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4.0 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney, Hugh Douglas
  • Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, Bill Roberts, Ford Beebe Jr., Hamilton Luske, James Algar
  • Writers: Albert Heath
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 630215829X
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,841 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, resulting in surreal fantasy and playful escapism. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra provided the music for eight segments by the composers Tchaikovsky, Moussorgsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Bach, Dukas, and Schubert. Not all the sequences were created equally, but a few are simply glorious, such as "Night on Bald Mountain," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and "The Nutcracker Suite." The animation ranges from subtly delicate to fiercely bold. The screen bursts with color and action as creatures transmute and convention is thrust aside. The painstaking detail and saturated hues are unique to this film, unmatched even by more advanced technology. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Jan. 14 2003
Format: DVD
Please becareful when buying this DVD. The package say it's uncut but it really isn't. Disney felt they needed to censor some scenes because they might offend some black people. I'm a black person and I'm more offended by Disney lying to me then the scenes. I hope someday in the future Disney will think I'm mature enough to own a real uncut version.
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By A Customer on Oct. 31 2003
Format: DVD
As a lifelong musician and artist, Fantasia has been one of my all time favorite movies since I first saw it in theaters as a child. My wife, knowing my great love for this movie, bought the DVD version for me as a birthday gift. When I put the DVD on, however, my excited anticipation quickly turned to depressed disappointment.
I immediately realized that the voice of the narrator, Deems Taylor, whose wonderful and soothing voice spans the entirety of the movie, had been overdubbed with someone else's voice! Deems Taylor was a widely known and respected music critic in his time. He had a beautiful, deep sonorous and expressive voice. The sound of his voice was an essential part of the aural and musical magic of this film. Yet, the new owner's of Disney saw fit to overdub his voice with that of some squawky and squeaky sounding unknown, thereby ruining the entire film.
I did some research to find out why, in the name of "preservation", Disney studios would destroy this film in the way that they have. The reason, supposedly, was because they found old footage (which was NOT in the version we all knew and loved as kids) which they wanted to insert - but the audio on that obscure footage had been damaged. They felt they had to redub those voice overs. Fine. But then, in the process, they re-dubbed the entire film, even the parts that had not been damaged!
I understand, for historical interest, that some people might be interested in seeing the extra, obscure footage which had been edited out long ago , but that extra footage easily could have been put on a special features disc, not in the actual movie that millions of fans have come to know and love. This was a horrible decision by a studio which increasingly seems to have lost all sense of artistic taste and common sense. What a sad, sad disappointment.
Soon, I'll be buying a DVD recorder and I hope to preserve the original VHS version I have in that way.
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Format: DVD
Originally conceived as an elaborate Mickey Mouse short (only to blossom into a 2-hour feature film), Fantasia is one of the most ambitious movies ever, animated or otherwise, with its perfect marriage of classical music and animation (something that began with Disney's Silly Symphonies in 1929 and would continue to appear in Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons well after Fantasia's release in 1940). However, the film was a commercial and critical failure for the Disney studio, not picking up steam until the '60s, when it was a popular choice for college students (via 16mm prints) as a "head" film.
However, the film hasn't been treated well at all despite being popular for the past 30-40 years. Firstly, the film's dynamic "Fantasound" soundtrack (which was an optical surround-sound soundtrack printed on a separate 35mm reel from the actual video portion of the film) quickly deteriorated, and was eventually transferred to a vastly inferior magnetic tape (which has become garbled as that too has begun to decay). Additionally, Fantasia was re-edited after the initial roadshow version had run its course in an effort to increase the film's popularity with filmgoers in 1940. And finally, the Pastorale Sequence was sloppily edited in the late '60s in order to remove the black centaurettes who serve their white companions.
With this in mind, there was much hope in 2000 for a fully restored Fantasia for the film's 60th Anniversary (and the release of the sequel, the excellent Fantasia 2000). Hyped as being fully restored and uncut, it seemed as if Fantasia would finally be seen as it was supposed to be once again.
However, the Pastorale sequence remained edited, and the Deems Taylor segments were redubbed by veteran voice actor Corey Burton.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
The quality and presentation of this restored version of FANTASIA is wonderful. Finally restored, unseen since the initial release, are the complete introductory sequences, including a chimes player's accident with his instrument, the orchestra applauding Mickey Mouse, and the orchestra shuffling out for the intermission. Even the original title card has been returned to its proper place, during the intermission. (Some of the narration was rerecorded due to original voice tracks being no longer available.) But there is CONSIDERABLE CONTROVERSY over the continued censorship of the "Pastorale" sequence. Circa 1969, the seemingly racist shots of a black centaurette (similar to Our Gang's "Buckwheat") attending on the white centaurettes were cut from the film. Allegedly, the 1980 release's new soundtrack covered up the clumsy edit. Subsequent releases to video have used optical tricks to remove the appearance of black centaurs. In this "restored" version, some of the optical edits are still glaringly obvious.
The film survives as a masterpiece of filmic art, and this presentation of a "politically correct, original version" (my description) is tempting. But Disney does this release, and all customers and fans, a disservice by inappropriately calling it a "restored" and "uncut" version, when in fact it is NOT the version that was seen in the 1940 road shows. Let your buying conscience be your guide, but consider the significance of buying an "uncut version" that is not uncut.
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