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FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY

Review by Michael Jacobson

Please note:  For detailed information on the individual movies, please see our full reviews of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

Film:
Fantasia ****
Fantasia 2000 ***1/2

Video:
Fantasia ***1/2
Fantasia 2000 ****

Audio:
Fantasia ***
Fantasia 2000 ****

Features:
Fantasia ****
Fantasia 2000 ****

Fantasia Anthology ****
Where to possibly begin?  In addition to the already generously packaged individual discs for the two films, the Fantasia Anthology set includes a third disc with 2 hours, 41 minutes of additional bonuses...to call them too numerous to mention is an understatement, as I don't even think the box lists them all...but in fairness, the booklet includes a rather extensive navigational menu to help you find your way around!

Here's how it works:  after a brief introduction, you are taken to the first menu screen (all of which are animated and feature music from the programs).  Your first choice is simply between Fantasia or Fantasia 2000.  Choose a film, and the next screen lets you pick from the movie's individual segments, or you can choose "extra features".  Basically, you pick a segment, and the next screen brings you all the choices for it.  Some of the Fantasia segments include older videos of Walt Disney and his crew at work, slowly sketching raindrops or bubbles coming up through orange mud to recreate the lava effects in "Rite of Spring".  These come from the Disney programs "Tricks of our Trade", "The Plausible Impossible", and "The Story of the Animated Drawing".  There are also, depending on the segment, animation tests, sketches, and other bonuses, plus historical notes on the piece of music and how each came into being for their respective films, plus introductions featuring modern interviews, plus characters designs and concept art and filmmaker biographies.

And that's just scratching the surface.  Some of the biggest treats come in the extra features department...for example, for Fantasia, you can see "The Fantasia The Never Was", which includes film clips and drawings with narration to explain the segments of the film that never made it in, including the completed "Clair de Lune" and the unfinished "Rie of the Valkyries", "The Swan of Tuonela", "Adventures in a Perambulator", and "Invitation to the Dance", plus still frame art for "Flight of the Bumblebee", "Mosquito", and "Baby Ballet".

The Fantasia 2000 portion of the disc includes many similar features, but also boasts computer animation development demonstrations, interviews with the filmmakers, abandoned concepts, and publicity material including posters, TV spots and trailers.

I'd have to say by far this is the most extensive features package I've seen...I've had the disc for three days now, and I don't think I'm through with half of it!  For Fantasia fans, you really couldn't ask for a much better package than this Fantasia Anthology.