Friday, March 19, 2010


Can I really say enough about this masterpiece? Nope!
I love this movie! When I was little I just sort of liked it, but now that I am older I can more fully appreciate its beauty and genius. This was a standard in Elem School, watching sections 3 or 4 times a year in Music Class. We also watched the dinosaur portion when we were studying the prehistoric age in science. So, yeah, I know it well.
It wasn't until I watched the featurette on the making of it that I realized the social significance of the piece during its time. I won't go into all of it, but Disney at the top of his game teamed up with Leopold Stowkowski (who was a rock star of the classical world at the time) and music critic Deems Taylor, who was the music parrallel to the best sports commentators of today.
You would think this would be instant magic. And it was, but it was a limited popular success. Still, it became a classic later down the line with its subsequent releases (thank goodness for that!) What fascinates me is that all of this began as just another Silly Symphony. But after a little while it became clear that the cost would be too much for a short, so they decided to make it a feature concert.
It won 2 Special Academy Awards (one for Disney and one for Stowkowski) It was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry and AFI honored it on its original Top 100 list as well as naming it #5 of the Top 10 Animated films.
The music selections are brilliant, the art is beautiful, and most of it is just fun! I take exception to the dinosaur part and Night on Bald Mountain - which, even after years, I still don't like - it freaked me out as a kid, and I guess that sticks with me. Although, I will admit that I can at least appreciate it now - and I do.
My personal favorite will always be the Nutcracker Suite. They are all so brilliant and beautiful. And who doesn't like the pastoral selection with the baby pegasus' and a fat, drunken God on a donkey? And the whole, meet the soundtrack is utterly brilliant! But the most beautiful is the ending with the Ave Maria. I'm 23 years old and it still brings me to tears.
Really, with this movie you can not go wrong. And this is something EVERYONE should see at least once. Sometimes when I hear a good piece of music or listen to a beautiful concert, I think: maybe if people had exposure to things like this, there would be more love of beauty, and therefore, more peace. Has that ever happened to you? Just sitting back and listening to something so beautiful that you can't imagine such things as war, pain, hunger, want, fear, and things like that. It's the best feeling in the world to be overtaken with beauty in art, and Fantasia is the best example of that.
5 out of 5 stars

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