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December 01, 2010


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"Watching 'Fantasia' made me suspect that we were going to lose the war. These guys look like trouble, I thought."
— Yasujiro Ozu

Because this line, with one cinematic master (ostensibly austere and refined) impressed by the work of someone you'd think was his antithesis, can't be quoted often enough. :-)


"Night on Bald Mountain" is the balls. One of the greatest pieces of horror filmmaking of any kind, ever.


@bill - Cannot agree with you enough. No sequence in cinema has ever terrified me more than "Night On Bald Mountain." Might actually scare me more now than when I was a kid.

Joe Strike

The bare-breasted centaurettes in the Pastorale may be nippleless, but the Bald Mountain harpies who fly at the screen are definitely nippled - in full day-glo color, to boot. (Let's be grateful they didn't add digital halters to any of them.)


What's the overdubbed Deems Taylor? And was this on the VHS edition as well?

Re: Night, great stuff but dibs to the Soviet "pin-animation" version which preceded it (this was brought to my attention recently): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu4rrq-Vtg0&feature=related

The Disney sequence flows better overall, but this one probably has trippier imagery including a weird pelican-doppelganger-somersault...

Good recent post on Fantasia: http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/2010/11/disneys-fantasia-as-masterpiece.html

Joe Strike

Replying to MovieMan, Deems' original audio is on both the VHS and Laser Disc releases of the movie. (And I'm holding onto my LD version for exactly that reason.) I wonder why they didn't just digitally reprocess Deems to bring his sound quality close enough to the rest of the restoration.

History repeats itself: I bought the Fantasia LD back then BEFORE I acquired a LD machine because I knew I'd make that purchase just down the road - and I just did the same thing with the new blu-ray release.

Steve Simels

Maybe I'm missing something, but I just watched the new version and the soundtrack clearly isn't the original Stokowski, right? And the digital cleanup -- to my eyes -- looks like every vestige of the original handpainted images has been eliminated and rejiggered to look like they originated in the digital domain.

The word that comes to mind is "colorized."

Like I said -- am I missing something?

Chris O.

Thoughts on DESTINO?

Pete Apruzzese

Joe Strike - they dropped Taylor's voice because when they cut the film in 1941, a lot of his sequences were shortened. The audio for those cut sections has been lost, so instead of cutting in a replacement voice for the missing scenes, they dubbed the whole thing.

Steve Simels - It's the Stokowski version, cleaned up considerably. I need to run it through the big rig at home to see if it's been de-noised to death. Need to see it at home to judge picture as well.

Joe Strike

Pete -

You're right - Deem's (or 'Deem''s) introductions go on forever in the restored version of the movie compared to the previous version; I didn't know that original audio material had been lost. Thanks for enlightening me.


All I can say is at least they didn't censor the breasts out in Night on Bald Mountain! Kent showed me some of the blu-ray last night, and we both did a double-take on those ghouls' bared bosoms...

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