The Jamestown Gazette is pleased to bring our readers insightful and informative reviews of some of the nation’s most popular, current films. Jared Hill’s past commentary and reviews will be archived at Jamestown Gazette’s website, www.jamestowngazette.com.
Fantasia 2000 is a celebration of the 60-plus years Walt Disney’s great concert feature has been on this Earth. Today it’s now been over 75 years, but the magical legacy of the late 1940s film still carries on in spirit and into the 21st century with a new, imaginative dreamscape that would win the favor of any viewer from age 8 to 98!
This Fantasia keeps the spirit of the old by introducing new animated shorts along with the familiar classics. As one of the hosts of this escapade Steve Martin says, “Fantasia was meant to be a perpetual work in progress…some new pieces along with some familiar favorites.”
The new works are not merely just a sight for sore eyes; they are escapism at its finest. They are windows into a magical landscape, all connected with a cosmic majesty.
The first short played to the song “Pines of Rome” takes you to a pod of humpback whales dancing in the sky under the aurora borealis! However, there is emotional drama when the baby whale becomes lost in an underwater ice cave.
Then you have the great Quincy Jones coming in afterward introducing the piece to “Rhapsody in Blue” which starts off with, “a single slinky not on a clarinet, and a simple line on a piece of paper.”
That line would turn into a paperscape of the bustling lifestyle set in New York City. It all brings interconnectivity between all forms of American life. You have the working man, the poor man, the rich girl who’s whisked away by her parents for ballet, singing, gymnastics, tennis, swimming and piano lessons. There’s also the rich man who dreams of flying away from the material world of his spoiled wife and her “toy” dog. The cosmos seems to work in tune with the characters and the sound as that single line we begin with falls back into pure happiness and the bright lights of Times Square.
You have a hero toy soldier, who plays the part of David versus Goliath, Jonah and the great fish, and rises from the abyss to defeat the evil Jack in the box!
James Earl Jones later begs the question: “What is man’s relationship to nature?” No one can truly explain this, but we can see what happens when you give a yo-yo to a flock of flamingos.
(In)famous magicians Penn & Teller later enlighten us to the fraud of stage magic, and bring us back to their inspiration, the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which showcases the troublemaker’s spirit in which Penn & Teller are based upon.
From here I should leave you with the rest a mystery. For in the spirit of Fantasia 2000 and the film now over 75 years old – watch it for yourself, see something new, and envision and imagine in the music that will forever be timeless.