Fantasia 2000

Bomb Rating: 

Some time back I went on a junket courtesy of Disney, and at the time, Jeffrey Katzenberg was still employed by the studio. I got to meet Roy Disney. They wheeled him out like an animatronic, as if to say, "Gee, there's somebody with the Disney name still around here." Roy had a Vice President before his title, which meant that he didn't do a damn thing other than say things like "I think Walt would be proud of... (insert latest Disney project here)." In fact, I'm not even positive that he wasn't an animatronic.

There appears to have been an actual reason Roy was only dusted off for special events: His name sits atop "Fantasia 2000" as Executive Producer. It's his baby. And if you want to see how time and modernity has corrupted the whole "Fantasia" concept, just take a look at this steaming pile of marketing mania.

First of all, it's only showing at IMAX theaters. How stupid is that, unless you enjoy swiveling your eyes constantly about because parts of the screen are actually outside of your peripheral vision? And what is IMAX, except for perspective? If you want IMAX in the regular theater, sit in the first row. Everything looks huge, doesn't it? Along with the size of the actual picture, the cute levels have been notched up on this thing to near-astronomical proportions, because what's a Disney film without stuffed animal sales? There's actually an entire sequence with flamingos and a yo-yo. What the hell is that? There are also flying whales. Yup, flying whales. Huh?

Donald Duck stars in a sequence set to Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" which recreates the story of Noah's Ark, but all I could think was that Disney really wanted to make up for that whole "Priest" fiasco. Nothing illuminates the stories of the Bible quite like a talking duck. The last sequence just looked like an anime rip-off. And to give the whole thing some perspective, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," from the original "Fantasia," is included in the film, which is really Roy Disney's way of trying to link this "Fantasia" to the original. If I wanted to see the original, I would have rented the original.

This "Fantasia" is bigger, louder, and more marketable -- a perfect update if you happen to be a Disney stockholder, but a bloated, overblown waste of time if you're anybody else.

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