I love Fantasia. So much. The music is awesome, the animation is awesome, the whole thing is just awesome. I have been saying for the longest time that Peter Pan is my favorite Disney film. While it is indeed up there, Fantasia blows every other Disney film away. I can honestly watch the entire thing and when it’s over start it all over again. I don’t care what anybody says. This concept was total genius.
You already know that I have a huge place in my heart for classical music. I didn’t become a band geek in high school for nothing. It is so easy for me to get swept up in the music and let it take me where it may. Well luckily Fantasia came with visuals so whenever I hear any of the classical pieces used, those are the visuals that come to mind.
Everyone on earth is familiar with “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. The image of Mickey Mouse in that red shirt and blue hat has been engraved into the minds of every man, woman and child alive today. I’m listening to the piece right now on my ipod. It’s at the part where the bass clarinets kick in and the pieces of broom that Mickey just chopped up are coming to life. I can see it all clear as day. THAT is the power of music. I am in my happy place.
They used Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” in this. The whole idea of sprites changing the seasons and how it affects nature was an awesome concept to me as a kid. It still is. They used the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies as the sprites sprinkled everything with morning dew. You then see all the plants come alive. The dandilions dancing during “Russian Dance”. The mushrooms dancing to “Chinese Dance”. I liked the last part of that segment “Waltz of the Flowers when the little sprites where turning the season into winter. It’s just a serene and quiet piece of music. I honestly find it relaxing to listen to. I play it when I want to feel at ease. It’s a beautiful piece.
Then they gave us “Night on Bald Mountain”. As a kid everything about this scared the crap out of me. The eerie music, the creepy atmosphere of the story, the devil Chernabog. I saw that thing in my nightmares. It was like he was waiting for me. As I grew older and the creep factor died, it easily became one of my favorite parts. The ghosts and skeletons and the shadows. It’s beautiful in a morbid and sinister way. Chernabog totally enjoyed all the misery and woe he was inflicting on these poor lost souls. Then the bell sounds and funtime is over. The calm soothing sounds of “Ave Maria” can be heard and the sun comes up. Light and hope have returned with the dawn.
I’m not going to speak about the second one. And that’s only because I don’t know it as well as I do the original. It was good and I found it entertaining, but as of now, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I need to give it a lot more views before I come to a conclusion. The original however has an exalted place in my heart. It is an idea so fantastic I don’t understand why it went so under appreciated. That it’s so underrated sickens me. Nevertheless, I totally enjoy it, always have and will continue to do so.