To Walt Disney, William
E. Garity and J.N.A. Hawkins for “their outstanding contribution to
the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the
Leopold Stokowski (and
his associates) for “their unique achievement in the creation of a new
form of visualized music in Walt Disney's productionFantasia,
thereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and
as an art form”.
The New York Film Critics Circle honored Walt Disney
with a Special Award forFantasia.
selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by
the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or
has been twice recognized by the American Film Institute:
#58 in “AFI’s 100 Years…
100 Movies: The Greatest American Movies of All Time”, 1998.
#5 Animated Film in
“AFI’s 10 Top 10: America’s 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres”,
The film won three Annie
Awards (Eric Goldberg for Character Animation, Ted Kierscey for
Effects Animation and Susan Goldberg for Production Design) and was
nominated for two more, including Best Animated Theatrical Feature.
The Producers Guild of
its Vision Award.
album was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Academy Award nominee,
Best Animated Short Film.
Annie Award nominee, Best
Animated Short Film.
Los Angeles Film Critics
Association, Special Citation.
I have a confession to make: I actually preferFantasia2000to
its predecessor. Don’t get me wrong, the originalFantasiais
a landmark in film animation, but, at over two hours, it’s also a bit of a slog.
a lean 75 minutes, and every segment is a knock out, both visually and
emotionally (although I could have done without Penn and Teller). Favorite
moments include the soaring whales of Respighi’s “Pines of Rome”, the ever
Steadfast Tin Soldier of Shostakovich’s “Piano Concerto No. 2”, the rebirth of
the Sprite in Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” and all of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in
Blue”, Eric Goldberg’s delightful tribute to master caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
As well as the two original DVD commentaries (one by executive producer Roy
Disney, conductor James Levine and producer Don Ernst, the other by the
directors and art directors of each segment), bonus features on Disc 2 include “Musicana”,
a look at an earlier attempt for a secondFantasia,
this one developed during the 1970’s with an international concept, using native
music from different countries in each segment. The Disney BD Live-enabled
“Virtual Vault” is also available for those with an internet connected Blu-ray
The big draw here though is the first ever home video release ofDestino,
the acclaimed animated short that was, literally, years in the making.
Originally conceived as a collaboration between famed surrealist painter
Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney in 1945, the project was eventually scrapped and
all but forgotten. Again, Roy Disney came to the rescue, soon afterFantasia2000,
and oversaw the long-delayed production ofDestino.
A true piece of surrealism,Destinois
a great introduction to the form for novices and a sublime smorgasbord for
connoisseurs. Quite simply, it is unlike any other Disney short ever, which is
likely the cause for it being abandoned originally. Beautifully animated under
the guidance of French director Dominique Monféry,Destinois
like a “Dalí’s Greatest Hits”, filled as it is with such signature motifs of his
as ants crawling out of an open wound, faces composed of various, dissimilar
objects and (of course) clocks. What does it all mean? That’s up to the viewer
to decipher, but as someone who has seen a lot of surrealist films, believe me
when I say thatDestinois
the most accessible.
Destino was originally scheduled for DVD release a few years back under
the short-lived “Disney Legacy” banner. It was to be a two-disc set… for a seven
minute short. So there was a lot of padding created for it, including the
feature length (!) documentary “Dalí and Disney: A Date withDestino”,
included here. The doc spendsa
lotof time drawing parallels
between the lives of the Spanish artist and the American moviemaker; the bulk of
the later will be nothing new to even the most casual Disney enthusiast. On the
other hand, the Dalí sections will help fill in your knowledge of Salvador,
especially his brief cinematic involvements, such as the infamous Luis Buñuel
filmUn Chien Andalou(a.k.a.An
Andalusian Dog) and the dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’sSpellbound.
The final third of “A Date withDestino”
finally gets around to the making ofDestino,
both in the 1940’s and the 2000’s. Present during both time periods was Disney
Legend John Hench, who provided immeasurable help when it at last came time to
make the short; be sure to pay attention to his comments, as he reveals hints
behind the meaning of some of Dalí’s bizarre symbolism.
In addition to all theFantasiaAnthologybonus
material that was left out, there were at least two more features that were to
be included on the cancelledDestinoDVD
that could have easily seen the light here. According to a 2008 press release,
"Encounters with Walt" detailed the “surprisingly diverse group of celebrities
and artists who were attracted to Walt Disney's early work”, while “The Disney
That Almost Was" took a look at some of the studio's many unfinished projects.
One unfinished project was a thirdFantasia, to be
which was to include not onlyDestino,
but alsoOne by One,The
The former two found their way onto the Platinum Editions of (respectively)The
Little Mermaidas bonus shorts,
while the later, although an Oscar nominee, has yet to debut on DVD. There
inclusion here would have also been most welcome.
Why Disney chose to ignore all this rich material that surely would have made
this a truly “Special Edition” is almost as puzzling asDestinoitself.
Toon Talk Rating: B+
28 years later, it’s time to go back to the
video arcade forTron: Legacy,
opening in theaters December 17.
Toon Talkproudly presents: theToon
Talk Top 10 of 2010!
-- Kirby C. Holt -- Logos by William C. Searcy, Magic Bear Graphics
Kirby is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. He is also an
avid list maker and chronic ellipsis user ... In addition to his Toon Talk
reviews, Kirby is the creator of Movie Dearest, a blog for movie fans.
Took Talk: Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
is posted whenever there's something new to review.
The opinions expressed by our Kirby C. Holt, and all of
our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of
LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation
and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that -
speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.