American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full color, the first to be produced by Walt Disney, and the first in the Walt Disney Animated Classics canon.
The classic movie which taught the world to “whistle while you work” focuses on a young vision of beauty named Snow White who is tormented by her mean stepmother. Snow White escapes to join the company of seven lovable characters named Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, and Doc and makes fairytale history by being rescued by a handsome prince.
Disney’s Snow White has been considered by some Disney enthusiasts to be one of the best animated disney movies.
Heigh-Ho – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
With one of the most famous insects in history, Jiminy Cricket, by his side, Pinocchio just wants to be a real boy. As Gepetto‘s most incredible invention, Pinocchio wants to trade in his wooden body for flesh and blood and enjoy the many freedoms that real boys often take for granted.
Pinocchio – Official Trailer
Bringing to life the evolution of single celled organisms to the arrival of dinosaurs, Fantasia is filled with colorful images set to a soundtrack of Western classic songs. Captivating and compelling, Fantasia is a family favorite.
Fantasia, Walt Disney’s animated masterpiece of the 1940s, grew from a short-subject cartoon picturization of the Paul Dukas musical piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mickey Mouse was starred in this eight-minute effort, while the orchestra was under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. Disney and Stokowski eventually decided that the notion of marrying classical music with animation was too good to confine to a mere short subject; thus the notion was expanded into a two-hour feature, incorporating seven musical selections and a bridging narration by music critic Deems Taylor.
The eight memorable animated fantasies/sequences of the entire film begin with a pictorial kaleidoscope – a pure fanciful flight of imagination:
1. J. S. Bach
This first piece is an example of “absolute music.” Bach’s music is interpreted in terms of light-hearted, abstract and semi-abstract forms and impressionistic images:
that might pass through your mind if you sat in a concert hall listening to this music. At first, you are more or less conscious of the orchestra. So our picture opens with a series of impressions of the conductor and the players. Then the music begins to suggest other things to your imagination. They might be, oh, just masses of color, or they may be cloud forms or great landscapes or vague shadows or geometrical objects floating in space.
Taylor’s introduction concludes with the figure of Leopold Stokowski moving center stage to mount the podium and call attention with his hands to orchestral members. As the piece begins, sections of the orchestra – shadows of the players including violinists, cellists, and French hornists – light up to emphasize their playing, against other colorful backdrops. After the opening Toccata, images of the orchestra’s instruments and players turn more abstract and bizarre in the Fugue. The ends of violin bows become silver streaks darting through the heavens. Clouds and sky cover the screen. Music is projected as yellow streaks of light. Abstract forms and shapes (concentric circles, patterns, waves) move in a lively fashion, synchronized to the musical tones. Strings are suspended in air played with soaring bows. Discs or wafers resembling objects in space appear and disappear. As the music builds, sparkling bits of fireworks dance and explode in a metamorphosis of light and color. The piece concludes with a huge, orange sunset, over which is superimposed the black silhouette of conductor Stokowski – and then it all fades to black.
Deem Taylor’s continuing “music lesson” narration holds together various pieces of the film:
You know it’s funny how wrong an artist can be about his own work. Now the one composition of Tchaikovsky’s that he really detested was his Nutcracker Suite, which is probably the most popular thing he ever wrote. Incidentally, uh, you won’t see any nutcracker on the screen. There’s nothing left of him but the title.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
(the original piece was shortened and the order of the movements was rearranged) – the familiar piece is an animated dance sequence celebrating nature through the changing seasons (from summer to winter), with six movements. The series of ballets are led by fairies, mushrooms in Chinese costumes, flowers and flower petals, underwater fan-tail fish, and thistles:
- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies: multi-colored fireflies turn into tiny sparkling blue Dewdrop Fairies and dragonfly sprites who dart and flit among flowers, touching them with their wands and spreading sparkling dew droplets across the forest. As buds open, more little fairies are awakened. A spider web is illuminated by the dazzling bits of moisture. Three sprites collide, producing a white explosion of dew drops that fall on red-topped mushrooms.
- Chinese Dance: six red-topped mushrooms shake off the dew, then become wide, coolie-hatted Chinese men with round heads, long robes and pigtails that are choreographed into a dance. Hop Low, smaller than the rest of the mushrooms, cannot keep up with the steps and routines of the larger mushrooms. He hops back into place just in time to take a final bow.
- Dance of the Reed Flutes: multi-colored flower petals and blossoms spin and drift downward to the surface of a stream. On the water surface, their petals spread out and they are transformed into tiny, wide-skirted ballerinas. A breeze sends them spinning across the water surface and among the branches of overhanging trees, until they are swept over a bubbling cascade and vanish.
