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Disney's sequel to the ever popular "Fantastia" - "Fantasia 2000", dvd edition with bonus features.
More ambitious in scope than any of its other animated films (before or to come), Disney's 1940 Fantasia was a dizzying, magical, and highly enjoyable marriage of classical music and animated images. Fantasia 2000 features some breathtaking animation and storytelling, and in a few spots soars to wonderful high points, but it still more often than not has the feel of walking in its predecessor's footsteps as opposed to creating its own path. A family of whales swimming and soaring to Respighi's The Pines of Rome is magical to watch, but ends all too soon; a forest sprite's dance of life, death, and rebirth to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring too clearly echoes the original Fantasia's Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence. But when it's on target, Fantasia 2000 is glorious enough to make you giddy. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a perfect narrative set to Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Donald Duck's guest appearance as the assistant to Noah (of ark fame) set to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches is a welcome companion piece (though not an equal) to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the one original Fantasia piece included here. The high point of Fantasia 2000, though, is a fantastic day-in-the-life sequence of 1930s New York City set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and animated in the style of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld; it's a perfect melding of music, story, and animation. Let's hope future Fantasias (reportedly in the works) take a cue from the best of this compilation. The music is provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Levine, interspersed with negligible intros by Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Itzhak Perlman, James Earl Jones, and others. --Mark Englehart
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Extras include: narration or captioning in English or French; two commentary tracks that include comments by the executive producer, producer and conductor or each segment's director and art director; a highlights program; a Making Of feature; and two 1953 cartoons that take place in a bird school and have to do with music (melody and rhythm).
This is a lovely dvd that will stand up to many viewings. Nice selection of animation and music. Very enjoyable indeed.
Barring the negatives that I wrote above Fantasia 2000 art is great as well as the animation. The Steadfast Tin Soldier lead characters are completely computer animated as well as the flying whale, which the exception of the eyes, in Pines of Rome. There are over five dozen different colors used in this film alone. Still I was left wanting more. Fantasia 2000 gets a C+.
1. Roy Disney Introduction
2. The Making of Fantasia 2000
3. Audio Commentaries
4. Showcase Program-Highlights from the Feature
5. Adventures In Music: Melody
6. Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom
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