Discs Are Rated
The Fantasia Anthology
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 125 minutes (Fantasia), 74 minutes
Retail Price: $69.99
Fantasia- Uncut and Complete Version, Audio Commentary
with Roy Edward Disney, James Levine, John Canemaker and
Scott MacQueen, Edited Commentary with Walt Disney hosted by
John Canemaker, "The Making Of Fantasia" Featurette, THX
Fantasia/2000 - Roy Disney Introduction, Audio
Commentary with Roy Disney, James Levine and Don Ernst,
Audio Commentary with Segment Directors and Art Directors,
"Melody" animated short, "Toot, Whistle, Plunks and Bloom"
animated short, "Fantasia/2000" featurette, Collectible
Booklet, THX Optimode
Fantasia Legacy - Collector's Insert, Deleted
Animations, Featurettes, Introductions, Character Designs,
Visual Designs, Designs, Show Excerpts, Biographies,
Production Progression Demonstrations, Storyboard-to-Film
Comparisons, Abanonded Concepts, Story reels, Original
Endings, Re-release Schedule, Production Photos Trailers, TV
Spots, Kitchen Sink (just kidding... but it only seems that
Disc Specs: THX Certified, Multi-Disc Set
Fantasia - 1.33:1 Full Frame (Academy Standard), 5.0
Dolby Digital English, 5.0 DTS English, Chapter Search,
English Subtitles, THX-Certified
Fantasia/2000- 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Digital
Transfer, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 DTS English, 5.1
Dolby Digital French, English Subtitles, Chapter Search,
Back when I was a wee little lad, for some reason I
absolutley loved "Fantasia". Don't ask me why, just
something about the music and art being blended together
really appealed to me. Of course the film was long and I was
often bored with the live action sequences, but despite
that, and like most people, I was enthralled by the film.
Hell, when I went to Disney World when I was still that wee
little lad, I begged my parents for Mickey gloves to compose
(and all that I was missing was the magical hat).
Anyhow, after much anticipation, Disney finally delivers
one of their best and more superior films on DVD. I have to
simply say, it's really quite a treat and everyone is going
to be pleased with it. The presentation has never been
better, and the supplements on the movie disc are rather
good (but the "Fantasia Legacy" disc will blow you away).
Now, let me tell you about "Fantasia"...
If for some reason you've been at the core of the Earth
for the past sixty years, "Fantasia" was one of Walt
Disney's most ambitious and beloved projects. The idea of
presenting classical music with animation. The animation
you're seeing is supposedly what you'd be imagining if you
were listening to the music in a concert hall (though I have
to say, if "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" wasn't stereotyped so
much with this film, I'd never imagine Mickey Mouse).
"Fantasia" is divided into several musical pieces. Some of
the sequences have plots, others don't at all and are simply
The first sequence in "Fantasia" is "Toccata and Fugue in
D Minor" by Bach. The music is very brisk and with spirit,
and it involves a series of abstract drawings. This is not
my favorite, but I still really enjoy it.
Next up is "The Nutcracker Suite" from Tchaikovsky. This
piece is more memorable, as it features the dancing
mushrooms, the dancing flowers, the whole ice fairies and
whatnot. This one is pretty lengthy, but still very
enjoyable to watch.
Of course, probably the most famous piece in "Fantasia"
and what has gone on to represent it and be Mickey Mouse's
most famous role, is "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Paul
Dukas, as Mickey ignores his master's warning and causes a
bit of trouble with magic. You love it, I love it, so many
"The Rite Of Spring" by Stravinsky features a nice big
grand dinosaur battle, with some well paced and catchy music
(but isn't all the music in "Fantasia" catchy?). This one is
not my absolute favorite, but it's still pretty cool to
watch and well done.