- Arab Dance: underwater bubbles from the cascade rise gracefully to the surface where the flower blossoms vanished. Underwater, in a forest of undulating water plants that becomes a harem, exotic gold and black fish with long flowing tails create beautiful patterns in an aqua ballet. The goldfish become coquettish chorines with pink eyelids and fluttering lashes. Bubbles again rise to the surface at the end of the sequence.
- Cossack/Russian Dance: one thistle with six pink blossoms bursts from the largest bubble, becoming six separate, Russian-looking, mustached, high-kicking thistles. More groups of thistles join the dance, spinning and dancing with groups of orchids that resemble slim-waisted peasant girls with full skirts and quaint headdresses. The pace gets faster and faster until it freezes on a final tableau.
- Waltz of the Flowers: the change of seasons from fall to winter is beautifully illustrated in four dances.
- Autumn Fairies fly among the trees, touching green leaves which take on yellowish-brown fall colors. The leaves drop from their branches and drift with the wind.
- The Autumn Fairies also touch milkweed pods which burst, releasing their silky milkweed seeds. The seeds resemble classical ballerina dancers with white bouffant skirts and smooth, sleek black hair.
- Bluish Frost Fairies decorate nature with tiny needles of bluish white ice. They skim and skate across the surface of the pond, changing it to ice and leaving patterns. A new wintry season has arrived.
- Snowflake Fairies with whirling skirts begin to fall, dancing and covering the entire landscape.
The casual narrative from Deems Taylor prefaces the next segment, the best-known musical piece:
And now we’re going to hear a piece of music that tells a very definite story. It’s a very old story, one that goes back almost 2,000 years, a legend about a sorcerer who had an apprentice. He was a bright young lad, very anxious to learn the business. As a matter of fact, he was a little bit too bright, because he started practicing some of the boss’s best magic tricks before learning how to control them.
3. Paul Dukas
a spectacular 8-minute sequence, the most famous section of the film – a concert piece by French composer Paul Dukas. Based on Goethe‘s 1797 poem Der Zauberlehrling – a story that illustrated the dangers of power over wisdom.
The segment opens with the Sorcerer (named Yen Sid, or Disney spelled backwards) practicing his craft, calling up a smoky spirit in the shape of a bat that he changes into a misty butterfly. Mickey Mouse is the lazy, young, and mischievous apprentice-magician of the powerful Wizard, assigned the tiring task of filling the large water vat in the cavern with buckets of water from an outdoor fountain. He wipes his brow, weary from carrying water. Left alone in the sorcerer’s underground cavern after the Wizard yawns and then retires, he sees that the mystical Wizard has left behind his tall, pointed magical hat. The glowing, powerful blue hat is decorated with white stars and a crescent moon.
Mickey dons it and pretends to be the Wizard. Dabbling with spells, he extends his arms toward a broom leaning against the wall. He brings one broom to life with a bluish and white glow, and lures it to stand upright. Then, he commands it to move, hop, and sprout arms. The broom straws part to look like flippers so that the broom can walk like a seal. The arms and “feet” are taught to do his work, to carry buckets of water from the fountain to fill the huge vat. Mickey has a cute and cocky, hubristic attitude, broadly grinning at the success of his trick. He sits back in the Wizard’s chair, orchestrating the movements of the broom, while watching it tirelessly fetch and tote water buckets. He soon falls asleep and dreams of power – he has reached greater heights above the earth on a high pinnacle in space – he pictures himself controlling the paths of clouds, stars, planets, and comets in the sky. Even the waves of the ocean and lightning bolts obey him.
Suddenly, he awakens to waves of water crashing over him. His chair is floating on water that fills the cavern. The persistent broom has filled the vat with thousands of gallons of water, causing a gigantic ocean and flood. Mickey cannot get the broom to stop and obey him, unable to control the spell he has created. The unstoppable broom walks right over him on its way to the fountain for more water. Desperately, in a memorable set of images, Mickey grabs an axe and splits the broom into splinters, shown on the wall in gigantic dark shadows. All is silent for a moment, until the fragments twitch and then proliferate, generating more brooms. Each broom mechanically carries two more buckets, marching in an army from the fountain into the cavern. In a futile attempt, Mickey attempts to bail out the room with a single bucket. The robot-like batallion of brooms continue their appointed task of fetching buckets of water, even when they become completely submerged. Frantically, Mickey jumps on the master’s huge book of magic and spells, looking for an antidote, riding (actually surfing) in a swirling, out-of-control whirlpool of water that threatens to drown everything.
