In 1940 Walt Disney and his production studio released their third feature-length animated film, Fantasia. That said, it’s actually less an animated movie-length story and more a collection of sequences set to orchestral pieces from several masters of classical music, as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductor Leopold Stokowski.
Fantasia is roughly divided into eight segments. Seven of them are the above-mentioned famous orchestral music, with an intermission segment in the middle featuring original tunes. Let’s list them down.
- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Johann Sebastian Bach)
- The Nutcracker Suite (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) – memorable perhaps because of the dancing mushrooms
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Paul Dukas) – an iconic segment of the film, with Mickey losing control of the living brooms he enchanted using the hat of his master Yen Sid (often interpreted as an avatar of Walt Disney due to his name being that of the man himself, spelled backwards)
- Rite of Spring (Igor Stravinsky)
- Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack – the part where the Fantasia title card is shown; following the intermission is a jazz number and an animation demo of how sound appears on the film
- The Pastoral Symphony (Ludwig van Beethoven) – might be remembered for its female centaurs
- Dance of the Hours (Amilcare Ponchielli)
- Night on Bald Mountain (Modest Mussorgsky) – unforgettable for its depiction of the Slavic dark deity Chernabog as a giant winged demon sitting on a mountain