Fantasia

I looked up Fantasia from a critic from the 1940s from when the movie was first released. He wrote that although the new movie pushed all previous boundaries, there was something to like “for every taste.” The sound was so advanced in the movie that sound systems had to be installed in the theaters the movie was to be shown in. This caused the movie to be only released in a select few theaters, making it a box office failure. The movie did not gain popularity until about 20 years later in the 1960s. One thing I found particularly interesting was how the film was almost a backwards evolution. It went back to classical music and also had no dialogue, two things which were very unusual during the time period. I think it is ironic that the Rite of Spring, the fourth piece in the film’s program, tells the story of the growth of life on Earth. It seems ironic that a movie that is partly focused on evolution uses such an unconventional method of storytelling.

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=Variety100&reviewid=VE1117790827&content=jump&jump=review&category=1935&cs=1

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8 responses to “Fantasia

  1. I must say that going back to the no-dialogue is sort of a backwards revolution, but using classical music definitely isn’t. At the time, classical music was very popular. For example, Stravinsky was very distinguished and lived well into the 20th century. His music is still played very often today. But yes, the no-dialogue was new. Fantasia’s focus on such conceptual natural themes as the seasons and prehistoric times was revolutionary because other films at the time (I assume) followed different paths.

  2. Although I see your point about how this movie is ironically almost a backwards step in the movie industry, I think there is a lot about Fantasia that’s actually really advanced. As you mentioned, Fantasia required a state-of-the-art sound system, making some theaters more high tech. Also, the quality of the animation is pretty spectacular, even looking back on it from 2009. All the images are almost perfectly in sync with the music, and the way light (sunlight, fire, lava, lightning) is handled still looks amazing. So even though fantasia cut out modern dialogue and music, it makes up for it in superb sound and groundbreaking animation.

  3. I agree that this movie has something that “appeals to every taste”. There’s almost something magical about it because it combines picture and music into a story seemlessly, which I think is one of the dominating aspects that makes this film enjoyable. When we watched the film today, it felt like it was imposing order upon nature, giving it beats and a melody. There has always been something mystical about the natural world that is both amazing and terrifying. So being able to make sense of that through music that tells a story is very attractive to the audience.

  4. I totally agree. The movie has something for everyone–sound, images, peacefulness. It is a family movie and therefore everyone has something to enjoy. And the pastoral nature of the film brings a sense of peacefulness to a family. And like most films, it serves as a chance to escape and the music and images leave room for imagination (for both the young and old) to create their own dialogue however they please.

  5. I think its partially that, because everyone experiences nature at least some time in their life and thus can connect to the film. It’s also appealing because it’s difficult to dislike the whimsical, “la dee da” feel of Disney.

  6. I’ve always wondered why Disney movies are able to appeal to “every taste”. Do you think it has anything to do with the role nature plays in allot of Disney films? Or maybe it is something else?

    • I think that the reason that it appeals to every taste has a lot to do with the images and sounds that it pairs together. For example, the images are fun for small children to watch, like the ice skating fairies or the mushroom dance. But at the same time, for an older audience to actually feel like they can see the music makes the movie enjoyable even though they are also able to see the racial and stereotypical things.

    • I think that it does have a lot to do with nature, but not just the fact that everyone experiences nature but the fact that many Disney movies seem to have the pastoral nature that we were talking about in class. There is that la dee da feeling that Jay mentioned that just makes people happy, and that coupled with the pastoral nature seems to bring an unexplainable joy when you watch a disney movie.
      I also think they might appeal to people because most Disney movies have the perfect fairy tell ending. There are always problems throughout the movie that people can either relate to personally or otherwise just sympathize for the main character, but they all work out in the end. People wish that everything will work out in their lives, so they take comfort in the fact that maybe their life will turn out like the movie’s plot.

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