Fantasia 2000


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

For sheer pomposity and self-congratulation, this tribute to the spirit of Walt Disney surpasses even the Oscar ceremony. Rather than have the courage of the first Fantasia and present an animated feature, based on a classical music score, producer Roy Disney provides "hosts" to introduce each of the eight segments.

Thus the likes of Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Angela Lansbury and Quincy Jones, dressed in dinner suits and ball gowns, crack weak jokes and blab sycophantic marketing gunge about how great it was (is) in a studio set that resembles something Albert Speer would have approved.

The animated segments, accompaning Shostakovich, Beethoven, Elgar, George Gershwin and others, are a showcase of skills, from The Lion King lookalike with a thoroughy modern Donald Duck to abstract butterfly wars. The quality of these shorts in artistic terms is unquestionable, particularly the adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, done in the style of Toy Story.

For old times sake and because this is a memorial of some kind, Mickey Mouse makes an appearance in a rerun of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, in which Mickey commits murder, except it would never be called that, since the object of his rage is a disobedient broom. Above and beyond the wonders of computer-generated artwork and a whole new box of tricks available to animators in the 21st century, one thing remains constant - sentimentality.

From whales that fly to a sprite with hair as long as a river, Fantasia 2000 drowns in the stuff.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Tribute to the original film, provides sugary interpretation of musical classics.
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