New Release: Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray and DVD

Fantasia movie scene with The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Fanstasia's The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Walt Disney Studios‘ animated musical masterpieces Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 made their high-definition debuts on Nov. 30, 2010. The movies were released together in a four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack as well as a two-DVD set. (Read our Blu-ray review.)

The Fantasia and Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition was priced at $45.99 for the Blu-ray and $39.99 for the DVD. They are on sale for a limited time, according to Disney.

Both the original 1940 film Fantasia and its followup released in 2000 blend classical music pieces with animation. Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra, the original Fantasia includes the segment “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in which Mickey Mouse (voiced by Walt Disney) tries to control unruly cleaning supplies. (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment was the inspiration for a movie starring Nicolas Cage.)

Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray/DVD combo boxFantasia received two special Academy Awards in 1941: one for the film’s contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures, as the movie is the first commercial film released in multi-channel sound using a processs called Fantasound; and the second to conductor Leopold Stokowski and his associates for creating the idea of visualized music and extending entertainment as an art form.

In 1990, Fantasia was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Produced by the late Roy E. Disney, Fantasia 2000 features such celebrity hosts as Steve Martin (It’s Complicated), Bette Midler (The Women), James Earl Jones (Welcome Home, Roscoe Jones), Penn and Teller and Angela Lansbury (Nanny McPhee). The music is primarily performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The DVD set includes these special features:

For Fantasia,

  • new audio commentary with Disney historian Brian Sibley
  • “Disney Family Museum” featurette in which Walt Disney’s daughter Diane Disney-Miller tours the new Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, which includes a large exhibit on Fantasia and long-lost production notes found in recent years in the walls of a convent,

and for Fantasia 2000,

  • Musicana — Walt’s Inspiration for a Sequel” documentary, which reveals rarely shown art created for Musicana, a late 1970s project intended as a Fantasia sequel with a focus on exploring other cultures through music. Production on Musicana was stopped to begin work on Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

The Blu-ray combo pack contains all the special features on the DVD plus:

For Fantasia,

  • “Disney View” which showcases the film in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio
  • “The Shultheis Notebook: A Disney Treasure” featurette, which looks at the recently discovered log created by Herman Schultheis, an effects man on Fantasia. The book breaks down the special effects used in the movie, many of which were a mystery to modern day animators until this notebook was recovered, according to Disney.
  • art gallery and screensavers
  • and two audio commentaries from the Fantasia Legacy DVD: one with executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, animation historian John Canemaker and Scott McQueen, manager of film restoration; and the other combining interviews and story note recreations by Walt Disney, hosted by Canemaker,

and for Fantasia 2000,

  • “Dali & Disney: A Date With Destino” feature-length documentary exploring the relationship between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali revealing how and why the Destino short film came to fruition in 2003 years after its inception in 1946
  • the 7-minute Destino short
  • Disney’s Virtual Vault BD-Live feature with DVD bonus features from the Legacy DVD
  • and two audio commentaries from the Legacy DVD: one with executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine and producer Don Ernst; and the other with the directors and art directors for each segment of the film.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray have the movies in 1.33:1 aspect ratio for Fantasia and 1.78:1 for Fantasia 2000. The sound is 5.1 on DVD and 7.1 DTS-HD on Blu-ray.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.