Friday, August 26, 2011

Fantasia: Animation As Art In Sight & Sound

Mickey Mouse & Leopold Stokowski greet one another in Fantasia.
Credit: Walt Disney Co.
                                 Fantasia: Animation As Art In Sight & Sound


                                                                      Jay Agan

      Yes. I know it's not anime. But in assuming that a large number of anime fans are also ANIMATION fans, I would think some of you would be interested. If you are any kind of animation fan, you should see this film at least twice in your lifetime.

      Fantasia for me, was an experience. For years I had heard of it but for one reason or another, couldn't take it in. Finally, in the late 70s, I was able to see it on the big screen twice in as many years, the second with friends. Both times I was absolutely enthralled.

      Fantasia is eight vignettes of some of the most dazzling animation set to pieces of classical music (Most performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski.). They range from the abstract (Johann Sebastian Bachs' Tacota & Fugue in D Minor.) & jump to the definite in the various pieces set to Pyotr Tchaikovskys' Nutcracker Suite. My favorite would be the piece set to Igor Stravinskys' Rite of Spring wherin the Earths' fiery formation to the extinction of the dinosaurs is depicted. A close second would be the demon Chernabog gyrating/gestulating to the music of Modest Musorgskys' Night On Bald Mountain.

The "terrible lizards" in a battle for survival to the tune of Musorgskys' Rite of Spring.
Credit: Walt Disney Co.

The demon Chernabog surveys his twisted host of the damned in the
Night on Bald Mountain piece in Fantasia. Credit: Walt Disney Co.

      I remember dropping by my parents one day to find Mom, sister & niece watching Fantasia on tape. The niece was totally transfixed & asked why she didn't see this "new" film in theaters yet. My sister laughing as Mom patiently explained how old the film was (Released 1940.). The kid refused to believe it.

      Reminds me when I attended a 24 hour sci-fi marathon at the Drexel North (Columbus, OH) in the early 90s. They showed a mint print of Forbidden Planet (1956). Some folks thought they were seeing a sneak preview of  a new movie! Good times.

      Oh yes. Fantasia 2000 is definitley worth checking out.

                                          Article copyright © 8-26-2011 Jay Agan
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