Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Fantasia 2000


Almost six decades after the original, and just in time for the start of a new Millenium, Fantasia 2000 uses works by some of the all-time great composers - Beethoven, Respighi, Gershwin, Shostakovich, Saint-Saens, Dukas, Elgar and Stravinsky - and visualizes the compositions with animated sequences.

First things first, Fantasia 2000 is inferior to its predecessor due to the fact it is less original, however, it is still agood film. The new animation sequences are all beautifully designed and intricately in time with the music. The most memorable ones, arguably, are a take on the story of Noah's Ark accompanying Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance - Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4 , that sees a hilarious Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) acting as Noah's first mate, and being seperated from lover Daisy (Russi Taylor) as they herd all of the animals on to the Ark, and a Great Depression-era New York accompanying Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, with the whole sequence drawn in the style of Al Hirschfeld's famous cartoons of the era. These sequences are so vibrant and well made that you won't be able to take your eyes off them, and you will fall in love with the animation of them.

Although James Levine's wonderful conduction of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra really carries the film the fact that they chose to use the archive footage of The Sorcerer's Apprentice starring Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine) is a very welcome addition. It is so good to see such a classic piece of animation used in a much more contemporary film and it remains just as fresh today as it was in 1940.

In short, Fantasia 2000 may not have the complete wow factor of the original but it is still a good film and a testimony to just how good Disney animation truly is. It falls just short of four stars, however, due to the lack of originality and some poorly scripted dialogue between Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine), Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) and the hosts.

James Levine, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Deems Taylor (archive footage), Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn and Teller, Leopold Stokowski (archive footage), Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Russi Taylor, Angela Lansbury.

Annie Awards: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Character Animation (Eric Goldberg), Outstanding Individual Achievement for Effects Animation (Ted Kierscey), Oustanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production (Susan Goldberg).
Annie Award nominations: Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature, Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in and Animated Feature Production (Paul Brizzi, Gaetan Brizzi, Carl Jones).

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