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Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition) (1941)

Leopold Stokowski , Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra , James Algar , Samuel Armstrong  |  G |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews)

Price: $44.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $24.41  
DVD [DVD] $20.29  
  Special 60th Anniversary Edition $44.99  
Other [VHS] $2.74  
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Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) 4.1 out of 5 stars (363)
$50.49
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Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition) + Aladdin (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Leopold Stokowski, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Walt Disney, Deems Taylor, Mickey Mouse
  • Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford I. Beebe
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CX9W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • A commentary by Walt Disney (created from rare archival interviews with Walt Disney, spanning three decades)
  • A commentary by Roy E. Disney, maestro James Levine and John Canemaker, animation historian
  • "The Making of Walt Disney's 'Fantasia'" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, resulting in surreal fantasy and playful escapism. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra provided the music for eight segments by the composers Tchaikovsky, Moussorgsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Bach, Dukas, and Schubert. Not all the sequences were created equally, but a few are simply glorious, such as "Night on Bald Mountain," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and "The Nutcracker Suite." The animation ranges from subtly delicate to fiercely bold. The screen bursts with color and action as creatures transmute and convention is thrust aside. The painstaking detail and saturated hues are unique to this film, unmatched even by more advanced technology. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Product Description

Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, r

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
433 of 450 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Devestating disappointment October 31, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
As a lifelong musician and artist, Fantasia has been one of my all time favorite movies since I first saw it in theaters as a child. My wife, knowing my great love for this movie, bought the DVD version for me as a birthday gift. When I put the DVD on, however, my excited anticipation quickly turned to depressed disappointment.
I immediately realized that the voice of the narrator, Deems Taylor, whose wonderful and soothing voice spans the entirety of the movie, had been overdubbed with someone else's voice! Deems Taylor was a widely known and respected music critic in his time. He had a beautiful, deep sonorous and expressive voice. The sound of his voice was an essential part of the aural and musical magic of this film. Yet, the new owner's of Disney saw fit to overdub his voice with that of some squawky and squeaky sounding unknown, thereby ruining the entire film.
I did some research to find out why, in the name of "preservation", Disney studios would destroy this film in the way that they have. The reason, supposedly, was because they found old footage (which was NOT in the version we all knew and loved as kids) which they wanted to insert - but the audio on that obscure footage had been damaged. They felt they had to redub those voice overs. Fine. But then, in the process, they re-dubbed the entire film, even the parts that had not been damaged!
I understand, for historical interest, that some people might be interested in seeing the extra, obscure footage which had been edited out long ago , but that extra footage easily could have been put on a special features disc, not in the actual movie that millions of fans have come to know and love. This was a horrible decision by a studio which increasingly seems to have lost all sense of artistic taste and common sense. What a sad, sad disappointment.
Soon, I'll be buying a DVD recorder and I hope to preserve the original VHS version I have in that way.
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622 of 667 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the original, "uncut" theatrical version! August 22, 2002
Format:DVD
The quality and presentation of this restored version of FANTASIA is wonderful. Finally restored, unseen since the initial release, are the complete introductory sequences, including a chimes player's accident with his instrument, the orchestra applauding Mickey Mouse, and the orchestra shuffling out for the intermission. Even the original title card has been returned to its proper place, during the intermission. (Some of the narration was rerecorded due to original voice tracks being no longer available.)

But there is CONSIDERABLE CONTROVERSY over the continued censorship of the "Pastorale" sequence. Circa 1969, the seemingly racist shots of a black centaurette (similar to Our Gang's "Buckwheat") attending on the white centaurettes were cut from the film, resulting in a "jump" in the music. Allegedly, the 1980 release's newly recorded music soundtrack covered up the clumsy edit, so that the remaining choreography was in sync. Subsequent releases to video have used optical tricks to remove the appearance of black centaurs, so that the original music track scans properly.

In this "restored" version, these optical edits are still glaringly obvious. (E.g., an optical zoom to avoid the black centaurette shows you the film grain up close, in another shot, a green bush magically slides across the ground by itself!)

The film survives as a masterpiece of filmic art, and this presentation of a "politically correct, original version" (my description) is tempting. But Disney does this release, and all customers and fans, a disservice by inappropriately calling it a "restored" and "uncut" version, when in fact it is NOT the version that was seen in the 1940 road shows.

