Movie Review – Fantasia 2000

Fantasia 2000

Directed by Hendel Butoy, Eric Goldberg, Paul Brizzi, Gaetan Brizzi, Francis Glebas, and Pixote Hunt.

Starring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine.

When I heard Disney was doing a sequel to Fantasia, I jumped for joy. When I heard it was going to be an IMAX film, I just about wet myself. How would a marriage between one of the greatest animation houses on the planet and the ultimate wide screen be pulled off? Would it be a monumental achievement, or a colossal failure? Well, since this is a segmented film, it’s best to do things segment by segment.
Beethoven’s Fifth/Floating Triangles – Nothing but triangles floating around like butterflies, and hovering over something that looks like a pond. And, all set to the classic “da-da-da-duh.” Just nifty.

The Pines Of Rome/Flying Whales – Set to a piece called the Pines Of Rome, we are treated to the pure surealness of flying humpback whales. Although the premise is a little bizarre, it is spellbinding.

Rhapsody In Blue/Al Hirshfeld Cartoons – We follow through the city of New York four people who are longing for something more from life. This is my favorite. It’s just so bright and vibrant.

Piano Concerto #2/The Steadfast Tin Soldier – The story is based on the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale. We are presented with a one-legged tin soldier, who falls in love with a ballerina doll. But, the path to true love is blocked by an evil jack-in-the-box. Just too darn cute!

Carnival of the Animals/Flamingos with Yo-Yos – A flamingo plays with a yo-yo, much to the annoyance of his peers. The shortest segment, but the funniest.

Micky Mouse as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – The only segment returning from the original. A classic.

Pomp and Circumstance/Donald Duck on Noah’s Ark – Well, in this sequel, Donald Duck gets his own segment! Donald is Noah’s assistant, ushering the animals onto the Ark, all to the sounds of the Graduation Song. Along the way, Donald is separated from Daisy. Will true love prevail? A great companion to Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Firebird Suite/Death and Rebirth in the Forest – This time around, we are presented with a forest spirit, who unwittingly becomes prey to a fire monster. A show-stopping finale.

This is one of those films that isn’t seen, but experienced. It works if you’re an animation buff, a classical music guy, or just along for the ride. This film is magnificent on all respects. It’ll only be in IMAX for the next 3 weeks or so, so you must see it! You’ll love it. A lot of other critics have complained about the big celebrities who introduce each segment, but I didn’t find it that bad. Steve Martin was actually kind of funny. In the end, all I can say is WOW. See it. I hope now we don’t have to wait 60 years for the next one.

5 Nibs