"The Pastoral Symphony" by Beethoven, one of Fantasia's
more notable scenes (and was supposedly cut decades ago due
to some sort of stereotype), involves a plucky unicorn (as
well as other unicorns) plus other mythical creatures from
the world of Greek mythology. I really like the music (for
you Simpsons fans out there, they use it pretty often), and
I think this animated piece is pretty charming.
Ponchiell's "Dance Of The Hours" has the elegant dancing
animals which is also a pretty popular piece. You got the
vicious crocodiles dancing with the ballerinas, the
ostriches doing ballet as well as the elephants. The music
is very relaxing and it's a nice watch.
Moussorgsky's "Night On Bald Mountain" is that creepy,
dark and grand music which so many horror movies seemed to
use in their trailers. This one is about darkness, with a
devil like monster and his wrath of of evil with ghosts,
torture and fire. This makes Fantasia an interesting mix,
because most of the pieces are lighthearted, while this one
is pretty much the opposite. Change is good though.
Finally, we have "Ave Maria" by Franz Schubert. The music
is really tranquil and quiet, giving a really good sense of
solitude. "Night On Bald Mountain" leads into this one, as
that symbolized darkness and this one symbolizes light and
peace. It puts you in a pretty mellow mood.
And that wraps up the original and forever classic
"Fantasia". It's great to see the film complete and uncut
since the original release, and DVD really preserves it with
much care. It's all pretty bold, but more on that later.
Walt Disney's original idea for "Fantasia" was to expand
on it. Ever time you saw the film, you'd get a new piece.
This idea never really went anywhere sadly, but Walt's
nephew, Roy, still wanted to continue this idea. In the
early 90s, he started to develop "Fantasia Continued" (which
is now known as "Fantasia/2000" of course), a set of new
pieces with one returning classic favorite (That being "The
Sorcerer's Apprentice"). The project was in development
forever, but "Fantasia/2000" finally launched on New Year's
Day 2000 for a four month engagment in IMAX theaters across
the globe (and some began and still are showing after the
summer 2000 theatrical engagment ended). The film on IMAX
was a tremendous success (I saw it on IMAX and I still
believe it is the ONLY TRUE way to expierence the film, it's
a very breathtaking), and it had a limited one month
engagment in regular theaters across the United States. It
wasn't as succesful as the IMAX run, most likely because so
many people already dragged themselves to the closest IMAX
theater near them months before.
"Fantasia/2000" consists of eight segments. Seven are
new, and one is a classic. The film opens with a nice and
pretty short one, which is set to Symphony No. 5 by
Beethoven. It involves these abstract butterflies (which are
basically two triangles) in various colors and chases. It is
very nicely done and a good way to open a good film.
After that, the second segment is Respighi's "Pines of
Rome", which involves a loveable baby whale and other whales
who fly right out of the ocean. The animation on this one is
really breathtaking, it seems like a mix of computer and
regular hand drawn animation. The detail is wonderful in the
animation, and not only "Pines of Rome" is a very good
score, the story is also simple and enjoyable. This is
probably one of my favorite segments of the movie.
Also another favorite is the marvelous "Rhapsody in Blue"
by Gershwin. The animation is inspired by Al Hirschfeld
drawings, and deals with the rich, the poor, the young and
working in depression-era New York. There is a man who
dreams of being a musician, a poor man who yearns for a job
and money, a little girl who wants her parents to stop
bossing her around and a rich man who wants to be a little
bit more free from his wife. But what is best about this
sgement is that each story is interconnected.
Based on Hans Christian Anderson's "The Steadfast Tin
Soldier", comes "Piano Concerto No.2, Allegro, Opus 102".
The plot of this one follows a toy soldier who has a little
adventure while trying to win the love of a toy ballerina
and stop a madman jack-in-the box. The animation in this one
flows nicely and has a classic fairy tale look.