Let your buying conscience be your guide, but consider the significance of buying an "original, restored" version that is neither, and perpetuates revisionist cuts as if they never happened.
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156 of 169 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Becareful January 14, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Please becareful when buying this DVD. The package say it's uncut but it really isn't. Disney felt they needed to censor some scenes because they might offend some black people. I'm a black person and I'm more offended by Disney lying to me then the scenes. I hope someday in the future Disney will think I'm mature enough to own a real uncut version.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I expected this time around January 2, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong -- this film is fantastic, and by itself it rates 5 stars. But this DVD edition is not all its cracked up to be.
First, there's the editing in the Pastoral Symphony, as noted by other reviewers. This is nothing new -- that editing was originally done back in the 60s -- but it makes for some very grainy frames in an otherwise beautiful print.
Then there's the re-dubbing of Deems Taylor's parts. As I understand it, this was necessary because the original soundtrack was missing for parts of the extended interstitials. However, I can't believe that they couldn't find a better voice match for Taylor, given the wealth of voice talent in Hollywood these days. If you're used to the original, the difference is kind of jarring.
My biggest gripe, though, is the apparent re-mixing of the music. The original soundtrack was full-on surround sound (what Disney called Fantasound) that had the music literally surrounding the viewer, often sweeping about the room to follow movement on the screen. The 1990 theatrical and video releases contained this Fantasound mix, but the DVD seems re-mixed as a static symphony recording, with the rear channels carrying only reverb. The sound is a bit cleaner than the last go-round, but it's far less dramatic. And the differences are noticable even in plain stereo.
All of these things add up to considerably less than a faithful rendering of this film. The editing is understandable since racial stereotypes are unacceptable these days, but the rest is a shame, and hard to understand in view of Disney's usual attention to detail.
As I noted, the film itself is well worth seeing, and aside of the editing, it has never looked better. But the original laserdisc/VHS release is far more interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical music and Classic Disney
I loved it , my kids loved it, and now my grandkids love it. A wonderful way to bring great music to a new generation.
Published 9 days ago by Dr. R
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasia: some of the music: exlnt
A lifetime favorite. Like the animation. And the music. Some of it is very good; music.
Did NOT like the mid section story of the soundtrack; blah. Read more
Published 13 days ago by P. Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a big hit.
I bought this dvd for my Granddaughter. It is her favorite movie when she comes to stay the night. It is our tradition. We wore out our old copy.
Published 15 days ago by Helen Ferluga
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw this movie when it first came out....
This Movie is awesome!!! I saw this movie while on &$#@ and it was outstanding..... I'll never for get how the movie seemed to leave the screen and dance in my mind... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars Promptly delivered
The amazon partner delivered this item promptly and in very good condition. Fantasia is Classic Disney. Beautiful art work, music, production values.
Published 23 days ago by dianne c boersma
5.0 out of 5 stars gift for kids
I ordered this for the kids and grand kids since it seemed to be the thing to do. They loved it and continue to watch and enjoy this.
Published 27 days ago by Jeri 907
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasia
I cannot be superlative enough,. Sight and sound together! I will never forget it and the images that are immortal.
Published 1 month ago by rh
1.0 out of 5 stars buyer beware
I am so glad I took the time to read about the destruction of fantasia before I decided to buy. I like the ORIGINAL when I purchase... I do not want what some one has decided. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jackie brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious Old Favorite
I has this on VHS and it was used so much it was starting to wear out. I decided to buy the DVD because the grandkids never tire of watching it.
Published 1 month ago by Carole Eberhardt
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Doesn't Love Fantasia?
I was very excited to find this movie on DVD. I used to watch it all the time on VHS as a child and now have one of my favorite movies on DVD. :)
Published 1 month ago by Victoria
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Coming on DVD and Blu-Ray in March 2010!!!
This is very exciting and happy news for me! Thank you very much for this notification! I might just buy the movie on both DVD and Blu-ray. I actually own this on VHS as well, but I don't have the 2000 DVD version.
Jun 11, 2009 by Private Quentin Tarantino Fan |  See all 8 posts
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