Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition)
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- 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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was in Korean and I could not get it to switch to EnglishPublished 1 month ago by Nancy Locklear
Even better than how I remembered it as a child, seeing it in the theater many years ago. Used it for a movie night with my sister and my son, who also enjoyed it when he was a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anita Grace Harrison
Got this DVD but it will not play in my Geographical Region. I did NOT know DVDs could do that. Now I have to pay to send it back to the seller. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karen Potts
I'm not concerned about the narrator. I like this movie and so does my baby.Published 2 months ago by Erica Stark
My daughter loved it. She had it as a child on tape and wanted the DVD for her birthday!Published 2 months ago by Reuben B. Bowie
Grandson would watch it endlessly. He has this DVD at his home too.Published 3 months ago by Toby S. Pollock
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