of an ever evolving series of movies which was Fantasia’s original intent.
Noah’s Ark with Pomp and Circumstance
Pomp and Circumstance -Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4 by Edward Elgar with Donald Duck and Noah’s Ark
I hate Pomp and Circumstance. I didn’t like this one but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would since the story is cute. But the sync is weird at time. the animals burst out and there is nothing musically. I think combo works in a way but I didn’t like that much. Disney doesn’t have enough power to change how the Graduation song is perceived by the public. They should have picked another song or something.
The Spring Sprite in The Firebird Suite
Firebird Suite -1919 Version by Igor Stravinky with The Spring Sprite
Hands Down this one is the best of the bunch. It’s gorgeous, the sync is not always there but of the newer bunch it’s best. Though it’s very Miyazaki, seems like it was inspired by Princess Mononoke. I also take umbrage with the Firebird from Russian folklore as a source of destruction.
Flying Whale Calf
None of these measure up to the original. Reading the trivia I think part of the problem is they were too concerned with the style of animation and not the synergy of the combos. They also seemed to mimic the original but didn’t capture the mood and drama.
The Firebird getting its flame on
Also there is no mood or darkness. These parts are all soft and nice. The Firebird suite is darkest this movie goes and it’s no Rite or Spring with fighting Dinosaurs, or Zeus throwing lightening for fun or Chernobog partying with the dead. It’s kinda all one note and safe.
The Little Girl from Rhapsody in Blue
Another issue is all these segments are stories. Stories in it of themselves are not a bad things but it made the segments limiting in scope. In the original, the segments were not devoid of stories but they had little story vignettes. The Pastoral symphony is the a great example of little story vignettes in a cohesive setting and style.
Story vignettes allowed the music and setting more a chance to mingle instead of a flowing narrative. The trouble with Fantasia 2000 is there was no spectrum to how the animators approached the visuals, they were all story driven. Because of the lack variety, the segments have interesting concepts but not so much with the sync and the visuals.
Donald Duck and Daisy Duck
As a fan of the original I was really disappointed by Fantasia 2000. It was far too calculated and didn’t have the same power as the original.