Fantasia mania

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.


7 responses to “Fantasia mania

  1. As I said earlier, touching upon Walter’s point, the music is perfectly in sync with the animation, which makes the movie a classic. It’s always cool to see another person’s imagination of what they think conveys the Nutcracker Song looks like in animation.

  2. A perfect example of how it was important and revolutionary for the history of classical music is that the now famous Nutcracker song was used in the section “Nutcracker Suite.” This is a big deal because at that time, that song was relatively unknown.

  3. Vani, I agree with you in the sense that most of your attention is put into the visual aspects. However, I don’t think the visuals would be exciting and grap your attention at all if it weren’t for the music. So even though you aren’t completely focused on the music, it is what makes the movie a success in the long run.

    • I agree deborah, I think it’s the combination of music and visuals that really grab the attention. Standing alone, they wouldn’t captivate as wide of an audience.

  4. It’s interesting that the movie was so based around popularizing classical music because I don’t think that classical music is much more popular now. I feel like you’re distracted from the music by the visuals, which almost make it seem like you’re not listening to classical music or the genre even matters. For example in the mushroom dance, you hear the sounds and the music comes to life with the aid of the visual, but most of your attention is following the small mushroom that moves around the bigger ones, instead of on how great the music actually sounds.

  5. I’m curious why the movie is still so popular today, even among educated adults. I agree, it seems as though many audiences today would dismiss the movie based on the sexism hidden among the dancing fairies and wonders of nature. Anyone have any ideas?

    • I hope that when people see this they do remember when this film was made. back then this flew okay, even though it is borderline racist and sexist at times. Just imagine what they must think of us… So, yeah, I think now a days people have accepted the fact that this was made in a time when the relationship between the sexes were different. Also, I think that now a days most people pay attention to the Sorceror’s Apprentence and the dancing Hippo one and ignore and forget the details of the rest.

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