“Fantasia” at 75

Posted on: November 13, 2015

“It was a new and unique form of entertainment when it was first introduced. And that’s still true today, 75 years after the world first encountered Fantasia on Nov. 13, 1940,” writes Lily Rothman on Friday (11/13) at Time magazine’s website. “Fantasia was not simply a film or a concert. Instead, it was a hybrid, a selection of great orchestral works conducted by Leopold Stokowski, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra and illustrated by Walt Disney…. It was Stokowski who, during a trip to California in 1938 [suggested] that he could conduct the music for a Mickey Mouse version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, set to the piece of that title by Paul Dukas. But a problem quickly emerged: the resulting short was just too good—and finishing it would be too expensive. In order to justify the cost … it would have to be a feature film.… Sound engineer Bill Garity invented the new technology—’Fantasound’—that would allow the cinema audience to hear the music in its full glory…. Though not every pairing of animation and music was equally great … the experience would leave audiences impressed.” Stokowski appeared on the cover of Time magazine on November 18, 1940.

Posted November 12, 2015