Disney Archives

ne of the most highly regarded of the Disney classics, a symphonic concert with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, embellished by Disney animation. The film includes eight sequences: "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" (Bach), "The Nutcracker Suite" (Tchaikowsky), "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (Dukas), "Rite of Spring" (Stravinski), "Pastoral" (Beethoven), "Dance of the Hours" (Ponchielli), "Night on Bald Mountain" (Mussorgsky), and "Ave Maria" (Schubert).

The film was presented in Fantasound, an early stereo system devised at the Disney Studio, which required theaters to be specially equipped. Because of the expense, the film originally opened in only 14 theaters. The stereo sound enhanced the effect of the movie and won special certificates at the 1941 Academy Awards® for Walt Disney, technicians William Garity and John N. A. Hawkins and RCA, and for Leopold Stokowski and his associates (for unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music).

Renewed interest in the film in the 1970s led to a new soundtrack in 1982, with an orchestra conducted by Irwin Kostal and recorded in digital stereo. But its full-length restoration in 1990 brought back the original soundtrack, while trying to duplicate some of the effects of the Fantasound presentation.

Directed by Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley, Ford Beebe, T. Hee, Norm Ferguson, and Wilfred Jackson. Animators: Les Clark, Fred Moore, Preston Blair, Marvin Woodward, Riley Thompson, Cornett Wood, Cy Young, and Bob Wickersham. 125 min. The film was rereleased theatrically in 1946, 1956, 1963, 1969, 1977, 1982, 1985, and 1990. Released on video in 1991.
Learn more about Fantasia at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

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