Following in the footsteps of the 1940 Disney classic, FANTASIA 2000 features seven animated short films set to classical compositions, along with the original version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," starring Mickey Mouse. (This 2000 version also includes hosts such as Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, and Bette Midler introducing each segment.) The film opens with abstract butterfly-like creatures of light and darkness fluttering about to Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" but quickly moves to the second sequence, featuring an adventurous baby whale and its elders floating along to "The Pines of Rome." Next is the "Rhapsody In Blue" segment, a tribute to 1930s New York City, based on the line drawings of illustrator Al Hirschfeld. The fourth piece is Hans Christian Andersen's tale of "The Steadfast Soldier" set to "Piano Concerto No. 2," followed by "The Carnival of Animals" which stars a yo-yo-wielding pink flamingo. The next two segments feature classic Disney characters; first, Mickey Mouse in the original version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," then Donald Duck in a retelling of the Noah's Ark story set to "Pomp and Circumstance." Finally, "The Firebird" closes out the film, with a sweeping woodland story of nature's death and rebirth. With its brilliant animation, well-paced stories, and immediately engaging music, FANTASIA 2000 easily matches the wondrous spectacle of the original.
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