in about 100 words or less
US 125m, Colour
Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe, Norman Ferguson, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen; Cast: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor
Fantasia is a collection of animated shorts set to classical music which is performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a conceptual piece, Fantasia is an imaginative concept, but suffers from a lack of continuity in style and quality. Technically, as the first commercial film to use stereo sound, Fantasia must have been a treat for movie audiences who had previously been accustomed to mono soundtracks in theatres. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence is probably the best known of the pieces – owing to Mickey’s appearance, but arguably, not the most artistically imaginative and interesting. Although portions of Fantasia show their age, the dancing fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms and leaves which accompany the Nutcracker Suite, would not look out-of-place in a current Hayao Miyazaki film – a testament to the artistry of Disney’s early animators (Klaus Ming December 2011).