Cinestudio preview: 75th anniversary of Fantasia

Early next week Cinestudio will be showing the “75th Anniversary Celebration of Fantasia,” in honor of Walt Disney’s beloved classic. “Fantasia” was initially released in 1940, as an experimental motion picture combining classical music and animation. The goal of the movie was to bring attention to classical music and was intended to be an ongoing project. The film was slow to catch on, but soon it gained the attention of the public. Since then, it has received positive reviews and has become a Walt Disney classic. With the help of conductor Leopold Stokowski, Disney was able to create a masterpiece that is still being celebrated today.
The original film, which was released in 1940, contains eight short segments; each distinct and separate from one another. Each segment features a classical piece, accompanied by Disney’s animation. Some of the most popular pieces include Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite,” which encompasses a series of animated dance across all four seasons. Also, Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours,” includes a humorous ballet starring four different types of animals. However, the most famous segment of “Fantasia” is Paul Dukas’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” in which Mickey Mouse is characterized as a magician’s apprentice, who finds his way into trouble, upon trying on a wizard’s hat. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment is unquestionably the most popular since it was the only portion to be make a reappearance in the film’s sequel, “Fantasia 2000”.
“Fantasia 2000” was released in 1999, and was a sequel to the 1940 version. The new film continued the same ideas, featuring new songs and animations. This movie also consists of various different segments, ranging greatly in content, yet still set to classical music. One of the segments is set in New York City during the 1930s. Another features humpback whales. “Fantasia 2000” also has a segment set to Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” which is widely only associated with graduation. All eight pieces are visually and audibly fascinating. “Fantasia 2000” also had the thrill of being the first animated IMAX film.
The film was widely appreciated and enjoyed upon its initial debut in 1940. A 1940 New York Times article states, “audiences for the first time in their lives will be ‘seeing’ music and ‘hearing’ pictures.” This description is so accurate since Disney was able to carefully construct his animations to fall in perfectly in tune with the classical music backdrop.
In addition, “Fantasia” features one of the world’s most cherished animated characters, Mickey Mouse, in a new lens. Mickey was traditionally seen in the animated short film, “Steamboat Willie”, and his new role in “Fantasia” added an element of magic to his character. Mickey is still marketed today in the Disney parks with the same sorcerer’s garments he is seen wearing in the 1940 film, and can be seen in the popular attraction “Fantasmic!” in both Disney Land and Disney World.
It is no surprise that the “75th Anniversary Celebration” film will be playing in many cinemas across the country, due to its admiration across generations. Trinity College’s Cinestudio will be playing this film from Sunday Nov. 8th until Tuesday Nov. 10th.

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