The Sorcerer makes a dramatic appearance at the top of the stairway just in time. With five sweeps of his hands, he parts and calms the waters – beautifully coordinated with the music, commanding the army of brooms to become one broom again. With piercing eyes, the Sorcerer summons his mischievous apprentice to chastise him. He retrieves his soggy, drooping hat. A sheepish Mickey has a variety of expressions on his face – guilt, embarrassment, and coyness. He hands the broom to the unsmiling magician. The wizard also conceals a slight look of concealed amusement on his face. As Mickey tiptoes away to cart buckets of water the hard way, he is given a whack on the backside with the broom, beautifully timed to notes and chords of the musical piece.
Mickey: Mr. Stokowski, Mr. Stokowski, (he whistles to attract his attention), ha, my congratulations sir.
Conductor: Congratulations to you, Mickey. (They shake hands)
Mickey: Gee, thanks, so long, I’ll be seein’ ya.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
depicts the ‘scientific’ beginnings of the cosmos, solar system, and the planet Earth and then life itself – billions of years of geological creation and the development of primordial life represented in a few minutes. The original revolutionary ballet, with its score simplified and rearranged for the film, was about the pagan sacrifice of a young maiden to appease the gods of Spring (nature). The ambitious sequence is divided into eight sections, and prefaced by the musicologist’s narration:
When Igor Stravinsky wrote his ballet The Rite of Spring, his purpose was, in his own words, ‘to express primitive life.’ So Walt Disney and his fellow artists have taken him at his word. Instead of presenting the ballet in its original form, as a simple series of tribal dances, they have visualized it as a pageant, as the story of the growth of life on Earth. It’s a coldly accurate reproduction of what science thinks went on during the first few billion years of this planet’s existence. So now, imagine yourselves out in space, billions and billions of years ago, looking down on this lonely, tormented little planet, spinning through an empty sea of nothingness.
- Trip Through Space: Out in the cosmos, where spiral nebulae, comets, and meteors are imagined, an exploded emission of gas from the sun shoots off into space and solidifies into a ball of fire to eventually become Earth.
- Volcanoes: Earth is first envisioned as a molten mass with boiling seas, spouting and exploding craters, volcanic lava flows, and hot gases. After volcanic convulsions, mountain ranges are formed and the earth cools.
- Undersea Life and Growth: The genesis of sea life begins with microscopic, primitive, one-celled organisms. They evolve into hydras, annelid worms, jellyfish, and trilobites. The first fish appear, then lungfish, and then true amphibians that come onto the dry land and adapt to new conditions. This section imaginatively represents the evolution of sea life into land reptiles. The fins of Polypterus change to legs, and he walks up a submerged rock to the surface of the ocean.
- Pterodactyls: Flying reptiles of the Jurassic period, pterodactyls hang from a cliff and swoop down to catch prey. One flies too close to the water level and is snatched by a Mosasaur, a sea creature.
- The Age of Dinosaurs: The earth is soon dominated by huge reptiles, including the Dimetrodon, the Stegosaurus, the Brontosaurus, the Triceratops, and other graceful dinosaurs that roam the surface of the planet.
- Survival of the Fittest: Dinosaurs fight against each other. Two prehistoric monsters, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a giant Stegosaurus, engage in a bloody, ferocious battle to the death. The king of the tyrant lizards, the T. Rex, is a frightening sight of enormous jaws and gigantic, pointed teeth. The defeated Stegosaurus expresses despair when its neck is broken and it realizes it is going to die.
- Extinction: The large beasts become extinct from the effects of a massive, blistering hot drought, providing bones and fossils for future discoveries. [The dinosaurs are ‘sacrificed’ to nature, as the maiden was in the original ballet.] The continental land masses become deserts.
- Forces of Nature: The dramatic effects of Nature are highlighted by an earthquake, tidal waves and floods (with rain, thunder, and wind) caused by subterranean volcanoes, and an eclipse of the sun.
A few of the musicians play a few bars of jazz in an informal jam session.
Before getting into the second half of the program, Deems Taylor wishes to introduce
somebody who’s very important to Fantasia. He’s very shy and very retiring. I just happened to run across him one day at the Disney Studios. But when I did, I realized that here was not only an indispensable member of the organization, but a screen personality. And so I’m very happy to have this opportunity to introduce to you the sound track.
The soundtrack, a vertical shaft or band of light, like a line on an oscilloscope, is brought center stage. (The soundtrack is literally a narrow band on the left side of a strip of film.) The vibrating line becomes an anthropomorphic character, at first timid and shy, then proud, carries recorded patterns. Every sound – whether dialogue, narration, music, or sound effects – has a pattern all its own. After producing a razzberry (“Bronx cheer”) sound, the soundtrack demonstrates the sound of a harp, a violin (one of the strings), a flute (one of the woodwinds), a trumpet (one of the brass instruments), a bassoon (a low instrument), a bass drum, cymbals, a snare drum, and a triangle (percussion instruments).
