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  • Writer's pictureCecily North

I Have Questions - Fantasia

I would like to acknowledge that I will not be reviewing the history of animation or the technology associated. I am going to do my best to focus on the story and its components. "Fantasia" is a hard movie to ask questions about as most of it is abstract images and thoughts. I watched this movie twice to come up with what I've listed below. I have broken down my initial questions by segment. Unanswered questions and general thoughts are listed after that.

Fantasia was the third full-length animated movie by the Walt Disney Company. As the orchestra takes the stage...

  • What was the timeline between Pinocchio and Fantasia? A lot of the animations are similar (Cleo, donkeys, rocks in dinosaur scene are similar to coastline in "Pinocchio"). Pinocchio and Fantasia were released 7 months and 1 week apart. A lot was happening in the life of Walt Disney and I would not be surprised if a lot of items were copied from one to the other for simplicities sake.

  • Were they worked on simultaneously? To put it bluntly, yes. In fact, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi were all in production at the same time, not to mention the shorts that were being created as well.

  • Does the narrator in this narrate other things? Yes. Deems Taylor was a well known broadcaster at the time and Walt Disney invited him to work on the movie early in production.

  • Who is the conductor? Leopold Stokowski.

  • Since we got involved in the war at the end of 1941, is that why this is the last full-length movie Disney released until the war was over? I would assume so.

  • What was the audience reception to this movie? Not great. I think even now, Fantasia can be a hard sell to some.

  • What was happening in the world when this movie was released? A lot of things were happening globally.

  • When did intermissions stop at the movies? By the 1980's, the intermission had all but vanished from the movie going experience. There is an Overdue episode where they go on a tangent about why movies don't have commercial breaks (and I wanted to shout at them they were called intermissions) and once I find that episode I will link it here.

  • Fantasia introduced Fantasound? What awards did it win? Did it win for sound? The movie won an Academy Honorary Award for "outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the production of Fantasia."

  • Was this the Disney orchestra? Or who were the performers in this movie? Stokowski worked with his orchestra, the Philadelphia orchestra. Interestingly enough, there was litigation in the early 1990's between the orchestra and the. Walt Disney Company.

  • How long did it take to film this? It took 3 years to complete this film.

  • Can I find out how many times a song has been used in commercials/movies? Not easily.

  • What is the history of the orchestra? You can find out here!

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

  • This segment shows the conductor and orchestra in different color. It moves into animation of various musical instruments.

  • Here is a fascinating article about this music!

Nutcracker Suite

  • The narrator notes that no one performs the Nutcracker. Was it not popular in the 30s? Apparently the Nutcracker was not popular in the 30s and was not performed as a ballet in the US until the 1940s. .

  • If this was written for the ballet, why did it fall out of favor? When did the Nutcracker become popular again? A full history of the Nutcracker performed by the Moscow ballet can be read here. And how it became a Christmas classic.

  • Mushrooms! Mushrooms are more visible in the parks.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  • Was this a story somewhere that Disney adapted? It originally was a poem. Here is a recent translation.

The Rite of Spring

  • Dino DNA!

  • When was the Scopes trial? July, 1925. And one of the best Drunk History episodes!

  • Does this match the dinosaurs at the Disneyland train diorama? Yes it does!

  • Are the dinosaurs accurate? I believe they were accurate for the time.


The soundtrack

  • How do soundwaves work? This is how.

The Pastoral Symphony

  • Diana, Morpheus, Zeus, Baccus ... who else is in the cast? Characters are listed here.

  • What's the plural of pegasus? Pegasuses or Pegasi.

  • History of the gods - All sorts of information can be found at

  • How do centaurs work? I love that there's a whole website dedicated to ridiculous research.

  • Can you use fruit as a lipstick? I guess technically you can.

  • How is wine made? In these 5 easy steps.

Dance of the Hours

  • Alligators the same as what's at Port Orleans - French Quarter? I'm not the only one that believes this.

  • Did you know there's a Fantasia themed mini golf course at Walt Disney World?! Be sure to let me know if you want to mini golf on your next Disney vacation!

  • Can alligators carry hippos? I couldn't find anything definitive but it looks like crocodiles and hippos can live peacefully together.

  • Difference between alligators and crocodiles? The differences are listed here.

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria

  • How are nuns related to Chernabog? I don't have an answer.

The questions that are left unanswered...

  • What's in the harpist's purse?

  • What was the direction the orchestra was given?

  • Is Yensid creating Chernabog?

  • "According to science" for those that don't believe in dinosaurs?

Other thoughts:

  • I am considering this an animated film as it does not overlap the live action such as other films like Mary Poppins or Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Those will come when I get to the live action movies.

  • I always liked the Nutcracker section. I like the fairies. I like all the detail of this section. Skating part is my fave!

  • Mushrooms! (Nutcracker section)

  • Mickey! You need arresto momentum!

  • The music from the Pastoral Symphony is on the hotel tvs at Walt Disney World.


Fun links:


DTV Monster Hits (37:10ish)

DTV Valentine (23:30ish)


Once Upon a Time


Colorado Historic Newspapers article about "Fantasia"

D23 Facts About Fantasia

Play Disney Parks

*Precious Moments, Disney Showcase Mickey Mouse Figurine, Everything With You Is Magical

*Funko Pop Disney: Mickey's 90Th - Apprentice Mickey Collectible Figure

*Sally Hansen Base Coat

*Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Midnight Drive

*Disney Villains Nail Polish in Cruella De Vil

*Kiss Nail Artist Paint & Stencil Kit in Black and White

It's So Easy Stripe Right in Yellow

*Seche Vite Top Coat


Pictures from my Collection


Pictures from the Parks

*Remember: This project is just for fun. Your experience may vary.

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