Okay... I admit it. While I complain week after week about sex and violence in movies, I found the original Fantasia to be the perfect opening to a long nap. Even Mickey didn't work for me. After all, he shouldn't have played with the Sorcerer's spells in the first place. Serves him right. (This segment from the 1940's production is included in this new compilation.)
Inviting my ten-year-old daughter along, we approached Fantasia 2000 with a large bag of candy, figuring the sugar might help improve my attention. A few moments later dancing triangles are populating the screen, attempting to form butterflies while fluttering to Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. More candy please.
But my tranquilized state vanished after the butterflies exited and I became immersed in images of flying whales taking to the sky like fish to water. Next, an intriguing depression era treatment of New York City animated in the style of Al Hirschfeld (an illustrator whose work says "New York" all on its own) would become my favorite portion of the movie. Set to the city's most famous piece of music (sorry Sinatra fans), George Gershwin 's "Rhapsody in Blue," the piece illustrates the interdependencies of city dwellers.
Other enchanting moments include a yo-yo touting dancing flamingo and Donald Duck acting as Noah's assistant, making this Fantasia come alive with new stunning animation techniques and more story-based ideas. It was also a pleasure to hear something besides gunshots and explosions from the Cineplex's massive sound system.
Very mild throughout, parents' only concerns may arise in two segments. In a rendition of Hans Christians Anderson's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," a ballerina is held hostage by a large, sinister jack-in-the-box. Young viewers may be frightened when the one-legged tin soldier's attempts to save her resulting in the jack-in-the-box's fiery demise. A more troubling moment occurs during one of the celebrity intros seen before each segment, when shock magicians Penn & Teller cut off a hand. The disturbing trick is totally out of place in a film like this.
Otherwise Fastasia 2000 left me wide-awake and asking for more--and we even had some candy left over.