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Fantasia

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004

    Landmark Disney feature of 1940 which used a series of classical music sequences as the basis for the film, including a sequence with centaurs set to exceprts from Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, also known as “The Pastoral”. Deems Taylor was the host, giving rather pretentious introductions to the various segments.

    Fantasia was a fun target for Warner Brothers directors and animators. A Corny Concerto (Clampett, 1943) is the biggest spoof of Fantasia, down to the Deems Taylor-like introduction with a seedy Elmer Fudd, and pseudo-pastoral sequences set to Johann Strauss’ “Tales From the Vienna Woods” and “Blue Danube” waltzes. Deems Taylor gets the rib again in Pigs in a Polka (Freleng, 1943), with the introduction by the Big Bad Wolf being done in the Taylor style. The Timid Toreador (Clampett/McCabe, 1940) has a gag in which a bull compacts the sarcastic bullfighter into his horse, creating a centaur -- the cartoon was released just one month after Fantasia opened.

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