A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This film serves as an introduction to symphonic music and its capacity to build both story and emotion. The well-known works of classic composers (Shostakovich, Respighi, Wagner, Gershwin, and more) underscore the pictures on the screen. The relationship between sight and sound is clearly explained by a series of celebrity narrators.
Music is a powerful way to enhance storytelling and heighten emotions.
Positive Role Models
There are a number of (all male) heroic characters who bravely triumph over evil.
Violence & Scariness
Penn and Teller pretend to hack off a hand, but it is quickly shown to be a trick. There are three animated segments of this film where dark, menacing music is used to intensify scary visual effects. In “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” an evil jack-in-the-box, with bared teeth and sinister eyes, threatens a ballerina and the tin soldier who loves her. He pops up, looms large over his prey, and chases them accompanied by lots of scary rodents with mean red eyes. In “The Firebird Suite” the visual story is one of life, death, and renewal. Fire, giant birds of prey, and red-eyed creatures fill the screen with menace and ominous images. Finally, in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” taken directly from the original Fantasia, Mickey Mouse is a young wizard who cannot control the frenzied brooms that his magic has set in motion. The result is an intense storm, a giant whirlpool, and waves of water completely overpowering the scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the dark, scary images in this film, combined with some thundering, ominous musical selections, may be frightening to very young or very sensitive viewers. There are several evil characters: an overpowering jack-in-the-box with glaring eyes and scary teeth, some marauding rats, soaring and threatening eagles, raging fires, giant waves, and one Penn & Teller trick depicting an axe and a severed hand (immediately shown to be pretend). In addition, a young whale is momentarily separated from its parents, and Donald Duck loses track of Daisy for a period of time to their great dismay. Fantasia 2000 is a sequel to Fantasia, which was originally made in 1940 and has been released numerous times. This newer film is a shorter, modern version with computer-generated images, a faster pace, more humor and more of the slick animation today's audiences expect. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Disney called the original Fantasia "a grand mixture of comedy, fantasy, ballet, drama, impressionism, color, sound, and epic fury," and that well describes the very worthy successor. This charming film is funny, imaginative, and really dazzling, and probably a better entertainment choice for young kids than the original.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.