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Fantasia (1940) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film Fantasia

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  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Animated Characters: Mickey Mouse, Hop Low, Mushroom Dancers, Dewdrop Fairies, Autumn Fairies, Yen Sid, Mlle. Upanova, Hyacinth Hippo, Elephanchine, Ben Ali Gator, Chernabog.
  • Awards: Special Certificate (Academy Award) for Fantasound.
  • Originally Released in 1940.
  • Production Number: 2004
  • Running Time: 120 minutes.
  • TechniColor
  • U.S.A.  U.S.A.

Release Dates:

  • Nov 13, 1940- General Release
  • Nov 13, 1940- Road Show Edition (13 Theatrers)
  • Jan, 1942- Theatrical 1:20 Length Version
  • Jan, 1946- Theatrical 1:55 Length Version
  • Feb 7, 1956- SuperScope/Stereo Re-release
  • Feb 20, 1963- Standard and SuperScope/Stereo Re-release
  • Dec 17, 1969- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • Apr 15, 1977- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • Jan, 1982- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • Jan, 1985- Theatrical Re-release (Buena Vista)
  • Oct 5, 1990- 50th Anniversary Theatrical Re-release
  • Nov 1, 1991- VHS and Laser Disc
  • Nov, 2000- Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 DVD
  • Nov, 2010- DVD Blu-ray

Cartoon Production Information:

The first feature to be released with a stereophonic soundtrack. This show had a limited-release premier run in 7 channel "Fantasound". In the original roadshow release, the film had an intermission and extra intro snippits.

The name of the character "Yen Sid" is "Disney" in reverse.

Working title: "The Concert Feature."

In 1990, Fantasia was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry.

This was the third film in the official Disney list of animated films.

Estimated budget of $2.28 million.
This film made $83.3 million in it's initial theatrical release.
Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.


The ambitious Fantasia began with Mickey Mouse. In the 1930's, Walt Disney watched as the gentle mouse's popularity was supplanted by the more flexible personality of Donald Duck. Walt acquired the film rights to Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice as a vehicle to reestablish Mickey's star status. As the short became more ambitious and expensive, Walt envisioned an animated "concert program" with The Sorcerer's Apprentice as its centerpiece.

In addition to pushing the limits of the creative and technical medium of animation (again), Walt also dreamed up an elaborate stereo sound system (called "Fantasound") to create a special "concert hall" feel. Because of the expense involved with the Fantasound presentation, the film opened in only 14 theaters nationwide. Critical and public reaction was mixed, the war effort curtailed the manufacture of further Fantasound systems, and the film was cut to 88 minutes and released in regular theaters.

It wasn't until after Walt Disney's death that Fantasia began to be revisited and regarded as an animation classic. The film saw a renewed popularity in a 1969 release aimed at college audiences and was reissued with a newly recorded digital soundtrack in 1982. The film was fully restored to a close approximation of its 1940 original for a 50th Anniversary theatrical (and 1991 home video) release.

With Fantasia, Walt Disney's creative vision for animation soared to heights he would never attempt again. The marriage of abstract imagery, classical music, and stereo sound proved too high-minded for the increasingly conventional audience. Disappointed by the critical and public response to the film, Walt's outlook on entertainment would never again reach the intellectual self-expression of Fantasia.

The Fantasound system won special certificates at the 1941 Academy Awards for Walt Disney, technicians William Garity and John N. A. Hawkins, and RCA. Leopold Stokowski was awarded an Oscar for achievement "in the creation of a new form of visualized music."

The animation of Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice (supervised by Les Clark) is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Mickey's design. Animator Fred Moore had begun the redesign of Mickey with The Brave Little Tailor in 1938, at about the same time The Sorcerer's Apprentice began production.

Many of the scenes in Fantasia, including Toccata and Fugue and The Nutcracker Suite attempt to animate the soft and otherworldly designs created by concept artists using pastel and chalk on black paper.

The Disney animators had been staging comic vignettes for 18 years; with Dance of the Hours, they did the same thing-but set to classical music, and all staged as if the goofy business was legitimate, a real ballet, where the dancers just happen to be ostriches, hippos, elephants and alligators.

Envisioning an enthusiastic public acceptance of his "animated concert," Walt Disney intended for Fantasia to be perpetually reissued, with old sequences changed out of the running for newly created ones. New sequences for Fantasia were never created. One sequence," Claire de Lune," was cut before the release of the film, and the animation was re-used for the "Blue Bayou" sequence of Make Mine Music (1946). Several new sequences will be part of Fantasia 2000, (2000).

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Cartoon Comments:

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1940's Fantasia Is My Tenth Favorite Film Of All Time.

1 of 5 people found this comment useful
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A Movie

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1940's Fantasia Is My Tenth Favorite Film Of All Time, My Segments That I Like In Fantasia Are Toccata And Fugue In D Minor, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Rite Of Spring, A Night On Bald Mountain And...  (read more)

2 of 37 people found this comment useful
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Comments By:
This is the original. Accept NO SUBSTITUTES!!!!!

7 of 48 people found this comment useful
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Comments By:
What? No-one has actually reviewed this yet!

This is outstanding. You can keep your computer generated effects, etc. This is art, and it certainly shows. For a film that is so old, you have to appreciate the vast amount of work that went into this....  (read more)

6 of 72 people found this comment useful
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