When Walt Disney released Fantasia in 1940, he originally conceived it as a constantly-evolving production, being re-premiered in cinemas regularly with new animated musical segments replacing the old ones in turn. His idea was shelved due to low box office returns, and it wasn’t until the year 1999 when The Walt Disney Company decided to make a sequel from it.
Fantasia 2000 is composed of eight animated segments set to a selection of classical music from famous composers. In keeping with Walt’s original vision, one segment is carried over from the 1940 film as “retention” while the others are new.
- Symphony No. 5 first movement (Ludwig van Beethoven) – multicolored butterflies are chased by black bats through a world of light and darkness
- Pines of Rome (Ottorino Respighi) – features flying humpback whales prominently displayed in the movie trailer
- Rhapsody in Blue (George Gershwin) – four down-on-their-luck strangers in 1930s New York City end up improving each other’s lives through their individual actions despite never seeing each other face to face
- Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102 (Dmitri Shostakovich) – a musical rendition of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “A Steadfast Tin Soldier”; in the same manner as Disney’s adaptation of another Andersen tale, 1989’s The Little Mermaid, there’s a happy ending
- The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnival des Animaux), Finale (Camille Saint-Saëns) – in hindsight, sort of like 2006’s Happy Feet but with flamingoes and an odd member who loves to play with a yoyo
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Paul Dukas) – returning from the original 1940 Fantasia as its most memorable segment, Mickey – as you know – steals his master Yen Sid’s hat and tries to magic animated brooms, leading to disaster
- Pomp and Circumstance – Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Edward Elgar) – adapts the Bible story of Noah’s Ark, with Donald and Daisy Duck as one of the “two for every animal” that boards the ark; Donald assists Noah in assembling the other animals, causing hilarity and heartwarming (the music might be better known as the “Graduation March”)
- Firebird Suite—1919 Version (Igor Stravinski) – a dramatic counterpart of sorts to the original Fantasia’s “Night on Bald Mountain” segment, with visuals of destruction followed by tranquility