Best of
lMovie Review
"Fantasia 2000"
By Mira Harber 
     If you have children (and even if you don't) run, don't walk, to see  "Fantasia 2000." This movie is a voyage into the discovery of color and sound through exciting classical music and gorgeous animated story telling. Before I go any further, I must explain that any movie that helps expose people (especially children) to the world of classical music already has me on its side - and this movie is a winner in every way.
     Sixty years ago Disney released the original "Fantasia." It was always intended to be a perpetual movie in progress, with different music and images, but nobody has attempted an update until now. There are seven new sequences of music ranging from the powerful opening movement of Beethoven "Symphony #5" (you know, da-da-da-DAAAAAA,) to Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Each segment is introduced by a celebrity host, beginning with Steve Martin. Quincy Jones, James Levine, Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones and even Bette Midler, all introduce the new segments and they each have something to say - classical music is a blast and it's for everyone, young & old.
Fantasia 2000 Soundtrack      The animation and colors used in "Fantasia 2000" are gorgeous - brilliant blues, stunning shafts of light and the SOUND - it's an absolutely fantastic experience. Of particular interest to smaller children are Donald & Daisy Duck, and two of each animal entering Noah's Ark, all set to the stirring strains of Elgar's "Pomp & Circumstance." New York City and its perpetual motion lifestyle is shown from many walks of life - from people riding the subway, to musically inclined construction workers, to Fifth Avenue society types, to ice-skaters at Rockefeller Center - all set to "Rhapsody in Blue." The Hans Christian Anderson story "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," is complete with a valiant one-legged wooden soldier, beautiful dancing ballerina, and malevolent Jack in the Box - all perfectly set to some rousing Russian music (Shostakovitch's "Piano Concerto#2").
     And don't worry - the original Sorcerer's Apprentice featuring Mickey Mouse as the wonderfully meddling apprentice, is included in "Fantasia 2000" - in fact, it's the only musical segment from the original version.
     What particularly appealed to me, in addition to the new selections of music, was the inspired and completely unusual way in which the music was animated. The Italian composer Resphigi wrote a number of pieces inspired by Rome. The most famous of these pieces, "The Pines of Rome", is performed here - but not to animation of old Italy. Instead I heard the delighted gasps of childern in the audience when they saw families of dolphins and whales frolicking in the blaze of blue light going from artic waters to the Milky Way. Can you tell I liked this movie? I'll say it again, run, don't walk and make sure you, and any children in your, life catch "Fantasia 2000."


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