The fifth segment, which I really did enjoy and brought a
smile to my face, but was REALLY short (I wish it could have
been longer) was Saint Sanes "Carnival of the Animales,
Finale" . It's choreographed nicely, and involves a
fun-loving flamingo who plays with a yo-yo, which distracts
and annoys the other flamingos. The animation and color are
really nice, but I wish this one could have been a bit
After that is the classic segment, which has gone on to
symbolize Fantasia and is probably Mickey Mouse's most
famous role. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Dukas (which is
rightfully introduced by magic gurus Penn and Teller) tells
the classic story of the lazy sorcerer's apprentice, being
Mickey, as he takes his master's hat and has the broom do
work for him. Of course, there are consequences and
Elgar's "Pomp and Circumastance #1, 2, 3, &4", the
famous graduation theme is the topic for a segment involving
Noah's Ark, and Donald and Daisy Duck coordinating the
animals going on board. This also makes for some wacky
comedy, when each think the other is gone for good. Well
animated and light-hearted.
The big finale, "Firebird Suite (1919 Version)" by
Stravinsky is nice and a marvel to look at. I could tell the
ones working on this segment were influenced by the great
animation director Hayao Miyazaki and his film Princess
Mononoke, because the setting and themes were very similar.
It involves the forest and it growing renew and being
destroyed. It was good, but I thought it could have been
better. The animation is fantastic, though.
Before I even saw the movie, I did hear a lot about the
celebrities in the film, who introduce the segments. I felt
this made it even more commercial then it already was. But
it actually wasn't that bad. It wasn't the best, but it was
a lot better then I thought it would turn out to be.
Reactions to the "Fantasia/2000" were mixed. Nearly
everyone compared it to the original, and said that this
"add-on" was more like a sequel. Some critics gave it
lukewarm reviews, others embraced it with much love. The
main complaint though was that people felt the animations
that went with the music lacked what the original "Fantasia"
brought, and how different it was from the first film. I
personally loved the movie and was really impressed, it was
just so unique and well put together. Though I admit it was
a bit different than the original, the passion and feeling
was all there in the movie. I also do admit I slightly
prefer "Fantasia/2000" over the original. Why? Well, I have
to say the pace is much faster, and it does not tend to be
boring. Don't get me wrong, I love the original "Fantasia",
but you have to admit at some points it does move at a slow
Disney has done an excellent job with the transfers for
both "Fantasia" and "Fantasia/2000". Everyone should be
really satisfied with these transfers. So let me analyze,
"Fantasia" is in great condition, probably the best it
has ever looked in sixty years. While the transfer is not
perfect, this THX-certified transfer makes it look pretty
good. You have to realize this film is six decades old, so
this makes it so admirable. The color levels are perfect and
seem exact, however, there is a good amount of dirt
(especially in "The Pastoral Symphony"), blemishes and a
scratch here and there. Still, it's really wonderful and
this is the cleanest I've ever seen it, and probably the
cleanest it'll ever be. The movie is presented in 1.33:1,
the original theatrical ratio.
"Fantasia/2000", on the other hand, is flawless, a true
reference quality disc. Being transfered directly from
digital files, and also THX-Certified, it's truly
breathtaking. Colors and hues are accurate, and I couldn't
find any oversaturation or bleeding. Shadow and black levels
are perfect. Check out "The Pines Of Rome", some of the
shots are mesmerizing, it looks pretty real. There is a
slight complaint though, I noticed some really, really
slight shimmering here and there. However, it's so small and
barley noticable, I won't detract anything at all. The film
is also anamorphic and benefits from the extra resolution
(the aspect ratio is 1.85:1, from when it was in regular
theaters). "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" however, is not
cropped and keeps the original 1.33:1 ratio, however, it is
windowboxed. Great job Disney! Don't forget to use your THX
I was a bit hesitant with this section I admit. I'm sure
Disney did a nice remix for "Fantasia", but usually the
original is always better. The new Dolby Digital and DTS
mixes aren't revolutionary by any merit, but fit the film
surprisngly well. Besides, a film which is based on music
should definently have multiple channel mixes.
Dolby Digital 5.0 and DTS 5.0 are included on "Fantasia".
