598 of 641 people found the following review helpful
NOT the original, "uncut" theatrical version!,
This review is from: Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition) (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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Showing 11-20 of 47 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2008 7:24:04 PM PST
Richard I. Spector says:
My ancestors did nothing to create racism in America. As a matter of fact, I'm only 2nd generation American so get off your high horse or whatever the "everyone who isn't like me is a racist" bigot train you rode in on and deal with actual reality.
If your live your life thinking everyone is racist then you will do nothing for yourself since you think everyone else owes you. I pity any children you have.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 7:04:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2008 9:37:06 AM PST
F.N. Wright says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 7:22:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2008 9:50:56 AM PST
F.N. Wright says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2008 1:28:22 PM PST
Atli Hafsteinsson says:
I don't understand this discussion; to me the issue is quite simple. Cutting an original scene and advertising the movie as 'uncut' is unethical and false marketing on Disney's part. The reason why they cut it, however, I can only identify as racism. We're supposed to live in an age of tolerance and harmony between all human beings. Apparently it isn't.
Posted on Feb 4, 2008 10:41:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2008 2:59:47 PM PST
Winston Smith says:
While I abhor censorship in general, and have even less patience for the hyper-sensitivity that political correctness has hoisted upon us, Disney products are a unique case. Disney likes to position their animated classics as "evergreen". Snow White, Peter Pan, Dumbo...these films are never reissued as nostalgic products of their time, but as timeless classics that are as fresh and relevant for today's generation of children as they were for the kids who saw them originally on first release in the 1930s or 40s. In this context, some censorship is to be expected. A racial-based visual gag doesn't illicit the same reaction in today's audience as it did then. It will offend, which was not the original intention of the artists who were working in a context where stereotypes and race-based humor were the norm. Disney has brands that are aimed at serious adult Disney fans and collectors (Disney Treasures, Legacy Series, etc.) where I think the release and preservation of such material could and should find a home.
That said, to advertise a film as "uncut", "uncensored", "unaltered", etc. when it has been modified is flat out false advertising. This happened with the Disney Treasures line as well, when an allegedly "uncut" episode of Disneyland had a lengthy edit (in this case, for musical licensing issues).
Finally to FN Wright of the endless racial tirade, there's a reason that when we're arguing about the appropriateness of racist stereotypes in children's cartoons, we have to go back 50+ years to find examples.
To pretend that America has not made significant, substantial progress is pure denial.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 12:38:01 PM PST
L. Steidl says:
when will people learn that history should not be re-written
what has happened has happened and we cannot change it
didn't the nazi party burn books when they were in power?
learn from mistakes but don't earase them from history
luigi ~ nyc
Posted on Feb 7, 2008 2:09:41 PM PST
Richard Byers says:
Hate to tell you folks - but this is supposed to be a film review forum! I think you're all getting a little off topic, don't you think? There are plenty of forums out there where you can go to debate these issues. Thank you!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 3:02:34 PM PST
Winston Smith says:
Mr. Beyers, this particular film was edited to remove potentially offensive material of a racial nature. Clearly, discussing whether such a cut was necessary and appropriate is within the scope of a "film forum". If you don't care to participate, fine, but don't expect everyone else to end discussion for your sake.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2008 8:01:45 AM PST
Rachel Jonas says:
I agree! I read these to see if I should buy a film, not to read about the current opinions on race relations in our country. I just want to know if I should buy the movie or not!?!?!
Posted on Jan 20, 2009 1:29:12 PM PST
Big Spence says:
I'm so glad I read this review and I can't believe they would do that to a classic like that. At no point when I enjoyed Fantasia did it even glance threw my mind that "Oh my gawd thats RACIST!!!-I must act." I don't know what to do now or how to get the real version of Fantasia, it's sad to think that I may have lost my chance. I completely agree with your review.