Director: Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen and David D. Hand, Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley and Ford Beebe, T. Hee, Norm Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson
Stars: Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Orchestra
1940's Fantasia isn't so much a movie as it is an event. The movie consists of eight animated short segments set to the sounds of classical music pieces by the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and other masters. These segments all differ greatly from each other, with a range of subjects including the formation of the Earth, a dance of fairies, and a number of other, beautifully animated moments that show off that patented Disney magic.
The two most impressive bits are "Night on Bald Mountain" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," which famously features Mickey Mouse donning a wizard's hat and robe. Both of these showcase the brilliance of Disney back when it was a powerhouse of innovation. The perfect choreography between on-screen action and music is a joy to watch.
There are plenty of examples illustrating why Disney was the best source of animation during the Golden Age of cinema, but Fantasia stands out as its most impressive and experimental. —JS