FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY, THE
Reviewed April 8th, 2001 by David Colby
60 years ago Fantasia was created and to commemorate this event a new 3 DVD box set has been released. Disney 6 decades ago set out to put some of the most moving classical music to animation. Animation solely supported by its soundtrack. Each telling their own story as perceived by the artists at Disney. Most probably remember this being a Sunday night special on NBC for their Disney movie. Each Sunday evening at 6 or 7pm a Disney Movie would be showcased and was the center point of many post dinner family quality times. This is one of those movies as a kid just inspired awe at how alive the animation was without a single word. Stravinsky, Beethoven, Bach and Tchaikovsky are just a few of the showcased pieces. Included in the Anthology are the original Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and a Fantasia the Legend DVD. Fantasia's most remembered piece has to be Mickey as an apprentice sorcerer, this showcased how he utilized magic to do his choirs and soon it was out of control and he needed to be rescued by his master. This piece is found on both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. New pieces on Fantasia 2000 include Rhapsody in blue by George Gershwin, Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven, and 5 other new pieces. Narration is performed by a slew of celebrities including Steve Martin, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Penn & Teller, Angela Lansbury and several others. The open scene of Fantasia 2000 remains very consistent with the original and one expecting a similar experience would not be disappointed. You are treated to colors galore, flying whales, and to the hectic city life. You will find it all great animation, music and top-notch creativity making Fantasia 2000, truly a continuing work of art. The Anthology also comes with a book to be used interactively with the features. Along with the two main features is the Fantasia Legacy DVD which breaks down each of the two films and allows for alternative concepts, store boards, stages of animation and the whole gambit of features showing the progress of from idea to final product. Anyone who is a die hard Fantasia buff will definitely want to look over the nearly 3 hrs of extra footage.
The video and audio among the DVD's vary so each will be reviewed in order Fantasia, Fantasia 2000 and Fantasia Legacy. First Fantasia's video was a bit soft, but clear as can be seeing that the film is 60 years old and very little specs or marks could be located. A shame that this could not have been preserved years ago in a digital format. Fantasia 2000 and Legacy are both noticeably clearer. The colors are more vibrant and everything is crystal clear. Since most of these two DVD's were created modern day this is no wonder. Yes the clip from the original is a bit weaker then the rest of Fantasia 2000.
The same holds true for the Audio. The original is a bit softer and not as crystal clear as the later Fantasia 2000, and Legend DVD's. None of them will have you pulling your hair out at hisses or anything. Just the later two are a bit more vibrant and you can tell they use tech that captures the whole range of audio.
No extras are included on the Fantasia or Fantasia 2000 disc and the Legend disc is nothing but extras. This is by far a collector's dream. The total viewing time is almost 7 hours of film. For 49.99 you can't beat it. Something that kids will love, adults will admire and since it is DVD something that you will have forever.
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