The mixes are not bad. I really didn't have a preference
from the DTS or Dolby Digital, both sounded really similar,
except the DTS was a bit louder. The lack of a .1 LFE
doesn't really affect how the movie sounds at all, I think
(well, maybe with "Night On Bald Mountain"). The mixes are
pretty clear, and there was hardly any distortion.
Considering how old the movie, fidelty and dynamic range are
lacking, meaning it can't give a true sense of being in a
concert theater. Basically the mixes aren't the best and
isn't that good for home theater reference, but as I said,
it fits the film and wasn't as bad as I expected. A nice,
"Fantasia/2000" on the other hand is reference quality
with audio. Boasting a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a DTS 5.1
mix, this time around you really do feel like you're trapped
in a concert theater and part of this amazing expierence.
The dynamic range is all over the place, the .1 LFE is made
to good use, and it creates this exciting feeling ("Pines Of
Rome", like the video, is also a great way to show off the
sound mixes). Also check out when Mickey does his intro, the
sounds of him calling are all over the place, giving some
great surround and range. I personally prefer the DTS over
the Dolby Digital, I felt it was a bit more aggressive and
responsive, plus I felt the music had more depth within it.
Still, the Dolby Digital is also very good if you watch the
movie with that track. Either way, you can't go wrong and
you won't be disappointed. A 5.1 Dolby Digital French track
is also included (of course, it's only really for the
Disney has done a great job with the mixes for both
movies, and THX Optimode is included for setting your sound
up for these THX-Certified mixes.
Settle down in your chair, because if you plan to learn
every apsect of the disc sets and my thoughts, it's going to
take awhile. Let's get the show on the road...
I'll start with the original "Fantasia" disc. Even if you
buy this as a stand alone, the features here will provide a
ton of insight on this animated masterpiece. First off and
most notable, "Fantasia" is uncut from the original
theatrical version, that being back in 1940 on the whole
original Roadshow deal. The original intermission is
included, however, I did notice it's not compleltley
restored. Using my video tape from 1991 as a comparison, I
found that some shots are zoomed in, just like on the tape
(they're not supposed to be). I suppose it's not restored
the fullest, but this is the first time since 1940 it's
being shown with a running time of 125 minutes. Many film
buffs and animations fans shall be pleased with this
Now, on to the audio commentaries. Two are presented
here. The first one is with Roy E. Disney, conductor James
Levine, animation historian John Canemaker and restoration
expert Scott MacQueen. This is a very good commentary, as
all of them have an incredible amount of passion for the
movie and give their complete insights and thoughts on
"Fantasia". This is one commentary which is definently worth
Now the second commentary is edited. Disney calls it
"Rare Archival Interviews with Walt Disney", but it is
indeed a commentary track and a really marvelous one. John
Canemaker hosts it, as Disney has put together interviews
with Walt Disney that span three decades. The track is very
interesting. It's not screen specific, but these interviews
has Disney commenting on the film and the animation pieces.
The audio quality varies, due to how old the interviews are.
Some are distorted and sound crackly and the age is easily
heard, others sound pretty good. I'm glad Disney put this
together and spent the time and effort to do so. You will
gain a TON from this track, so please give it a listen.
Rounding off the disc is a very well put together 50
minute featurette (I consider it a documentary) entitled
"The Making Of Fantasia". Hosted by David Ogden Stiers, the
roots and history behind "Fantasia" are revealed. It's a
good watch with some well put together interviews. It's
worth your time.
A very impressive amount of features for the disc and the
quality is outstanding. Now on to what "Fantasia/2000"
The disc begins with a nice introducting from Roy Disney,
which you shouldn't simply chapter skip over but watch, as
he gives some short insight on this next chapter of the
movie. It can also be accessed from the wonderfully animated
Two commentaries are also on the disc. The first is with
Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine and producer Don
Ernst. Roy was responsible for bringing "Fantasia/2000" to
life, and this track gives all his insights and passion
about it. James Levine talks more about the music, and Don
Ernst shares his thoughts on production values. Each seem
really motivated and have such strong feelings of pride
toward the movie, which is good.
