Starring Beethoven, Respighi, Gershwin, Shostakovick,
Saint-Saens, Elgar and Stravinsky. Rated G.
Fantasia 2000 is a remake of the sixty-year-old original
Fantasia by Walt Disney but this time from the stable of nephew, Roy.
With the power and majesty of many familiar classics performed
by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fantasia 2000, beautifully showcases the magic of the
Disney Studios' artists -- hundreds of them. But I have to say, that for me, the old
Disney magic is just that -- old.
In this day and age of digital animation, digital imagery and
digital colour rendition, Fantasia 2000 was just a little disappointing. Not having seen
the original Fantasia, I cannot make direct comparison between the two but I have to say
that the latter version is probably little better than the older in most respects.
What I'm really trying to say is that it is nice and colourful
and sweet and everything you'd expect from Disney but in the year 2000 that just doesn't
cut it anymore. Nostalgia may be its saving grace, but that only applies to us oldies. My
kids (9 and 14) liked it but it was all a bit of a yawn really. Unlike the original when
it first saw the light of day, I doubt this version will be remembered for too long --
certainly not in my house. There's just too much mental stimulation available from other
sources these days. Kid's tastes have evolved with technology and Mickey Mouse just
doesn't cut the cheese any more.
The addition of a few familiar celeb commentators did little to
stimulate interest and really only distracted from the spectacle. At little more than an
hour long it comes nowhere close to satisfying or giving value for the considerable
expense of a family outing.
I'd have to say that Fantasia 2000 would probably have done much
better as a made-for-video special. It could have pacified the very, very young for an
hour (or two if repeated). But it's not destined for video at all, I believe, and so will
be missed by most.
Having said all that though, it wasn't as though there was
anything annoying or offensive about the whole show. It was nice and, in some spots,
really rather humorous -- as you would expect from the stable. My favourite was Donald
Duck rounding up all the animals, two by two, to board Noah's Arch, to the strains of
Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance. Actually, Donald is probably my favourite character anyway.
Check out the official FANTASIA