Film 77 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1940’s “Fantasia”. After having a rather rough night last night and pretty much reaching the point of quitting something I’ve worked hard on and deciding to call it quits, I needed a film that I could watch and enjoy with a smile on my face. So, taking advice from a few friends of mine, I decided to go with a Disney film because “you can never go wrong with Disney.” It has been a very long time since I last saw this and all I remember was the bit with Mickey Mouse and I vaguely remembered the bits with Satan. Everything else seemed like a blur of colour to me. I was watching it and one of the first things I wrote down was, “Is this what it’s like to be on a acid trip set to Bach?” I did feel that there were parts that dragged a little too long. I don’t know if that’s because classical music is long in general or because I wasn’t interested in that section of the film. I really found it impressive that they managed to get the timing of the images in time with the music. Also, I learned that there is a God of Wine named Bacchus. A review in The New York Times had this to say about this film, “A creation so thoroughly delightful and exciting in its novelty that one’s senses are captivated by it, one’s imagination is deliciously inspired.” This really does feel like a film you have to watch twice. One time to see the visuals and one time with your eyes closed so you can paint an image of what your mind is thinking when the music is playing. Fun fact, Mickey Mouse had to updated for this film. This was the first film to have Mickey Mouse with pupils in his eyes. Before “Fantasia”, Mickey had appeared in many short films made my Disney such as 1928’s “Steamboat Willie” (his debut), 1933’s “Building a Building” and 1939’s “The Pointer”. If you have seen this film, then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1940’s “Fantasia”
Film – Fantasia
Year – 1940
Director – James Algar
Staring – Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Philadelphia Orchestra
IMDb Rating – 7.8/10
My Rating – 7.45/10
Length – 119 min (1h 59min)
Genre – Animation, Family, Fantasy
Time for the orchestra to get into place
Thanks for the introduction maestro
And thanks for explaining the film to me
We open with “Absolute Music”
So… the idea is to watch this and picture what my mind is thinking as I listen to the music
“Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach opens – I did have to pause just so I spelt it right
“BOW DOWN TO ME”
So… as a composer, all you do is throw your arms around and make people play according to arm and hand positioning?!?
Conducting is hard!!!
SO MANY SHADOWS!!!
Nice transition from live action to cartoon
Are the violins bows shooting of the clouds meant to be birds?
Lense flares – So this is where J.J. Abrams got the idea from
I am finding this music rather relaxing
Is this what it looks like to be on drugs?
Bright colours and weird images?
Purple hills – So this is where D12 got the idea for their song “Purple Hills?”
Fireworks – How fitting as it was Bonfire Night last night
I feel like I’m watching a music video for orchestral music
I was nice enough to clap when they finished
Time for “The Nutcraker Suite, Dance of the Sugerplum Fairy”
I always feel like this music is the opening to a Harry Potter film
I’m guessing this is where the inspiration for Tinkerbell came from
So… Fairy dust makes everything come to life
Now for “Chinese Dance”
They all remind me of Stewie Griffin from Family Guy
Well… that was short
Now for “Dance of the Reed Flutes”
And that the end of that song
Now for “Arabian Dance”
It’s a fish with a very long tail
Stop being camera shy
And now this fish wants to be on camera – Make your mind up!
Also… STOP FLIRTING WITH ME!!
And now for “Russian Dance”
More dancing flowers!
And now “Waltz of the Flower”
Back to Tinkerbell and her friends
How many parts are there in “The Nutcracker Suite”
If one leaf falls to the floor, you know winter’s on the way
They just turned an entire pond into a ice skating zone
And that’s “The Nutcracker Suite” finished
Time for an old story from 2000 years ago – 940BC???
It’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
That demon just turned into a butterfly
That hat is glowing – In a video game that means you have to collect it
Mickey does so
He makes a broomstick come to life
I now have epilepsy
Follow me broomstick to the fountain
Now pour the water into this pool
“Being a sorcerer is easy”
“You go on ahead, I’m gonna have a nap”
Now Mickey’s playing with the stars in space
Come to me waves of water
Now how did this get flooded?
MICKEY’S A MURDERER!!!!
