This original article from Variety written in 1940 gives a reflection of how Fantasia was accepted in its own time. Although the tone throughout the article is somewhat neutral, the author makes it clear just how revolutionary this film was in the artistic world. In the 1940’s, classical music wasn’t the listening of choice for most of the American public. Therefore, the author admits that Disney took a gamble in producing a movie with a completely classical soundtrack, but definitely succeeded. The revolutionary sound system Disney required theatres to use in order to show their movie greatly enhanced the experience, making the feature incredibly emotional and moving. The author gives short synopses of each vignette, and incorporates his own powerful feelings from watching the show, as well as his concerns. He shows the connection he felt with each mini-story, such as his delight with “Dance of the Hours” and its ballet-dancing animals. But, he dismisses a lot of the animation as impressionistic, grotesque, and abstract, portraying the still conservative mind of the majority of the American audience. As a whole, the article conveys that the movie’s charming vignettes were widely accepted (with the movie making a 2,000,000 dollar box-office sum), but artistically, still very ahead of its time.
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