Fantasia 2000, Fantasound, other sounds (OT)

Daniel van Eijmeren dve at
Fri Sep 12 01:36:47 CEST 2003

L. SCHULTE, 11-09-2003:

> Some people were discussing the early Disney movies and mentioned the 
> original Fantasia.
> What are your opinions on the new one that was called Fantasia 2000. ?  
> I thought it was quite wonderful, especially the sequence accompanied by 
> Respighi's Pines of Rome that showed the whales flying into the 
> universe.  Two things I would have changed: I really think this sequence 
> with Respighi was the greatest one, and should have been moved therefore 
> to the end.  

Being an admirer of "Fantasia", I found "Fantasia 2000" a bit disappointing.
I expected MUCH more technical and artistic highlights. The whales scenes 
looked wonderful, but the animation itself was not ground-breaking at all 
(IMO). It looked like computer-work that I could have seen before, or am I 
wrong about that?

> Also, I really did not care for the New York story with Gershwin's music.

Do you mean the city-life part, where only outlines of characters were shown, 
or something like that? I liked it very much!

I'm sure that when I'll see "Fantasia 2000" again, it will look much better 
to me than the first time. I expected a mind-blowing, state-of-the-art 
path-breaking masterpiece like the old "Fantasia". But I think "Fantasia 
2000" comes closer to compilation-movies like "Make Mine Music", instead.

I'm curious if a DVD-release of "Fantasia" would be censored (like the early 
1990s VHS-release), or not. And would the DVD-release make use of the 
original seven-channel "Fantasound" sound-recording? This way of recording 
is comparable with the five-channel sound-reproduction of modern cinema's 
and DVD. For this 1930s sound-technique alone, "Fantasia" already was far 
ahead of it's time. The early 1990s soundtrack- and video-releases have 
"just" a stereo-mix (two channels), which I already found remarkable for 
such an old recording. 

According to the leaflet of the CD-soundtrack, "Fantasia" revolutionized 
motion picture sound. (Is that so?) It says the recording were done by 
Leopold Stokowski. I believe Stokowski was the sound-freak (and inventor?) 
who insisted on this path-breaking, experimental way of sound-recording.

About other sound-techniques, I wonder if the old 1930s Disney cartoons 
contain vocal overdubs (the same voice being recorded multiple times, so 
that one person can be heard as being more than just one person - just 
think of the 1970s popsong "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, for example).

I believe Clarence Nash did both Donald's voice and the nephews's voices. 
Are there examples were they are talking through each other at the same 

I believe that the 1930s animations were recorded in three-track. One track 
for the music, one track for sound-effects, and one for the dialogue. If 
that's true, then overdubbing was technically possible as early as the 1930s. 
(Or was there a stand-in for any multiple voices, like those for Donald and 
his nephews?) I'm curious if these such three-track tapes(?) still exist, 
that would give some (limited) possibilities to remix the cartoons to 

Maybe this would be a nice subject for DCML-TALK? (
Was the Walt Disney Company innovative in sound-recording, reallly pushing 
the borders, or did they just mostly use techniques which were already 
available at the time? Are there sites about this subject?

BTW. I don't know very much about animation. Please let me know wherever 
I'm wrong.

--- Daniël

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