Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Features and Reviews

BMZ Review: Fantasia/2000
By Ross Anthony


Mickey in the Sky With Diamonds
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: 2000


Category: Reviews

"Tick Tick Tick" the composer taps the podium setting the bird-like theme into flight.

Similar to its predecessor, "Fantasia" of 1940, this version is more of a collection of musical shorts than a feature film. So, I'll review each short on its own.

In the words of Walt Disney (a cartoonist himself), "It is our intention to make a new version of 'Fantasia' every year. Its pattern is very flexible and fun to work with -- not really a concert, not a vaudeville or revue, but a grand mixture of comedy, fantasy, ballet, drama, impressionism, color, sound and epic fury."

For a variety of reasons, the profit deficiency of the 1940's "Fantasia" not the least of them, it's taken Disney sixty years to make good on Walt's hope.

Symphony No. 5
Triangles that flutter and fly becoming butterflies, birds, bats? Swarming in a cloud of black wings with sharp and ominous flaring red highlights.
Grade ................................. A-

Pines of Rome
Doves tease a couple of humpback whales that take to the air in reply. A baby whale attempts to ski off of the surface of the water, but ends up finding himself trapped in an iceberg. The "gaggle" of whales soaring far above the Earth is absolutely fascinating. If you could paint wonder --- this is what it would look like. My chin literally trembled with awe. Capturing the awesome feeling of one's first peer from the window of a plane into the gloriously clouded sky, this segment lets us relive those precious few dreams where we actually see ourselves arms out, levitating through thin air.
Grade ................................. A+++

Rhapsody in blue
Animated in an old cartoon style with European flavor, we follow the escapades of a host of depression era human characters including: a construction worker/jazz drummer, down and out bloke, goofy rich guy. Dominated by a grayish-blue color scheme, this segment stands out as stark and drab. Perhaps, this is intentional as Gershwin's music relishes the blues. Still, it feels out of place in a collection called "Fantasia." The rich man's two second spontaneous dance with a street monkey, is this segment's shining moment.

Grade ................................. B-

Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No.2
Based on the story "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," a one legged toy soldier comes to life in order to save a toy ballerina from an evil Jack in the box. The art incorporates computer animation. Nice story telling, great expression and fine musical timing. I loved the majestic horns ringing as the rigid soldier topples into the sewer system only to dodge the green teeth of red-eyed rats.
Grade ................................. A-

Carnival of Animals
"What would happen if you gave a yo-yo to a flamingo?" Again, great synthesis with the musical dynamics, but not very full of wonder and magic.
Grade ................................. B+

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Old, but a classic. Textured with grain, this excerpt from the original "Fantasia" plays nicely on the Imax screen. You can also see portions of it at Disneyland projected on a shimmering wall of water during the simply fantastic "Fantasmic" show. Mickey uses magic to ease himself of daily chores, but ends up making a huge mess.
Grade ................................. A-

Pomp and Circumstance
Donald is Noah's right-hand duck as the animals march two by two. The awkward match of this popular graduation classic to biblical cartoonery is unflatteringly humorous. Fine for Saturday morning, sure ... but in a feature classic? Nope.
Grade ................................. B-

Firebird Suite-1919 Version
The intangible spring renewal is personified in a beautiful maiden whose vine entwined hair flows like a blanketing magic carpet, setting the darkest of winter scenes alive with lush grasses and flowers. A powerful Elk looks on. Strong climax and fitting end to the entire piece.
Grade ................................. A-

Each "Fantasia/2000" segment gets its own host, from Steve Martin to Quincy Jones. My question is ... why not Mariah Carrey, Ricky Martin, Jenifer Lopez, or even Jim Carrey? The closest hosting to any current pop icon is Pen and Teller -- but even they are on the fringes of "in." My point? "Fantasia/2000" takes time out of itself to preface each section with what seems to me would make great introductions for the younger generations into the classical world. But there are no Will Smiths to help make the transition. Along the same lines, only "classical" works are included (albeit some 20th century). Why not include Rock, Rap, or Jazz? Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson orchestrated an album full of his rock tunes -- a selection from that CD would have made for a richer mix while at the same time brought a new audience to symphonic music. Run DMC's Aerosmith cover "Walk this Way" which fused the rock and rap worlds, played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra could fuse yet another musical world. In "Fantasia/20xx" I challenge Disney to lose the "matured" hosts and go for the icons of the younger crowd while opening up Walt's wonderful idea of "Fantasia" to a richer musical fusion. All types of audiences will benefit.

"Fantasia" was the first film ever recorded and released in stereophonic sound, "Fantasia/2000" is the first (near) feature-length (though not really a feature) originally released only at the giant screen Imax theaters at the turn of the millennium.

Copyright (C) 2000. 
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more reviews visit:

Agree/Disagree With This Review?

Post Your Own Review | Read User Reviews | Check For Outside Reviews

Additional BMZ Reviews of Fantasia/2000

BMZ Review of Fantasia by Herb Lash

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

National Parks Adventure
Journey to Space
Wild Africa
Space Next
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Flight of the Butterflies
To The Arctic 3D
Tornado Alley
Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Arabia 3D
Molecules to the MAX!
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Rolling Stones at the Max
Sharks 3D
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
Ghosts of the Abyss (3D)
The Lion King (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Star Wars Ep. II, Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
Santa vs. the Snowman (3D/2D)
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Africa: The Serengeti
Horses: The Story of Equus
Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
Australia: Land Beyond Time
Ultimate X
Space Station 3D
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
The Human Body
Blue Planet
China: The Panda Adventure
Ocean Oasis
Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive
Majestic White Horses
Amazing Journeys
Ski to the Max
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
NSync: Bigger Than Live
Super Speedway
Journey into Amazing Caves
ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
Haunted Castle 3D
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (3D)
Wildfire: Feel the Heat
Encounter in the Third Dimension 3D
Mysteries of Egypt
Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (3D)
Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (3D)
Michael Jordan to the Max
Cyberworld (3D)
Adventures in Wild California

Articles Archive: Newest to Oldest

Reviews Archive: Newest to Oldest