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Fantasia 2000

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Fantasia 2000

Starring: Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury
Director: Gaetan Brizzi
Rated: G
RunTime: 75 Minutes
Release Date: December 1999
Genres: Animation, Kids, Music

*Also starring: Teller, Penn Jillette, James Earl Jones

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

The Sorcerer's Apprentice's spell still works. The Disney company's crown jewel sparkles again. Shown for four months at 76 IMAX theaters in the United States, Latin America, Canada, and Asia, it's now available on 35 mm in local theaters. When Walt Disney released his bold, animated concert film back in 1940, he envisioned an annual updating but, for 60 years, that hasn't happened. Now, using traditional animation and computer-generated effects, there are seven new segments, along with the original Mickey Mouse Sorcerer's Apprentice, and the music is by the Chicago Symphony conducted by James Levine. Each chapter is introduced by celebrities: Bette Midler, Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Penn & Teller. The first features abstract butterflies dancing to Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5." Another, set to Ottorino Respighi's "Pines of Rome," follows a baby whale trapped inside an iceberg, separated from its mother and the rest of the pod. There's a 1930s New York City tribute to the caricatures of Al Hirshfeld, complete with NINA, his daughter's name, hidden in the drawings, set to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Daisy and Donald Duck march into Noah's Ark to Sir Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance." Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" moves to Dmitri Shostakovich's "Second Piano Concerto," as a one-legged soldier rescues a ballerina from an evil Jack-in-the-box. Camille Saint-Saens's "Carnival of the Animals" pairs a rebellious pink flamingo with a yo-yo. And the finale is a mythical ode to the cycle of life moving to Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Fantasia 2000" is a splashy, swirling 8. It's a joyous celebration of the art of animation.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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