Showcase Sep-Nov 2014 - page 77

29, 30
Disney FANTASIA — Live In Concert
Sarah Hicks
’ profile appears
on page 65.
Presentation licensed by
Disney Music Publishing and
Buena Vista Concerts,
a division of ABC Inc.
© All rights reserved.
Mickey Mouse in one of his
most captivating roles—as the
title figure in
The Sorcerer’s
, a magician’s
assistant who causes all
manner of trouble when he
casts a spell he can’t undo.
Copyright © Disney.
(1940) and
Fantasia 2000
In this age of 3D, HD, widescreen, 7.1 surround sound—and that’s just in your
living room!—it can be hard to fathom how revolutionary
was upon its
theatrical release in 1940. Neither symphony hall concertgoers nor families headed
to the movies to catch the latest Disney cartoon were prepared for the breadth and
depth of color and sound that poured forth from the screen. Walt Disney (1901-
1966) and conductor Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), in collaboration with the
talents of 1,000-plus artists, musicians and engineers—at the Walt Disney Studio;
the RCA Corporation; composer, author and commentator Deems Taylor (1885-
1966); dozens of dancers (including Marge Champion and members of the Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo and Ballet Theatre); and the entire Philadelphia Orchestra—
created a watershed cinematic experience that remains a visionary milestone to
this day. Sadly, the expense of installing the Fantasound audio playback system
in theaters, and the loss of the European market because of World War II, nixed
Walt’s dream of an ongoing “Concert Feature,” wherein individual segments would
be replaced by new ones. Though the Walt Disney Studio would utilize popular
songs in several package films of the ’40s and ’50s, it would not be until 1999 and
the release of
Fantasia 2000
, spearheaded by Walt’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, that a
Disney-produced feature-length marriage of classical music and animation would
once again reach the screen.
Excerpted from a program note by
Alexander Rannie
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