The next audio commentary is with the Art Directors and
Segment Directors for each piece. So every animation piece
you watch, you can hear what the creative forces had to say
about their shorts. Most are pretty interesting, and if can
get past some of the accents, you'll learn a lot. Though
it's hard to give all their thoughts in a mere few minutes,
they do a great job of doing so.
Two animated shorts are included on the disc (Disney has
been including them with their animated titles as of late,
why not release a set?): "Melody" and "Toot, Whistle, Plunks
and Bloom", which was nominated for an Oscar. They're a good
watch for kids as some musical insight is provided.
Another featurette is included giving more interviews and
some additional information on the movie, plus a special
commemorative booklet explaining each piece and their music,
plus some activities for the kids to do. A nice set of
features for a great, beautiful movie.
Okay, here comes the major blow... "The Fantasia Legacy",
a third disc with an INCREDIBLE amount of insight on both
movies and their making. It's an exclusive disc with "The
Fantasia Anthology" and is really worth it. Even if you
don't care much for extras, I still say you need this BADLY.
Let's get rolling...
First thing when you start up the disc, you get a nice
intro, and then a nicely animated menu with music where you
choose which movie you want to learn about. "Fantasia" on
the left, "Fantasia/2000" on the right. I'll do "Fantasia"
The "Fantasia" menu consists of streaming screens with
clips from each segment. First up all the way on the left is
"Dance Of The Hours". You can watch an introduction with
John Culhane, an animation historian, talking about this
piece. The piece includes concept art, animation footage and
An excerpt from "Tricks Of Our Trade:Live-Action Model
Reference" is presented by Walt Disney himself, which shows
animators drawing to a woman doing ballet dancing, and how
it inspires them. A good, short watch. The "Visual
Development" section features three pages of concept art,
the "Character Design" has sketches for the ostriches,
hippos, elephants and alligators, while you can view some
unused and rough animation plus a nice bio on the music
"Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" has an introduction with
Walt Disney plus some commentary by John Culhane. Concept
art is also shown plus some production photos. An "alternate
concept" is presented which is quite a good watch, plus the
"Visual Development" has a whopping 17 pages and there is a
bio about the music in case you want more background.
"The Nutcracker Suite" features an introducton by Disney
animator Frank Thomas, clips from the piece and concept art.
An excerpt from "The Story of the Animated Drawing: Layering
and Painting" gives good insight on the design aspect, as so
does the "Visual Development" and "Character Design"
sections, with pages upon pages of concept art. Rounding it
off is the usual biography about the music.
"The Rite Of Spring" has an intro with John Culhane as he
describes how the piece was used as an inspiration with
"Fantasia/2000". An excerpt from "Tricks Of Our Trade:
Effects Demonsration" is here, as well some interesting
"Visual Development" pictures, "Character Design" stills and
a boy on this musical piece.
"Ave Maria" has a bio about the music, a good five pages
of "Visual Development" and a spiffy intro with John
Canemaker and insight from Frank Thomas and John Culhane,
complete with concept art and some description of the film
and Disney camera stock footage. I should mention Mr. Thomas
had a LOAD of insight in the intros he does.
The classic and beloved "Fantasia" piece, "The Sorcerer's
Apprentice" includes an introduction with John Canemaker and
John Culhane with some clips from the piece. "Deleted
Animation: Mickey With The Broom" is sorta like a pencil
test, and lasts a few seconds, but you see the final product
afterwards. A "Story Reel", complete with the music shows
the storyboards put together and how it was originally
planned. There's some pages about the music itself, and the
usual "Visual Development" and "Character Desgin" sections,
with many pages of concept art and various drawings.
