ATDis #3: Fantasia

Hello Internet Friends!

I would first like to apologize for the lack of activity.  Since the last post, I’ve been through finals, graduation, and starting summer routines.   A lot has gone on, but now I’m back on track.

Last night, I watched Fantasia for the very first time.  In my life, I remember seeing clips of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the ice-skating fairies in The Nutcracker. I also remember seeing pictures or pins or images somewhere of the little mushrooms in The Nutcracker as well.  I had about as much exposure to the hippos and ostriches and unicorns as anyone.  (But no one told me there were DINOSAURS! So I was very interested to see them).

Overall, I found the entire thing thought provoking, if not a little boring.  By the last number, with Chernabog, I was supposed to be excited.  I was an avid reader of The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson in my youth, and so I really wanted to see the origins of “the worst evil ever imagined.”  But by the end I was just not very interested.

The one thing I thought about most was how brave it was for Walt Disney to come out with a movie so… experimental.  But here’s the other thing, I almost feel like it was a step backwards in movie-technology.  Think about it: for a long time, many movies didn’t have sound.  In the pit of the theater, there was a pianist, orchestra, or other live music.  For this, Walt was trying to do the same thing.  He had “live” music being played along with images that related to it.  He was going backwards to go forwards.  None of the characters really talked (besides the Master of Ceremonies) and it just reminded me of what a silent film must have been like.  But in this stepping backwards, he is also stepping forwards.

Everyone who listens to music imagines what is going on in images.  Walt just decided to draw what he and his team imagined.  I really enjoyed how artistic this made the movie. This movie was comprised of one interpretation of the music.  There are many other images that could have been drawn, and many that have been drawn.  None are more right, nor more wrong, than any other.  I think that’s the whole point of this movie, and of art in general.  It’s supposed to inspire people to create things.  To combine science, music, art, mythology, history, language, and creativity into something to be shared with the world.

IMG_4200In the overall scheme of “Disney” and the brand Walt was creating, I think Fantasia solidified his footing in Magic.  Snow White and Pinocchio both showed how important wishing was.  Both of those movies were pretty focused on wishing.  Fantasia showed the magic of Disney.  While the other movies did (obviously) have magic, the fairies, unicorns, centaurs (and centaurettes), pegasi. ballerina ostriches and hippos, brooms, and even the dark demons of Bald Mountain showed just how magic Disney could be.

Don’t be a dummy, join us for our next adventure!

Thanks for coming along 🙂