The symphony that Beethoven called the Pastoral, his Sixth, is one of the few pieces of music he ever wrote that tells something like a definite story. He was a great nature-lover, and in this symphony, he paints a musical picture of a day in the country. Now, of course the country that Beethoven described was the countryside with which he was familiar. But his music covers a much wider field than that, and so Walt Disney has given the Pastoral Symphony a mythological setting.
There are five distinct sections or movements in the animated mythological allegory:
- Arriving in the Countryside of Elysian Fields at Mount Olympus: Creatures of mythology include colorful baby unicorns and baby fauns which romp over the beautiful countryside. A black winged stallion, Pegasus, flies with its family of four colorful baby horses. Joined by its white mate, they glide over a lake and settle on its water surface.
- Scene by the Brook with Centaurs and Centaurettes: Girl centaurettes (first unclothed while swimming, then garlanded with flower bras) are adorned and made up (with hats from flowers and bark) by baby cupids, in anticipation of meeting their male friends. They flirt and are courted by husky centaurs under Cupid’s spell during an idyllic afternoon. Winged cupids assist the courting of one lonely centaur with his dream centaurette. The cupid’s bottom turns into a heart shape before a fade to black.
- Merrymaking in the Bacchanal Feast: All the mythological characters, including mischievous fauns and nymphs set the next scene for a feast. Wine is pressed for the occasion. A drunken Bacchus, god of wine, with his equally-drunken unicorn-mule, rides tipsily out of the forest.
- The Storm: When their wine dance and party ends, a bearded Zeus stages a dark thunderstorm, hurling bolts of lightning forged by Vulcan. The bolts are hurled at Bacchus. The wine vat is shattered by a lightning strike, flooding everything with torrents of wine.
- Peace and Sunset: After the storm, tranquility returns, and Iris streaks across the sky, trailing a rainbow of colors. The mythological creatures play in the rainbow’s colors. As the sun shines brightly, symbolized by Apollo riding a fiery chariot driven by three horses in the sky, the creatures wave and admire its reddish glow, thankful for the lovely day. Sunset approaches and Morpheus covers the land with a cloak of darkness. Night falls, and Diana, goddess of the moon, appears in the sky to shoot a fiery arrow-comet from the bow of light formed by the crescent of the new moon. The comet creates sparkling stars that scatter and fall into their proper places in the night sky. All is at peace under the moon and stars in the Elysian Fields setting.
from his opera La Gioconda, is a hilarious animal ballet. It is a burlesque, satirical parody of classical ballet divided into four parts. It is an enjoyable tribute to poetry in motion through ballet, performed in a Great Hall by a group of atypical, anthropomorphic dancers, including ostriches, hippos, elephants, and alligators:
Now we’re going to do one of the most famous and popular ballets ever written…It’s a pageant of the hours of the day. All this takes place in the Great Hall with its garden beyond of the palace of Duke Alvisa, a Venetian nobleman.
- Ostrich Ballet (Morning): The camera moves from the Great Hall’s iron gates through the processional columns to white curtains. They open on a giant, sleeping ostrich. After wakening and stretching, the ostrich rises and gracefully pirouettes like a ballerina over to a chorus of other sleeping ostriches. They are awakened, and then the prima ballerina ostrich throws fruit to them – they swallow oranges, bananas, and pineapples whole, creating interesting shapes down their slim necks. She flees to an outdoor pool when they attempt to take a bunch of grapes away.
- Hippo Ballet (Afternoon): Bubbles signal the imminent awakening and emergence of a prima ballerina hippopotamus from a lily pool in the garden of the Great Hall. After she awakes, she applies powder to herself in front of a mirror. Two chorus hippos help her out of the pool. She pirouettes daintily in a tutu during a solo dance. Soon tired, she falls into the arms of the chorus hippos, who take her back to her couch.
- Elephant Ballet (Evening): As the lead hippo sleeps, a group of elephants appear in evening wear to surround her. At the pool, they blow large pink bubbles with their trunks in a bubble dance. The sleeping hippo is borne upward on a stack of bubbles, soon joined by other hippos and elephants. Everything comes back to earth, and the lead hippo is left sleeping, as night falls.
- Alligator Ballet (Night): Leering, yellow-eyed, black-caped alligators swoop down on the entire company, hiding behind pillars before surrounding the lead hippo. Their tails twist, their jaws snap. The finale is a mad chase with alligators leaping after the hippos and involving all the animals. Alligators and hippos play hide-and-seek behind marble columns; alligators ride ostrichs; an elephant rides an alligator; alligators spin elephants overhead; hippos whirl alligators around by their tails. The lead alligator throws the lead hippo down, triumphant over her. On the final note, the camera pulls back through the columns of the Great Hall to the iron doors at its entrance. The gates slam shut and they crumble off their hinges.
