Fantasia 2000 (1999)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Rhapsody in Blue, Firebird Suite

Pines of Rome

Movie Info

Movie Name: Fantasia 2000

Studio: Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s): Family/Musical/Animated

Release Date(s): December 17, 1999

MPAA Rating: G


Preparing for the big show!

Disney brings more music to the screen with help from conductor James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  To aid in introducing these clips, Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Penn & Teller, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, and Angela Lansbury lend their talent and once again the magic of music is brought to life.

Fantasia 2000 was what Fantasia was meant to be and was the thirty-eighth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series.  The movie followed the 1999 release of Tarzan and was actually released in December of 1999 despite is “Fantasia 2000” title.  Walt Disney saw Fantasia as a program what would frequently morph and change.  Old segments would be replaced with new musical numbers and favorites might return over time.  It only took sixty years to happened and when it did it came back to the big-big screen on the IMAX.

The music program includes:


Abstract butterflies rock!

Symphony No. 5 in C minor-I. Allegro con brio (Beethoven) begins like the original Fantasia with an abstract presentation.  The transition from real to cartoon is handled well.


Bring on the whales and bring on the yawns

Pines of Rome (Respighi) has a family of humpback whales separated as they travel and eventually taking flight.  This is probably the weakest of the segments and it is unfortunate that it comes so soon in the movie.  If it had fallen later in the film, it maybe wouldn’t be as bad, but the “story” isn’t very compelling and the imagery is quite weak.


Some of the best Disney animation in years

Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin) is probably the best segment in the movie.  The music goes great with New York setting and the Al Hirschfeld style of art goes great with the Depression era story.


Soldiers get all the girls

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major-I. Allegro (Shostakovich) has Hans Christian Anderson’s Steadfast Tin Soldier and has a more CGI feel to it.


Flamingo + Yo-Yo = FlamingoYo-Yo

The Carnival of Animals, Finale (Saint-Saens) has a group of flamingos arguing over a yo-yo.


The classic Mickey Mouse tale is back!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Dukas) is the only holdover from the original 1940 Fantasia and has the classic story of Mickey Mouse causing problems when he decides to use his master’s hat to animate brooms to do his work.


So the real question is…Do Donald & Daisy count as the ducks on the Ark?

Pomp and Circumstance-Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Elgar) has Donald Duck trying to be reunited with Daisy Duck as Noah’s Ark saves thousands of animals from a flood.


A great finale!

Firebird Suite-1919 Version (Stravinsky) has a forest spirit awakening a phoenix that destroys her forest.  The spirit is reborn, and the mountain comes alive.  This segment feels like it borrows a lot from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke in both visuals and style of art.  It does a great job of ending the movie strong.

Fantasia 2000 seems a little more unbalanced than the original Fantasia and the particularly weak “Pines of Rome” section kicking off the “story” animations doesn’t help.  The movie also feels like it will date a lot easier with the celebrity guest stars that don’t bog down the first movie.  It would be nice to see Fantasia continue as an evolution, but I hope they don’t wait until 2060 to do it again.  Disney followed Fantasia 2000 with Dinosaur in May of 2000.

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Related Links:

Fantasia (1940)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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