Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Classical Music of Disney's Fantasia

This blog's core purpose isn't really to address classical music in film, but I just spent the other day watching the full-length version of Fantasia, and I wanted to share on this blog how this movie can provide you and your family a fascinating way to experience classical music.

The animation work in this 1940 film was revolutionary for its day, and of course it contains The Sorcerer's Apprentice, one of the best-known and most memorable animated film shorts of all time.

And the rest of Fantasia is equally memorable. One of the film shorts is an animation of the geological and evolutionary history of Earth set to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, with underwater scenes of the first ocean life, scenes of fish evolving into amphibians, the birth and dying off of the dinosaurs, and a memorable (but paleontologically improbable) battle between a T-Rex and a triceratops. If you introduce your sons or daughters to this film at an age when they're showing interest in dinosaurs, you'll get them interested in classical music too.

And who could forget the unicorns, pegasuses and centaurs (including some rather fetching looking centaurettes) prancing and gamboling to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony?

This film features some of the most amazing hand-drawn animation of all time, some of it kitschy, some of it outright funny, all of it beautiful. Enjoy this movie it with your family and see if it doesn't put classical music in a whole new light for you!

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