The final piece is introduced:
The last number in our Fantasia program is a combination of two pieces of music so utterly different in construction and mood that they set each other off perfectly….Musically and dramatically, we have here a picture of the struggle between the profane and the sacred.
Dance of the Hours – 3 hippopotamus
is a dramatically-terrifying celebration of evil during the night of the Witches’ Sabbath. As night falls at the foot of Bald Mountain, the lord of evil and death, the Black God Chernobog appears on the top of the jagged peak. [The God of Evil in Slavic mythology, originally thought to be modeled after action model Bela Lugosi of Dracula (1931) fame, but actually modeled by sequence director Wilfred Jackson.] A flurry of devil bats fly through the darkened air. As a salute to the evil God and to celebrate evil, tormented, cursed night spirits (including skeletal ghosts, witches, vampires) rise from their graves, some riding demonic steeds, to make obeisance. In flames, smoke, and fiery flashes, they swirl around him in a surrealistic pattern. He revels in their passionate worship. In his hand, the spirits dance furiously, while he takes perverse pleasure in transforming them into animals, then lizards, then miniature black gods. By giant handfuls, he drops the flaming figures into the fiery pit when done with them. They quickly turn from sensual female forms to skulls, descending into fiery whirlpools. When morning approaches, church bells ring, lighting up the Black God with each chime, forcing him to cringe and recoil further and further into the mountain in his bat-like cloak. The god of evil realizes the power of good is too strong. The spirits draw back and return to their resting places in their graves. The sky lightens as peace returns. Light triumphs over darkness, goodness over evil.
8. F. Schubert
is actually the second part of the seventh segment. The end of the first part blends seamlessly into the second part without a pause. In this awe-inspiring segment, the bells of the first part seem to be calling the faithful to worship. In the drifting morning mist at the base of the mountain, white-hooded figures with glowing candles move in a procession. They cross a meadow and go over a bridge, their lights reflected in the water below. They climb a hill and enter into a forest, where trees form cathedral-like arches. The candle-bearing pilgrims pass through the darkness of the forest and enter into a beautiful pasture just before dawn. Dawn comes as the first light of daylight brightens the sky and the land. The blue sky and clouds present a peaceful vision of heaven on earth. The rays of the reddish sunrise are brilliant as the choir sings the last chords of the Ave Maria. The powers of light are triumphant over the powers of death.
Originally, Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” was part of the film, but was cut from the final release print. Seven of the eight pieces were performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The fourth film in the “Walt Disney Animated Classics series”, Dumbo is based upon the storyline “Dumbo, the Flying Elephant” written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy (“Roll-a-Book”).
Dumbo wanted to be an incredible circus super star like his mother, except he didn’t look like all the other elephants. His enormous ears may have made the other elephants laugh, but they only made his mother love him even more. However, when mother overhears her son being ridiculed, her fury is about to hit the roof.
Dumbo (1941) Trailer
Cast: Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, Hardie Albright, John Sutherland, Paula Winslowe, Peter Behn, TimDavis, Sam Edwards, Will Wright, Cammie King, Ann Gillis, Fred Shields, Stan Alexander, Sterling Holloway
Undoubtedly one of the most beloved “tear-jerker” films of all times, regardless of the audience age is Bambi, the Walt Disney 1942 production based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The story of Bambi and his parents, his rabbit friend Thumper and his skunk friend Flower has thrilled and brought tears to audiences for seventy years.
From the opening segment, viewers are hooked by the beauty and innocence of both the cinematography and the story as Bambi matures and learns his way around the forest. His exposure to the changing of the seasons, different animals and the dangers of the surroundings keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Bambi is often cited as one of the first “eco-friendly” films with its’ less-than-flattering portrayal of the effect “man” has on the deer environment and well-being.
Bambi received three Academy Award nominations: Original Score, Best Sound and Best Song, and was named by the American Film Institute as the third-best all-time “animated” film in 2008.
(Original 1942) Bambi – Trailer
Cast: Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters, Jerry Colonna, Sterling Holloway, Andy Russell, David Lichine, Tania Riabouchinskaya, The Pied Pipers, The King’s Men, The Ken Darby Chorus
The eighth animated feature in the “Walt Disney Animated Classics series”, Make Mine Music was released in 1946. The ten segments which comprise Make Mine Music are unrelated, other than having music as their basis.
The ten segments are:
1. “The Martins and the Coys” (A Rustic Ballad): This segment featured popular radio vocal group, King’s Men singing the story of a Hatfields and McCoys-style feud in the mountains broken up when two young people from each side fell in love. This segment was later cut from the film’s video release due to comic gunplay.