"The Pastoral Symphony" is introduced by John Culhane as
he shares some insight about it. There are a few pages of
"Visual Development" and "Character Design" which I found to
be pretty neat, and rounding it off is a music bio.
"Night On Bald Mountain" has an introduction with John
Canemaker and John Culhane, and features some concept art,
clips from the piece and explanations are given about the
design aspect. An excerpt from "The Plausible Impossible:
Marrying Music and Visuals" is included, plus the usual
pages of "Visual Development", "Character Design" and a
biography on the music itself.
That rounds out the animated segments, but there's still
more. There's a section devoted to the Interstitials,
complete with production photos and some visual development.
An introduction with Roy Disney is included as well as
animation restoration expert Scott MacQueen, plus Leonard
Maltin. This intro is pretty lengthy.
"The Fantasia That Never Was" introduces concepts that
were axed from the final film. The only complete one is
"Claire De Lune", and has been reused into another Disney
project. It's all complete though and quite nice to watch,
and it has a whole visual development section. "The Ride Of
The Valkyries", "The Swan Of Tuonela", "Invitation to the
Dance" and "Adventures in a Permabulator" all have completed
story reels and visual development sections. There are also
three other concepts with just concept art, and they are
"Mosquito", "Flight of the Bumble Bee" and "Baby Ballet".
This whole section features a spiffy introduction by John
Culhane and John Canemaker as they go through each axed
concept briefly but carefully.
"Special Effects Of Fantasia" is a nice featurette of
sorts with interviews. There are some biographies of Walt
Disney, Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Ben Sharpsteen, Joe
Grant and Duck Huemer, and the Publicity section features
the original 1940 trailer (lots of grain there), the 1990
re-release trailer, pictures from the original Fantasia
program for the Roadshow where it started out, tons of
domestic and international posters, and what I feel is very
interesting and a good read, the "Re-release Schedule" where
it gives all the exhibitions of "Fantasia" and what was cut
from them and how they were edited. Very good for
comparisons. And that rounds out the original Fantasia,
phew! But there's still "Fantasia/2000" to be covered...
The "Fantasia/2000" section is presented just like the
original "Fantasia" section. Animated menus with screens are
presented, and you pick your piece.
The first one I'm covering is "Pines Of Rome". "Creating
Pines Of Rome" is a short featurette with those who worked
on it, and it's interesting to see the development it went
through. The "Visual Development" and "Character Design"
section have a lot of nice sketches. There's also a bio on
the music, and a "Storyboard-To-Film Comparison", where you
see a clip from "Pines Of Rome" and the story reel with it
in split screen. Finally, they're two abanonded concepts,
each presented in story reels. One is an alternate ending,
and the other deals with penguins. You can see why the
penguins one was abanonded, and although the ending was
never fully animated, I do like this one a lot. They're both
set to music as well.
"Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1,2,3 and 4" has the usual
"Visual Development" and "Character Designs", plus a bio on
the music. There's a featurette on it which is enthralling
on how it was created, as well two concepts that were
abandoned. Each is set to music. One is drastically
different from the final product, and is based on the story
of Icarus and the wax wings, with Donald being Icarus. It's
entitled "Icarus Duck". The other one is basically the same
as the finished product, yet it involves a dove helping out,
that one is titled "Noah's Dove".
"Piano Concerto #2, Allegro, Opus 102" features some
great history. This one was supposed to be in the original
Fantasia, but it never saw the light of day. Storyboards by
Bianca Majolie can be viewed in the section that date back
to 1938. There's "Desgin" and "Character Design" sections to
view, as well as a featurette on the creating of this piece.
There's a bio about the music, as well as a "Production
Progression Demonstration", where you use your angle key on
your DVD player to see a clip as it goes from concept,
storyboards, rough and to final animation. Finally, two axed
concepts are presented in story reels, complete with music.
One is an original ending, and the other is an alternate rat
sequence. I'm glad they were cut, and you can see why too.
