Review: Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray

Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray/DVD combo boxSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTOR: Various
RELEASE DATE: 11/30/2010 | PRICE: DVD $39.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $45.99
BONUSES: featurettes, commentaries, short film, documentary
SPECS: G, PG for short film | 125 min./75 min. | animated collection | 1.33:1/1.78:1 aspect ratio | 7.1 DTS-HD | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Fantasia and its sequel Fantasia 2000 have been released in various editions on DVD over the years, but this Blu-ray debut is perhaps the ultimate release for this pair of animation classics. Not only does the four-disc set include the two fantastic films in beautiful high-definition, but they also go farther into the history of the movies than any other release.

Fantasia 2000 scene

Fantasia 2000

For all fans of Disney’s Fantasia, what Walt Disney himself called his favorite Disney movie, the highlight of this set is the new animation Destino and the feature-length documentary Dali & Disney: A Date With Destino. As the documentary explains, after Fantasia, Walt Disney wanted to produce more films like it, animation inspired by music that’s as much art as film. A lover of the work of Surrealist artist Salvador Dali, Disney asked Dali to collaborate on an animated movie that would followup Fantasia.

According to the documentary, the partnership seems almost destined, as there are many similarities to the lives of Disney and Dali. Unfortunately, the film, which was to be called Destino, was not finished. However, years later, Roy Disney decided to finish the work of his uncle and hired French Disney artist Dominique Monfery to take the original drawings and concepts and complete the short film as though Disney and Dali were still doing it themselves. The result is a short film that blends the classic Dali style with the wonder and romance of Disney. It’s a wonderful look at what could have been. Destino was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003, and this Blu-ray release marks its home video debut.

The Fantasia Blu-ray also includes the interesting featurette “The Schultheis Notebook,” which tells of how notebooks by Herman Schultheis, an effects artist on Fantasia, were recently found and explained in detail how many of the animation effects in the film were created. It’s an interesting piece for fans and artists alike.

The pages of the notebooks are now showcased in the Disney Family Museum, which gets its own featurette, with Diane Disney Miller explaining how the museum was started and touring it for the camera.

Destino scene

Destino

Another look at Walt Disney’s inspiration for a sequel to Fantasia is the featurette “Musicana,” which tells about Disney’s plan for a series of these types of films and the start of production and ultimate end of the first, Musicana.

The Blu-ray discs also include Disney’s Virtual Vault, with a series of brief featurettes on the making of the movies, and three audio commentaries on each of the films:

  • a new commentary with Disney historian Brian Selby, in which he narrates between recordings of Walt himself
  • and two commentaries from the Legacy DVD: one with executive producer Roy Disney, conductor James Levine and producer Don Ernst; and the other with the directors and art directors for each segment of the film.

And of course, the Blu-ray offers the classic animated films, the original Fantasia and its later sequel Fantasia 2000, in high-definition glory. Both look and sound amazing, and it’s wonderful to see the details in the animations, from Mickey Mouse’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment, to the gorgeous “Ave Maria” finale in the original, to the “Carnival of the Animals” and “Firebird Suite” in Fantasia 2000.

All are topped off with a creative menu that’s very fitting for this disc — Viewers choose their option to play, special features, setup, etc., by clicking around a xylophone, which even sounds the notes as you click.

The four-disc set also offer the movies and some special features on DVD, but this is one set that’s well worth a Blu-ray upgrade.

 

Buy or Rent Fantasia/Fantasia 2000
Amazon graphic
Two-DVD |
Blu-ray/DVD Combo
DVD Empire graphicTwo-DVD |
Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Movies Unlimited graphicTwo-DVD | Blu-ray/DVD ComboNetflix graphic

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.