Fantasia Movie Night

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This weekend marked our third film in our Disney Movie Resolution with “Fantasia,” a groundbreaking film released on June 21, 1940. Walt Disney’s ambitious project to blend animation with Western classical music was not only innovative but daring during its time. Initially intended as a short to rejuvenate Mickey Mouse’s waning popularity, “Fantasia” evolved into a full-length feature. The movie comprises eight animated segments, each choreographed to classical pieces conducted by Leopold Stokowski and performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The eclectic soundtrack of “Fantasia” includes:

  • Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
  • Various movements from The Nutcracker Suite
  • Russian Dance
  • Waltz of the Flowers
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Rite of Spring
  • The Pastoral Symphony (The Sixth)
  • Dance of the Hours
  • A Night on Bald Mountain
  • Ave Maria

Reflecting on my first experience with “Fantasia” back in 1977, I was just three years old—the same age as Big E is now. Interestingly, Big E found it hard to engage with the film at his tender age. My seven-year-old, C-man, initially struggled with the movie’s early segments but warmed up once familiar tunes from The Nutcracker Suite began to play. However, it was “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” featuring Mickey Mouse, and the “Rite of Spring” segment with its captivating dinosaurs, that truly captured his attention.

While the music and animation were a feast for the senses, the highlight of our movie night was the themed snack—popcorn served in creative “broom bags,” inspired by the iconic scene from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” This whimsical touch added an extra layer of fun to our viewing experience.

Watching “Fantasia” offered us a unique opportunity to appreciate the fusion of classical music with Disney animation, sparking discussions about the visuals and the music’s emotional resonance. It’s a testament to Disney’s vision and a reminder of how timeless and innovative storytelling can bridge generations.

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