Fantasia 2000 is very different from a typical animated Disney film. Rather than being plot driven it is a series of animations set to music. Sometimes there is a basic story within the animation, sometimes just a series of images. The artists’ interpretation of each piece was quite unique.
I watched this film because my final project will be to create an animation that goes with music, and to do so I need to be able to envisage imagery in my mind. This film works well as inspiration.
Beethoven’s 5th - This begins with water animated to splash on the second beat of each bar. As the movement moves on to the second and slower subject, butterflies start to appear. As the first theme repeats itself again, there is a combination of butterflies and water. This style of animation was a lot more visual than plot-driven, which meant it used a lot of different effects.
Carnival of the Animals – This animation was a lot more cartoonish as it focused on dancing flamingos. This I found interesting, as none of the pieces from the original suite focused on flamingos. The animation also used yo-yos as part of the plot which, although not difficult to draw, are very difficult to animate well.
Pines of Rome - This animation is a story of sorts about a pod of whales. It starts with big splashes and bubbles in time to the music, as elegant but powerful whales take a journey to the heavens. I thought the animation in this was a lot more pretty than the ones before, and I could tell that scenes like the ultimate flight through the clouds must have been very difficult to draw.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice – This is a story about Mickey Mouse trying to use magic to clean a room, however this backfires on him when the room gets flooded. The highlight here is probably the dream sequence, in which Mickey Mouse is controlling the cascading sea.
Rhapsody in Blue - This piece took the form of a story set in the great depression. There are multiple plots, including a neglected girl being forced into activities which do not suit her and people desperately seeking work or doing jobs that they hate. Although this is not a piece of music that I enjoy listening to, there are cool features to the animation such as the use of colours and the way that New York appears to be etchasketched.
Pomp and Circumstance - This short film retells the story of Noah’s ark with Donald Duck and Daisy as the main protagonists. The main difficulty in the animation seems to be the fact there are always multiple things going on at one time, one of the highlights being the scenes inside the boat, where the crates are being moved around.
Shostakovich Piano Concerto no 2 - The story is similar to Hans Christian Andersen’s “the tin soldier” but without the depressing ending. It’s animated in a different style than the other ones, to recreate the idea of a toy shop. All the characters in this are very detailed, especially the jester.
Firebird - During this animation Spring (personified as a woman) calls on the Firebird. This ultimately leads to a chain of events where the forest gets burned down. This is a very beautiful animation, especially the part where the forest gets restored.
In conclusion, I found watching Fantasia 2000 to be a very inspirational experience. Each animation was very different and unique, and because of this I learned that there can be many interpretations of music, sometimes even within one piece. A good animation compliments the melody well and really gets you lost in the piece, as well as fitting with the music rhythmically.