Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 (Disney Blu-ray Set)
A- Sound: A Extras: B Films: A/B+
there to say about an undeniable classic?
When Walt Disney imagined and created Fantasia in 1940 as his third feature length film, I wonder if he
knew the impact he was about to make on the world. Today animated features either completely
cater to children or slickly incorporate comedic elements that are over
children’s heads; with perhaps the exception of Pixar creations. Gone are the days (seemingly) of beautiful
creations like Snow White and even
newer features like The Lion King;
studios are lost and are in creative limbo as they debate whether classic
animation is even profitable anymore. It
is all about flash animation and computers today, rarely do audiences get to
experience the artistry and beauty that features like Fantasia delivered over 70 years ago.
Fantasia is a work of art; plain and
simple. You could take any moment in the
film, frame it, and hang it on the wall; and that is not even considering the
films beautiful music. In all, Fantasia features eight animated
segments, each with a brief live action introduction from host Deems
Taylor. The animated experience is
heightened by the use of classical music that frames the every moment with the
utmost precision; which is especially important since the film features no
dialogue (outside of the introductions) or sound effects. All of the music was performed by the amazing
Philadelphia Orchestra and the animation used in the film forced Disney to
create new filming techniques that were never used before. Fantasia
was not meant to be just another fairy tale, but rather an experience for
the masses unlike any other. By today’s
media obsessed, A.D.D. audiences’ standards, Fantasia wouldn’t have people flocking to the theaters to look at
moving art and classical music; and even by 1940’s standards the film was a
flop. Fantasia put Disney in financial troubles and it took multiple
edits (from the 2 hour, 20 minutes run time) and multiple releases for the film
to earn back its costs; not to mention gain an audience. We can all look at Fantasia as a piece of art, because it is, but most Disney fans
would not cite it as their all time favorite.
The fact of the matter is the film is and was very avant-garde and never
promoted itself as commercial venture.
Disney intended for Fantasia to
be a growing, evolving piece of art that was a venue for animators to
experiment with over time.
have taken 60 years, but finally in 2000 Disney Studios went ahead and
investigated updating and adding to Walt’s legacy with Fantasia 2000. The film,
though the creators had the best intentions, did not live up to or hold true to
the original. Fantasia 2000 is a more commercial film that noticeably did not
take the risks that the original had. Fantasia had thrown caution to the
wind, while Fantasia 2000 went
through multiple screenings and promotions to draw in a modern generation. Fantasia
2000 originally was meant to contain several of Fantasia’s original eight segments, but in the end only kept The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Fantasia
thought outside the box and was not concerned with political correctness;
whereas 2000 promoted itself as
adding onto the original and very commercial.
Fantasia 2000 was intended to
be a film “for all generations,” when the original never concerned itself with
anything of the sort.
enjoy both films, but Fantasia is
most definitely better than 2000. Its avant-garde style is admirable and stands
a piece of art to this day.
this double film Blu-ray set is not called a “diamond collection” release for
Disney; both the audio and video look amazing.
Both films look amazing, even if they were filmed 60 years apart. Fantasia
is kept in its original 1.33 X 1 ratio but has been fully restored for this
1080p digital High Definition presentation.
The colors are vivid and the blacks are bold; it is as if I am seeing a
different film as the reds, blues, yellows and greens all pop as they hit the
screen. The blacks do a great job of
framing. Sure there are imperfections
here and there, so to this being hand drawn/colored animation; but like a
painting from a master artist, the small imperfections make the art even
better. There are few actual issues with
the presentation itself and it is jaw dropping to watch a 70 year old film
display so pristinely. Fantasia 2000 (even at only 10 years
old) presents just the same as Fantasia (both
good and bad), with only small imperfections here and there but overall the
1.78 X 1 presentation is great. The CG
animation is a bit dated (by today’s standards) and unlike the original, it
shows the limitations the artists were working with. Overall, however, the film is bright, crisp
and clean. The audio on both films is a
newly restored 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless sound that showcases the
films like they have never been heard before.
I was scared when I heard this was NOT a diamond release, but in the end
the sound was perfection. The speakers are
ALIVE for these films as the entire speaker range is utilized to bring these
films to life. The listener can hear
every instrument from horn to bass drum, they are all there in an all new
amazing way as never heard before. If
you want to have a demo film set for your speakers, Fantasia and Fantasia 2000
are it as the directionality, range, and crispness are all there.
extras on this wonderful set include the following:
The Schuletheis Notebook: Disney
An interesting feature that discusses a book found at
Disney studios that belonged to an artist named Schuletheis that goes into
detail how Fantasia was made and
that it was no easy task.
Interactive Art Gallery
Dali and Disney: A Date with
An amazing documentary of two masters (Disney and Salvador
Dali) working together to make a piece of art unlike any other
Destino - The short Dali/Disney film
Disney’s Virtual Vault (online)
wonderful set that every person in this world needs to see….simply amazing.
- Michael P. Dougherty II