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Throwback Thursday: Fantasia

This is my final post in this summer Throwback Thursday series.  And it's different from the others . . . in more ways than one.  Fantasia came out in 1940, Disney's third animated feature after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio.  This collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music was my childhood introduction to the orchestra.  It combined the conducting prowess of Leopold Stokowski, his Philadelphia Orchestra, and Disney's artistic animators.  Some of the music is visually interpreted by abstract images.  One, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, tells a specific story . . . and features Mickey (plus some out-of-control, water-hauling brooms).  Another takes a very well-known Tchaikovsky ballet and uses fairies, flowers, and fish to bring the songs to life.  Fantastical creatures, such as pegasi, centaurs, and a unicorn donkey, frolic with Greek gods (which is why I included this movie in this blog series).  And how can one forget once they've seen ostrich, hippopotamus, and elephant ballerinas?!  In the classical tradition, a fantasia is a free-form piece of music that resembles improvisation. The imaginative nature of this project reminded Stokowski of a fantasia, so he suggested the term as a working title for the film. The name stuck.

I'm afraid you cannot check out a copy of Fantasia from the library (it has been in the dreaded Disney Vault for a number of years), but you can watch it if you have Disney+.  I do not have that kind of access, but I can watch my childhood VHS copy. (Yes, it still works.  There's only a brief wibble in the final cartoon segment.  I know.  I'm surprised, too.)  I was also lucky enough to see it on the big screen in Alabaster when Disney did a special 75th anniversary screening in 2015.  It was amazing, especially the scary sequence at the end -- Night on Bald Mountain.  Even as an adult, Fantasia fuels my imagination.  What will it do to yours?

Did you miss last week's post in this series?  Take a look at Throwback Thursday: The Hobbit.

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