Friday, 15 October 2010

The Public Don't Admire Fantasia...

What I seem to know and I realised that just today is that most of my friends who are fans of the Walt Disney films seem to consider Disney's masterpiece Fantasia as their least favourite Disney production and choosing their favourite Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin or The Lion King - of course, I don't mind the later films - but sometimes I just don't understand why the public just don't appreciate the film and I have to be honest, but I have to consider Fantasiaas my favourite all time Disney productions even though every Disney film I think have their selection of merits, though.

I should take a look at why some of the public might not like the film: I asked my sister (who isn't much of a Disney fan) and she thought that the film is just "boring", and my oldest cousin who loved a lot of the Disney films wasn't impressed by it and was pretty disappointed when she saw it at a cinema once (probably reissue) - I know some of my friends who go to my special needs school just don't understand why the film has no talking or dialog and I don't think that's meant to be the whole point at all!
Some people I know look at me strangely that I consider the 1940 film Fantasia as my favourite of all the Disney productions - and I think that because its just gorgeous and very artistic and I think in that occasion, animation was just pure "art" instead of just cartoons. According to John Canemaker, he said that when Walt Disney was doing storyboards for the Ave Maria segment (the final piece) one storyman thought that "we're not using the cartoon median as we should be", and Walt immediately turned to him and replied, "we're not supposed to use it, we've got worlds to conquer here!" and I think Walt Disney had a reasonable point there, and if I made this film in the past, I would be proud; man.
Although, when Fantasia made its first theatrical run in 1940 - it was indeed a box-office bomb as well as roadshow and very few people went to see it and the public weren't interested in watching it, and the critics weren't enthusiastic about the picture and probably one of the reasons why it failed was because the audience "didn't want it", and they would expecting something like fairy tales, Snow White or a typical happy Disney story - but Walt Disney was wanting something different, and no wonder why he was disappointed that the film failed to profit and that year, he already had a box-office failure on Pinocchio earlier that year, and he had two bombs in a row - and sadly, Walt Disney didn't its proper audience until some 30 years later after its first release to cinemas and it's a shame that Walt wasn't alive to see it!
So, could that be one of the reasons that even the public TODAY still might not like the film because it's such a unique Disney film and that there is no dialog except with the music that goes with the animation. I just think it is one of the most inspiring films I've ever seen and it's completely influenced me - with just excellent animation and artwork! It's just a painting of artwork done by artists like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, etc. except its animated!!
I'll show my favourite segment in the film:
It's the Ave Maria - it is the final segment in the film which is after the Night on Bald Mountain part by Modest Mussorgsky, and after that dark and violence in the Bald Mountain and then it shows the calm and Schubert's Ave Maria. Although, there's many versions to the song, but this has to be my favourite version and I just think its beautiful setup and the final shot of entering the cathedral and then the sun rises was actually the longest continuous shot roughly about 1'000 feet of animation and it was one of the hardest shots to film and the final shot had to be filmed three times: one was when something wrong with the wrong tools were used, and another one was a minor earthquake and the cameramen had worked their brains and sweats to finish this scene and it was filmed, completed, perfect; and it was completed the day the film premiered in New York City.


John V. said...

There are great sections in Fantasia, all right... but, both Pinochio and Dumbo are strong contenders for my favourite Disney animated film, and they are from around the same time. :)

Steven Hartley said...

I agree that Dumbo and Pinocchio are the pinnacle of Disney animation, but Fantasia will always be in my number one spot! ;)

Eric Noble said...

FANTASIA is still one of my favorite films of all time. It has been ever since I was a little kid, and it hasn't changed. I am still in awe of the artistry and craftsmanship that went into the film.

It's too bad that a lot of people don't like this film. It truly is a masterpiece.

Steven Hartley said...

Same here Eric, Fantasia has been a favourite of mine ever since I was little. The first time I ever watched it happened when I was 8 years old - and I had it for Christmas and I loved watching the film and I would end up watching the film over and over again.

It is truly a masterpiece - it's probably Disney's most artistry film.