This is the last movie for 1999. I think Disney released 4 which is crazy! Either way, Fantasia 2000 is the sequel to Fantasia from 1940. And I’m a bit confused why they called it 2000 when it was released in 1999 albeit December of that year. But they could have waited a couple more days and all would have been fine.
We start with a voice over voice overing while we see old clips and sounds from Fantasia. The first segment is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor which is fairly well know at least in these parts of the world. There are clouds and sun and lots of flying triangles who I think should be butterflies. Those triaflies increase in number until everything is them and they are everything. It’s pretty lovely and nice.
Then Steve Martin is there to talk us into the next song. The orchestra looks frozen until some dude starts talkig. Maybe I was supposed to know who he was, maybe not. Wikipedia is no help either. Anyway, it’s a story about whales to the music of Pines of Rome. A calf gets separated from the crowd and has to find its way back or something of that sort. It has flying whales which is pretty magical but also really weird.
Next up a guy I think I know but can’t remember his name talks us over into the next number y Gershwin. I have a soft sport for a lot of his music, this one is called Rhapsody in Blue. It focuses on the life of New Yorker’s in the depression are and there are a lot of people to keep track of to be honest. The music is Jazz-y and really nice.
Bette Middler then talks about some rejected story ideas/shorts until she mentions one that actually did not get cut. It’s a tell on The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans-Christian Andersen to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. A tin soldier falls for a doll or something but there is a some Jack in a Box getting between these two. All very love-y doe-y.
Then we get a short bid about flamingoes which is nice and also brief. A+ for brevity.
The magicians/entertainer Pen&Teller (whom I know from their cameo on The West Wing where they may or may not have burnt an American flag) are talking about magic because next up is the Sorcerers Apprentice which we already saw in the original Fantasia.
Mickey is later talking to Itzhak Perlman to stall a bit because Donald is supposed to be in the next short though they can’t find Donald at the moment. It’s a story based on Noah’s ark and Donald and Daisy think they lost each other in the great flood but it turns out they didn’t and were just idiots. The music sounded a lot like the graduation song one always hears in TV shows.
Angela Lansbury introduces the last part, the Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. It’s the story of a spring sprite (an elf-like creature) and her companion, and elk. She accidentally awakes the Firebird who burns down the woods and everything. Whoops. The sprite and elk silver through the fire though and can thus rebuild the forest. It’s pretty cool.
When I watched Fantasia sometime last year it was kind of a revelation and so amazing to see what Disney could and was willing to do aside from making fairytale movies. I loved that they took the time to introduce kids to classical music but Fantasia 2000 fell flat for me. Sorry but this was not nearly as magical or well made. Sure the shorts were nice but the interludes between each segment were boring and even though they used prominent people for it, they couldn’t measure up. I’m disappointed but also not really. Sequels are often not as good as the real things.