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The Fantasia Anthology
DVD | Box Set
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Along with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, the anthology set contains a third disc that examines a segment of both movies in detail. Each segment has an introduction that has experts (including Leonard Maltin), producer Roy E. Disney, or the
Along with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, the anthology set contains a third disc that examines a segment of both movies in detail. Each segment has an introduction that has experts (including Leonard Maltin), producer Roy E. Disney, or the animators setting up the piece's history. Notes on the music and dozens of design photos are included on all the segments, although others offer more intriguing features. Abandoned animation is shown on many segments, as are a few behind-the-scenes shorts; the most intriguing are experts from Walt Disney's hosted documentaries on how his company made movies. As for the photos, they are awkwardly catalogued and only the most patient of viewers would want to look at all of them. In some segments, though, these images are entertainingly produced as a "story reel," presenting these images--rough animation, sketches, pastel paintings--with the musical accompaniment. For those looking for a more well-rounded view of the films, the two one-hour documentaries on each film's disc lay the groundwork, but none of the anthology looks at how the first film was seen through the years or gives time to anyone who wasn't gung-ho about every element of the films. There is hardly a mention of embarrassing stereotypes that were matted (and still are) out of the "Pastoral" segment, or the intriguing aspect of the film as a '60s icon for the ultimate head-trip. Disney does let their guard down to show sequences that were being readied in 1940 for future editions (including a recently restored short scored to "Clair de Lune"). Most tantalizing is a look at how the special effects were done in the original film. The guide is a scrapbook that one of the technicians kept and was discovered only in 1990. Fans can only hope a reproduction will be made available someday. --Doug Thomas
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First, its key feature is fantastic, classical music. Playing this DVD is like sitting down to a wonderful concert. You could simply play it through without visuals and enjoy it.
Of course, Disney is famous for its images, and Fantasia is no exception! They bring each song to life in its own unique way. Some tell a specific story, like the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Others are more impressionistic. There are twirling hippos and dancing mushrooms. Centaurs and dinosaurs.
This DVD has a minor tweak to the storyline - a short clip of an 'African-American lower-class centaur' was trimmed out. While some might find that to be extreme, I'm content with that change. What remains are centaurs of all colors, representing all of us. There was no reason to single one out as being the "servant" one with stereotypical traits.
If I have one issue, it's the scene with the "teenage girl centaurs". They start the scene with the girls neck-deep in a pond, clearly leading the viewer to believe they are humans. It's supposed to be a "surprise" when they emerge from the water and reveal themselves to be half horse. So as these girls are slowly emerging from the water, they're all naked down to the waist. I feel uncomfortable with half naked teen girls on the screen. Yes eventually watchers realize they are centaurs - once we get past the waist. Still, the whole scene is given an "ogling something that should be private" atmosphere and the idea of ogling naked bathing teen girls doesn't appeal to me.
Still, with that one caveat, the scenes are great.
Well recommended; a true classic.