2. “Blue Bayou” (A Tone Poem): This segment featured animation originally intended for Fantasia using the Claude Debussy musical composition Clair de Lune. However, by the time Make Mine Music was released Clair de Lune was replaced by the new song Blue Bayou, performed by the Ken Darby Singers. But the original version of this segment still survives.
3. “All the Cats Join In” (A Jazz Interlude): This segment was one of two segments to which Benny Goodman contributed: an innovative shot in which a pencil drew the action as it was happening, and in which 1940s teens were swept away by popular music.
4. “Without You” (A Ballad in Blue): This segment was a ballad of lost love, sung by Andy Russell.
5. “Casey at the Bat” (A Musical Recitation): This segment featured Jerry Colonna, reciting the poem also titled “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer, about the arrogant ballplayer whose cockiness was his undoing.
6. “Two Silhouettes” (Ballade Ballet): This segment featured two live-action ballet dancers, David Lichine and Tania Riabouchinskaya, moving in silhouette with animated backgrounds and characters. Dinah Shore sang the title song.
7. “Peter and the Wolf“: This segment was an animated dramatization of the 1936 musical composition by Sergei Prokofiev, with narration by actor Sterling Holloway. A Russian boy named Peter set off into the forest to hunt the wolf with his animal friends: a bird named Sasha, a duck named Sonia, and a cat named Ivan.
9. “Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet” (A Love Story): This segment told the romantic story of two hats who fell in love in a department store window. When Alice was sold, Johnny devoted himself to finding her again. The Andrews Sisters provided the vocals. Like the other segments, it was later released theatrically. It was released as such on May 21, 1954.
10. “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” (Opera Pathetique): was the bittersweet finale about a Sperm Whale with incredible musical talent and his dreams of singing Grand Opera. However, short-sighted impressario Tetti-Tatti believed that the whale has simply swallowed an opera singer, and chased him with a harpoon. Nelson Eddy narrated and performed all the voices in this segment. As Willie the Whale, Eddy sang all three male voices in the first part of the Sextet from Donizetti‘s opera, Lucia di Lammermoor. In the end Willie was harpooned and killed, but the narrator softened the blow by telling the viewers that he sang on in heaven.
Roy Rogers – Himself; Narrator; Singer (Pecos Bill); Trigger, the Smartest Horse in the Movies – Himself;
Dennis Day – Narrator; Singer; Characters (Johnny Appleseed); The Andrews Sisters – Singers (Little Toot);
Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians – Singers (Trees); Freddy Martin – Music composer (Bumble Boogie);
Ethel Smith – Organist (Blame It On the Samba); Frances Langford – Singer (Once Upon a Wintertime);
Buddy Clark – Singer; Narrator; Bob Nolan – Himself; Singer; Narrator (Pecos Bill);
Sons of the Pioneers – Themselves; Singers; Narrators (Pecos Bill); The Dinning Sisters – Singers (Blame It On the Samba); Bobby Driscoll – Himself (Pecos Bill); Luana Patten – Herself (Pecos Bill);
Dallas McKennon – Himself; Narrator; Character (Johnny Appleseed);
Consisting of seven segments and the tenth of the Walt Disney Animated Classic series is 1948’s Melody Time. Featuring popular and folk music, Melody Time stars several notable performers of the era, including Roy Rogers, Dennis Day, Frances Langford, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Freddy Martin and the legendary Sons of the Pioneers.
1. Once Upon a Wintertime: This segment features Frances Langford singing the title song about two romantic young lovers in December. The boy shows off on the ice for his girl, and near-tragedy and a timely rescue ensues. Like several other segments of these package films, Once Upon a Wintertime was later released theatrically as an individual short, in this case on September 17, 1954. This short is also featured in Very Merry Christmas Songs which is part of Disney Sing Along Songs, as a background movie for the song Jingle Bells.
2. Bumble Boogie: This segment presents a surrealistic nightmare for a solitary bumble bee as he tries to escape from a visual and musical frenzy. The music is courtesy of Freddy Martin and his orchestra (with Jack Fina playing the piano) and is a swing-jazz variation of Rimsky-Korsakov‘s Flight of the Bumblebee, which was one of the many pieces considered for inclusion in Fantasia.
3. The Legend of Johnny Appleseed: This segment is a retelling of the story of John Chapman, who spent most of his life roaming Mid-Western America (mainly Illinois and Indiana) in the pioneer days, and planting apple trees, thus earning his famous nickname. Dennis Day narrates and provides all the voices, except for the angel, who is voiced by Dallas McKennon (uncredited). This segment was released independently on December 25, 1955 as just Johnny Appleseed.
4. Little Toot: This segment is based on the story also titled Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky, in which the title protagonist, a small tugboat, wanted to be just like his father Big Toot, but couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble. The Andrews Sisters provide the vocals.
