Fantasia (1940)Disney movie features animation set to classical music and no dialogue-only spoken introductions by host Deems Taylor before sections. The music was recorded under the direction of Leopold Stokowski and seven of the eight pieces were performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
What you are going to see, are the designs and pictures and stories that music inspired in the minds and imaginations of a group of artists. In other words they're not going to be the interpretations of trained musicians. Which I think is all to the good.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
music by Johann Sebastian Bach "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565". The first third of the Toccata and Fugue is in live-action, and features an orchestra playing the piece. Illuminated by abstract light patterns set in time to the music and backed by stylized shadows. The first few parts of the piece are played in each of the three sound channels as a demonstration of Fantasound.
music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky "Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a". The Nutcracker Suite movie is a personified depiction of the changing of the seasons. First from summer to autumn, and then from autumn to winter. It features a variety of dances, just as in the original, but danced by animated fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves; no actual nutcracker is ever seen in this version.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
music by Paul Dukas "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". The movie tells the story of Goethe's famous poem. A story of wizard's meek assistant who attempts to work some of the magical feats of his master, before he knows how to properly control them.
The Rite of Spring
music by Igor Stravinsky "The Rite of Spring". When Igor Stravinsky wrote his ballet, his purpose was in his own words to express primitive life. Disney's imaginitive re-interpretation of the music features a condensed version of the history of the Earth.
Intermission - Meet the Soundtrack
Fantasia's host: I'd like to introduce somebody to you. Somebody who is very important to Disney. He is very shy and very retiring. I just happened to run accross him one day at the Disney Studios. But when I did I suddenly realized that he was not only an indispensable member of the organization but a screen personality. And so I am very happy to have this opportunity to introduce to you the Soundtrack." In a proper roadshow of Fantasia, the theater's curtains would close simultaneously with the closing doors on the screen.
The Pastoral Symphony
music by Ludwig van Beethoven "The 6th symphony in F, Op.68 - Pastorale". Walt Disney has given the Pastoral Symphony movie a mythological setting. The movie utilized delicate color styling to depict a mythical ancient Greek world. Centaurs, pegasi, the gods of Mount Olympus, fauns, cupids, and other legendary creatures and characters of classical mythology.
Dance of the Hours
music by Amilcare Ponchielli "La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours". The dancers of the morning are represented by Madame Upanova and her ostriches. The dancers of the daytime are represented by Hyacinth Hippo and her servants. The dancers of the evening are represented by Elephanchine and her bubble-blowing elephant troupe. The dancers of the night are represented by Ben Ali Gator and his troop of alligators.
Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria
music by Modest Mussorgsky "Night on Bald Mountain" and Franz Schubert "Ave Maria". Chernabog is first seen when he awakes on top of Bald Mountain. As told by animator Frank Thomas in the book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life the entire sequence had to be reshot twice, once because the wrong focal length lens was used. The multiplane camera then finally tracks through the trees to reveal a sunrise as the film fades to its conclusion.
An innovative and revolutionary animated classic from Walt Disney, combining Western classical music masterpieces with imaginative visuals. Fantasia movie included the delightful "Dance of the Hours" with dancing hippos, crocodiles, ostriches, and elephants". The eight animation sequences are amazing colorful, impressive, free-flowing, abstract, and often surrealistic pieces.