He just killed a broomstick
I hope no mini broomsticks start forming
Just throw all the water out of the window
So… giant magical books can float
And be used as surfboards
Shit! The sorcerer’s awake!!!!
Did he just do a tribute to Moses by parting the sea
Mickey congratulates Leopold as everyone applaudes him
Don’t walk into your own instrument
Time for “The Rite of Spring” as the growth of life on Earth
So… this is science! Not art in this next piece?!?
Time for a science lesson in how scientists think Earth and The Universe happened
Question of the film – How did the dinosaur become extinct?
So… This is Space!
What the hell is a ghostly lion figure doing in space?
Am I on Mars?
It’s not covered in chocolate! IT’S RED!!!
There’s volcanoes on Mars???
Is Mars like the second version of The Sun?
I’m assuming so with all the volcanoes, lava and fire everywhere
Was this what David Bowie was singing about in “Life on Mars?”
Is that the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
There’s lots of explosions on Mars
How did I end up in the ocean?
The ocean is a scary place! I know that from watching Finding Nemo
I’m not even gonna try and name them
Dinosaurs are scary! I know that from Jurrasic Park
Stop fighting over seaweed
Bugger off! This is my hole!
Damn it! I fell in a hole!
SHIT!!!! IT’S A T-REX!!!
Run away! Run Away! Run Away! Run Away!
We got us a dinosaur fight
And T-Rex wins by biting his opponent in the neck
The sun has evaporated all the water and there’s nothing left on Earth
We’re stuck in the mud!!!
Is this what’s it’s like to be in the middle of the desert with no food and water?
And all the dinosaurs are dead and are all bones
That’s the end of that song
A 15 minute intermission!!! Time for a piss break
And we’re back! More like 15 seconds of an intermission
Everyone’s playing jazz music
It’s the soundtrack
The soundtrack is a wavy line that gives off other wavy lines
Is this what Adobe Audition looked like back in the day?
Time for a drum solo
Time for Beethoven’s “Pastrol Symphony” – Set in Mount Olympus
Bacchus – The God of Wine???
“Zeus got bored and decided to play darts with thunderbolts”
Unicorns and Centaurs dance and play as Pegasus and his kids fly around and eat grapes
Shit! I forgot how to fly
These centaur-ette’s have no nipples
Here come all the boyfriends
Time for some quality time together
So… this is how wine is made
Centaurs and Centaur-ettes carry grapes to a bucket and baby centaurs crush them
How is that donkey holding Bacchus
That donkey is an alcoholic!!!!
And so is Bacchus!!!
They are both drunk on wine!
It’s raining! Everyone inside
Thunderbolts are made by blacksmiths???
I feel like this is an episode of My Little Pony gone wrong
I am the wind and the rain!
Fuck your wine!
It’s a wine flavoured waterfall
It’s good to be Zeus
Where did that rainbow woman come from?
Bacchus and his donkey are still drinking
Let’s all stare at the sun
Hi man on sledge being carried by horses
Now for the “The Dance of the Hours” from Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda”
Dancers are meant to be representations of the hours of the day (morning/afternoon/dawn/night)
It’s a dancing ostrich of morning wearing ballerina shoes
This ostrich has cankles!
Bitch stole my grapes!
That hippo of the afternoon just stole and ate the grapes
Those hippos are wearing ballerina shoes and tutus
Are you meant to wear tutus at armpit level?
I always thought you wore them around your waist
Time for ballerena elephants of dawn
And lastly, the crocodiles of the night
That crocodile is in love with that hippo
Chase me lover
Here come the hippos mates to save the day
Even the ostrichs and elephants get involved
And that’s song over
Time for the last song – “A Night on Bald Mountain” and “Ave Maria”
“Bald Mountain is the gathering of Satan”
“Ave Maria is the symbol of triumph”
Satan’s polluting the town with bats, crows and skeleton ghosts
Satan does what he wants to it seems
He is clearly someone you don’t want to piss off
Who’s ringing that bell?
I’m just waiting for Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” to start
I’ve been defeated my daylight
1 hour 54 minutes for some form of choir to appear
Those red blobs are on the move
This is one long tunnel
And daylight has risen and a new day has begun