6. Blame It on the Samba: This segment has Donald Duck and José Carioca meeting with the Aracuan Bird, who introduces them to the pleasures of the samba. The accompanying music is the 1914 polka Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho by Ernesto Nazareth, fitted with English lyrics. The Dinning Sisters provide the vocals while organist Ethel Smith plays the organ.
7. Pecos Bill: The film’s final segment is about Texas’ famous hero, the biggest and best cowboy that ever lived. It also features his horse Widowmaker, and recounts how Pecos was brought back down to earth by a woman named Slue-Foot Sue. This retelling of the story features Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, and the Sons of the Pioneers to Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten. This segment was later edited on the film’s NTSC video release (but not the PAL release) to remove all scenes of Bill smoking a cigarette. The entire scene with Bill rolling the smoke and lighting it with a lightning bolt was cut and all other shots of the offending cigarette hanging from his lips were digitally removed.
In this ultimate fairytale story, Cinderella finds herself living as a slave to her two stepsisters after her father dies and leaves her to be raised by her evil stepmother. When the King decides his son the prince must find the perfect wife among all the fair maidens in the village, Cinderella is heartbroken to watch her mean stepsisters leave for the ball to meet the prince while she must stay home and work. With the help of some furry and feathered friends, Cinderella is transformed into a beautiful maiden and sent off to meet the prince, but she must be home by midnight or her fairytale will turn into disaster.
So this is Love – Cinderella
Music by: Oliver Wallace
John, Michael, and Wendy Darling spent hours captive in their bedroom daydreaming about what life might be like in the outside world.
Along came a young man named Peter Pan who took their imaginations on an amazing journey through Neverland and beyond.
Along the way they made friends like Tinkerbell and enemies like Captain Hook who will live in their minds forever.
Following the Leader – Peter Pan
Music by: Oliver Wallace
When uptown Lady, a well manicured Cocker Spaniel from an affluent family met a downtown mutt called The Tramp, it was canine love at first sight. From sharing spaghetti in the epitome of romantic dinners to dreamy walks through the streets, Lady and The Tramp were inseparable, love-sick puppies on an incredible adventure.
- Is considered to be one of the best dog movies.
- Was released in theatres on June 22, 1955.
- Based on a short story Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog that was published in Cosmopolitan (literary magazine) by Ward Greene in the mid-1940’s.
Bella Notte – Lady and the Tramp
Music by: George Bruns
Princess Aurora was born into a wonderful royal family and blessed with indescrible beauty, charm, and elegance. The sinister, malicious witch Maleficient was consumed with jealousy toward Princess Aurora and placed a wicked curse on her which would mean death on the 16th birthday of the princess. It’s up to love of a magnificent prince to save his sleeping beauty.
Once Upon a Dream – Sleeping Beauty
Roger and Anita were the proud parents of two beautiful dalmations, Perdita and Pongo. Before long their little clan grew into one big happy family full of dalmations, 101 of them to be exact. With a family this big it’s going to take the whole neighborhood to keep them together.
101 Dalmations – Trailer
Cast: Sabu Dastagir: Mowgli, Joseph Calleia: Buldeo, John Qualen: The barber, Frank Puglia: The pundit, Rosemary DeCamp: Messua, Patricia O’Rourke : Mahala, Ralph Byrd: Durga, John Mather: Rao, Faith Brook: English girl, Noble Johnson: Sikh
Music by: Miklós Rózsa
American color action-adventure film based on the Rudyard Kipling book, The Jungle Book. Come follow the delightful adventures of Mowgli, a young orphan boy who was raised in the jungle by wolves. Meet Bagheera, the wise panther; King Louie, the goofy king of the monkeys; Shere Khan, the evil, jealous tiger; Kaa, the mysterious snake; and big Baloo, the lovable, huggable bear. When his jungle friends want him o move to the man-village or his own safety, Mowgli learns there’s no place like the jungle.
The Jungle Book (1967 Theatrical Trailer) – The Jungle is Jumpin’!
The twentieth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress’ fortune which was meant to go to them.
The Aristocats – Trailer
American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name.
Ariel was one of the most beautiful mermaids under the sea and possessed a voice sweet enough to charm all the seawater creatures. Mesmerized by humans – specifically one human in particular – Ariel was willing to do anything to walk among the land lovers…even make a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula.
Kiss the girl – The Little Mermaid
The thirtieth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is based on the fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and uses some ideas from the 1946 film of the same name.
The beautiful Belle makes a deal with the scary beast who lives in the eerie castle -release my father, and I’ll be your prisoner forever. Almost immediately, Belle’s infectious charm transforms the eerie castle into a magical kingdom and morphs the scary beast into a kind-hearted gentleman.
