Fantasia, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ greatest achievement, is now a multi-modal concert experience with a 90-piece Cszech National Symphony playing live selections from the original classical arrangements to a backdrop of scenes from the original animated movie, Fantasia, and Fantasia 2000, projected on-screen behind them in a concert/theater hall.
Fantasia was released in 1940. It was a technical masterpiece of celluloid animation, each cel painstakingly drawn and colored by the famed Disney studio artists, whose artwork has never been equalled in pioneering and achieving the depth and detail of this film art, since. Paired with some of the more famous and familiar classical music pieces such as several opuses from Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ and Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Sixth Symphony’/’The Pastoral Symphony’, the film explores several themes, including the evolution of life and the march of time (as in the hypothesis of the extinction of the dinosaurs) and the march of the seasons (the fall of leaves, the freezing of water, etc.). We see beautiful, dreamlike sequences of mythical flying horses, the Pegasus, galloping across clouds and cascading through rainbows. We see dancing mushrooms and balletic animal performances, all animated, of course. We see the learning apprentice, Mickey, discovering the power of the “magic” of what is Disney.
This film is rated by the American Film Institute as one of the top films of all time. It is my favorite, as well, having the most profound impact upon me as a child, and forever influencing my love of the art of animation, in all its forms. Some of my other favorite Disney animated-films are the older ones, as well: The Aristocats, and Lady and the Tramp, especially. I also love The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.
It was a special time to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney” as a child on t.v., when television was a fairly newer medium with less variety than exists today. There is something, though, to the maxim that ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to, though.’ (Filmsite.org assisted my memory in the recall of these sequences).
Now, the live show is on tour, with special discounts offered through travelzoo.com. Use the promotional code TZOO for up to $20.00 off on seating; some seats can be had for as little as $15.00 apiece (additional fees up to 12% may separately apply). Some venues are listed below; please recheck dates, locations, and times with proper sources. Some venues have piano soloist or other musical accompaniment.
- March 11 (Friday): Monfort Concert Hall – Greeley, Colorado / 7:30 p.m.
- March 9 (Wednesday): Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Sarasota, Florida / 8:00 p.m.
- March 11 (Friday): Times-Union Performing Arts Center – Jacksonville, Florida / 7:00 p.m.
- March 13 (Sunday): The Adrienne Arsht Center – John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall – Miami, Florida / 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
- May 20 (Friday): David Geffen Hall – New York, New York / 7:00 p.m.
- May 21 (Saturday): David Geffen Hall – New York, New York / 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
- April 30 (Saturday): Centennial Concert Hall / 7:30 p.m.
- May 1 (Sunday): Centennial Concert Hall / 2:00 p.m.
*Features the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
- May 3 (Tuesday): Aichi Prefecture Art Theater / 4:30 p.m.
- May 7 (Saturday): Main Hall Grand Cube Osaka / 5:30 p.m.
- April 29 (Friday): Tokyo International Forum Hall A / 5:30 p.m.
- April 30 (Saturday): Tokyo International Forum Hall A / 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
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