One of my favorite pieces from "Fantasia/2000" is
"Rhapsody in Blue", and this section offers some great
insight on the creation of it. There's a featurette with
interviews with the animators and Al Hirschfeld himself, who
inspired the design aspect of the piece. The "Inspirations
From Hirschfeld" gallery is excellent, as it pinpoints the
exact pictures that inspired character designs. The "Design"
section has some info on the art direction and the color
keys, plus there is a biography on the music and a lot of
"Character Desgins". "The Stages Of Animation" is introduced
by director Eric Goldberg, and is basically a production
progression demonstration where the controlling is done for
you. Finally, a "Storyboard-To-Film-Comparison".
"Symphony No. 5" has a featurette with interviews from
animators and those who brought it to life, as well as a
"Visual Development" section. A bio about the music is
included, as well as a story reel from June 1998. The "Early
Concepts" section is plentiful, giving story reels and text
introductions about how the piece was originally. There are
four. One from May 1993, one from September 1993, the
September 1993 one done with CGI and a third one (date
unknown). Definently check them out, to show how much change
it went through.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is the same section from the
"Fantasia" part. It includes an introduction with John
Canemaker and John Culhane with some clips from the piece.
"Deleted Animation: Mickey With The Broom" is sorta like a
pencil test, and lasts a few seconds, but you see the final
product afterwards. A "Story Reel", complete with the music
shows the storyboards put together and how it was originally
planned. There's some pages about the music itself, and the
usual "Visual Development" and "Character Desgin" sections,
with many pages of concept art and various drawings. What
would have been nice if they showed how this piece was
restored and cleaned up for "Fantasia/2000", but oh well,
it's fine as it is.
"Firebird Suite - 1919 Version" has a lot of nice
features. There's a featurette with the animators and
director talking about it, as well as a "Design" section,
showing off the visual development and color keys used.
There are three "Character Designs" sections to view ("Elk",
"Sprite" and "Firebird") and a story reel of the piece.
"Effects Animation: Firebird Erruption" is basically a
production progression demo that's controlled for you. The
original ending is complete, yep, it's fully animated.
There's not too much difference from the ending used, but
the part that is changed is slightly rough. There's a bio on
the music, and there is also a "Production Progression
Demonstration", where you can control it.
"Carnival Of The Animals Finale" features an early story
reel from September 1994, a featurette with clips and
interviews with those who created the piece, a "Design"
section, a bio on the music as well as an original ending in
a story reel. The ending is short, but I actually preferred
this one over the one in the final film (but I still enjoyed
the actual ending used), so be sure to give it a spin.
"The Interstitials" section shows how much effort went
into that opening. There's a featurette about the creation,
an early concept story reel, a CGI "Proof Of Concept" test,
design pictures about it, and a section entitled "Mickey
Meets the Maestro". And you thought creating the pieces was
the only tough job about the film!
Rounding off the disc is an "Orchestra Demonstration",
where you can learn a little more about music and show how
each musical section is so important to a piece. So play
around with that, and see how it all comes together. They're
numerous biographies of those involved with the movie, and
finally, two trailers and four TV spots. And that ends the
extra features section. Boy, am I tired...
Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying
"Fantasia" is one of the most important and inspirational
films of all time. Disney has released this classic on DVD
as well as the excellent next chapter booming with wonderful
presentation and setting a new standard with extra features.
It's amazing how Disney releases two excellent boxed sets in
a single month for two revolutionary animated film series
(the other being "Toy Story"). If you can purchase on DVD
set at all, this is the one to go with. Even if you don't
care for extras, it just shows how much time and effort goes
into something like this, as well as giving a wonderful
history that spans over six decades. Make no mistake, this
set deserves to be in everyone's collection.
Note: I am giving the video and audio perfect fives
even though "Fantasia" is not perfect, Disney has done an
excellent job cleaning the presentation up.
(4.5/5 (both movies), NOT
included in final score)
NOT an average)