Beauty and the Beast – HQ trailer
A charming, but down-on-his luck Aladdin stumbles across the wealthy, but humbly-beautiful Princess Jasmine and loses his heart. Unfortunately, Princess Jasmine can only marry a prince. Aladdin’s luck makes a drastic turn when he meets a magic Genie who grants him three wishes.
Aladdin – Trailer
Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings
Music: Elton John and Tim Rice wrote five original songs for this film, with Elton John performing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” during the end credits. The film’s score was composed by Hans Zimmer and supplemented with traditional African music and choir elements arranged by Lebo M.
Full of wisdom, wit, and wonder, the Lion King follows young Simba through his journey to claim his rightful title as king of the jungle. Along the way, he befriends a crazy meerkat named Timon, a naive warthog named Pumbaa, a wise baboon named Rafiki, and many other memorable characters which enrich Simba’s life and help mold him into a fearless leader ready to battle the evil Scar.
The Lion King – Trailer
Music by: Nick Glennie-Smith
Simba and his childhood love Nala grow up and have a beautiful baby girl named Kiara. Following in her father’s adventurous footsteps, she ventures out into the wild and befriends Kovu, the very last cub Simba would like to see his daughter with because he’s the successor of Simba’s arch nemesis, the late Scar. What will he do if they…fall in love?
Lion King Two, Simba’s Pride – Trailer
Cast: A group of known figures introduce each segment in live-action scenes including Steve Martin, violinist Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn & Teller, conductor Leopold Stokowski and Angela Lansbury.
From a Humpback Whale and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, to tin soldiers and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto, vivid images and soothing sounds swell the screen to form Fantasia 2000. The fun continues with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and travels from New York City to a cinematic forest to take movie goers on one fantastic voyage.
The segments in the order of appearance:
Symphony No. 5 in C minor – I. Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven. Abstract patterns and shapes resembling butterflies and bats explore a world of light and darkness which are ultimately conquered by light.
Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi. A family of humpback whales are able to fly due to a supernova. The calf is separated from his parents when he becomes trapped in an iceberg, but finds his way out with his mother’s help. The final section, the Via Appia, gives the impression of the larger pod of adults in migration.
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. An episode of New York City in the 1930s in the style of Al Hirschfeld’s known cartoons of the time, depicting a day in the lives of several people within the Depression-era bustling metropolis. Featured is an animated cameo appearance of Gershwin himself at the piano.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major – I. Allegro by Dmitri Shostakovich. Based on The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen, the concerto was written as a gift by Shostakovich to his musically gifted young son, and the percussive rhythms also suit a story about a soldier. In contrast to the original story, the ending is a happy one.
The Carnival of the Animals, Finale by Camille Saint-Saëns. A flock of flamingos try to force a slapstick member who enjoys playing with a yo-yo to engage in their “dull” routines. The score is arranged by Peter Schickele.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas. Based on Goethe’s 1797 poem Der Zauberlehrling, the segment is the only one retained from 1940’s Fantasia. Mickey Mouse as the apprentice of sorcerer Yen Sid who attempts some of his master’s magic tricks before knowing how to control them.
Pomp and Circumstance – Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4 by Edward Elgar. Based on the story of Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis starring Donald Duck as first mate to Noah and Daisy Duck as Donald’s assistant. Donald musters the animals to the Ark and misses, loses and reunites with Daisy in the process. The score is arranged by Schickele and features a wordless soprano solo by Kathleen Battle.
Firebird Suite – 1919 Version by Igor Stravinsky. The story of the spring sprite and her companion, the elk, who accidentally awakes the Firebird, a fiery spirit of destruction in a nearby volcano. The Firebird proceeds in destroying the forest, and seemingly the sprite, but is restored to life. The Elk encourages the sprite to restore the forest to its former state.
Fantasia 2000 (1999) – Trailer
This enchanting, heart-warming tale follows the story of father and son deer who must come to terms with the loss of the mother and learn to appreciate one another. With the help of some adorable woodland creatures, father and son have some wonderful adventures and learn to become a family.
Bambi 2 – Trailer HD
Music by: Alan Silvestri
In Disney’s “A Christmas Carol 3-D,” Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey), a miserly fellow with little compassion for anyone, learns the meaning of Christmas when he is taken on a fantastical, fearful and thrilling journey by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Carrey voices several of the roles, including young, middle aged and old Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts, in this animated adaptation. Director Robert Zemeckis adds 3D technology to the same motion capture animated style he used in another Christmas movie, “The Polar Express.” Through the combination of the two techniques, the fantastical journey taken by Scrooge via the three ghosts comes alive for the audience as never before.
A Christmas Carol – Official Trailer