Fantasia 2000 (1999)

FANTASIA 2000, the non-IMAX version at least, is the largely in-
consequential continuation of slash homage to Walt Disney's 1940 
original, nostalgic memories of which will probably land more as-
ses than the quality of the new film.  Which isn't great.  Nine 
live hosts (plus Mickey) introduce eight new animated shorts, plus 
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from the first film.  The accompanying 
music, performed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of 
James Levine, consists of Beethoven's Fifth, Respighi's "Pines of 
Rome," George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," Shostakovich's "Piano 
Concerto #2," Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals," Paul Dukas' 
aforementioned "Apprentice," Eddie Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" 
marches, and Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite."  Most are excerpts or 
single movements; the subject matter ranges from abstract to lit-
eral, from butterfly-behaving geometric shapes to a Donald Duck-
starring re-telling of "Noah and the Ark."  (The latter's complete 
with unicorns and dragons laughing on the sidelines.)  Most of the 
segments are also a relative snooze, the major exception being an 
exquisite Depression-era, Big Apple-set story set to "Rhapsody in 
Blue" and drawn in the very distinctive style of caricaturist Al 
Hirschfeld.  That one's worth the price of admission.  Everything 
else, however, gets a shrug.  (Yeah, yeah, the flamingos are cute,
but blink and they're gone.)  Shrugs aside, the art *is* absolutely
lovely at times-- like the ballerina in one bit-- but it hardly
seems representative of 21st Century cartoon-ing.  Why wasn't this
movie made to drop jaws?  Say, by using Pixar to create the "Tin
Soldier" segment?  Or having the final, "Firebird"-set sequence
drawn by brasher, bolder anime artists??  Hell if I know.  Maybe
it's meant for people who are trippin'...  I'm just glad the run-
ning time was a scant 75 minutes.  (Rated "G"/75 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: And The Orchestra Played On

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros