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The fantasia 3 that never happened: why Disney canceled the sequel

Animation   2021-01-15 13:43:03

Fantasia has always been meant to be a movie series. D " after the biography of Neal Gabler Walt Disney: The Triumph of American Imagination , he notes that as early as May 1940, Walt began to think of a sequel to his film breakthrough animation: he wanted to make an entirely separate movie (with pieces set up for Till Eulenspiegel, Brahms "First Symphony and Gershwin " s Rhapsody in Blue) but also came up with the idea of ​​adding new footage to the reissues of the original film, easier to make and providing ongoing work for the animators when they need it. It was an ambitious plan and one that Walt planned to carry out. He told the Hollywood Citizen News, "The potential client will check out a schedule ahead of time and determine their time at Fantasia based on their preference for musical numbers and movie characters." Walt sa id the movie could "vary from theater to theater, week to week, day to day," according to Gabler. We were talking about doing a new Fantasia follow-up every year. Next Fantasia made its New York debut in 1940, which in its opening weeks forced the theater to add eight telephone operators to manage callss and an adjacent store for walk-in sales, Walt immediately began work on the sequel, asking the animators to begin conceptualizing plays based on Wagner"s “Ride of the Valkyries" and Sergei"s “Peter and the Wolf". Prokofiev. The problem was, of course, the money. Walt already knew that the purse strings should be tighter this time around, suggesting that some sequences only partially animate and recycle moments from the original movie (the dancing mushroom animation from the "Junkyard (Hazelnut "would have been reused for a new sequence based on Tchiakovsky "s" Humoresque") - and that was before Fantasia "s financial reality set in, largely exacerbated by Walt " s insistence on using a proprietary sound system, dubbed Fantasound, which would isolate different instruments into separate speakers. Fantasound turned out to be prohibitively expensive to implement. Before the end of the initial Roadshow film exhibition, the plans for the sequel had been closed. They were initially viewed as "individual specials," instead of segments that would be reinstated in the original film or saved for a follow-up. A dispirited Walt told The New York Times : "We come back to things in a straight line, like Donald Duck. " As Gabler puts it, "It was a sad retirement for a man who had bragged for years about the new horizons that Fantasiawould open. " Some of these proposed additions would eventually come to life in the 1940s, when the studio was too rushed by WWII to produce actual features, and the idea of ​​a follow-up would take hold. magnitude in the early 1980s. For some reason this period saw a surge of interest related to Fantasia - in 1982 the film was re-released with digital sound for the very first time and in 1983 John Culhane Walt Disney Fantasia p> is out. Around the same time, the studio started working on a sequel, this time called Musicana and influenced by world music. Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman, one of Walt"s Nine Old Men who still worked at the studio, had started working on the project, which the newspaper described as "an ambitious concept blending jazz, classical music, myths, modern art and more. , following on from the old Fantasia format. "MBut it was in the early 1980s for the company, and shortly before the installation of Michael Eisner , Frank Wells and Jeffrey Katzenberg , who were concerned with the long-term survival of the animation department, not reviving a decades-old dream. Indeed, the project was so dead that in 1995 Disney published an official book titled The Disney That Never Was: The Stories and Art of Five Decades of Unproduced Animation which included detailed information on the segments planned for Musicana, including an adaptation of "The Nightingale" by Hans Christian Andersen with Mickey Mouse as owner of the nightingale. (This was eventually canceled in favor of the very wonderful Mickey Christmas Carol.) Image via Disney But the idea for Fantasia 2 remained a passionate project for Walt"s nephew, Roy O. Disney . According to the Disney War of James B. Stewart , Eisner met Leonard Bernstein about the project, but "cool at the idea. According to Stewart, "Katzenberg hated it. " Eventually the two came to an agreement: Roy would approve of Eisner "s plan to release the original Fantasia on home video in 1991, with part of the proceeds going to be afterward. headed for a Roy-overseen sequel. When the videotape sold 15 million copies, Eisner "called Lillian, Walt"s widow, to tell him that Fantasia had finally made a profit. " Roy began to develop the project, now an entirely separate concept from what had been worked on a decade before, and bypassed Katzenberg (who showed no interest, although he oversawit the animation department), reporting directly to Eisner. In the late 1990s, as the chandelier of the so-called Disney Renaissance was beginning to wear off fade amid skyrocketing production costs and mediocre profits (not to mention the added pressure from startup competitor DreamWorks Animation, led by Katzenberg), the Disney animation slate of retrograde and wayward animators have were commissioned to work on what was now called Fantasia 2000. Stewart describes the development process as "extremely slow ", due to research associated with browsing the classical music archives. While Eisner had already met Bernstein (he had presented the composer with a segment intended for the Beatles), Roy had recruited James Levine of the Metropolitan Opera as musical advisor to the film. Eisnera suggested a segment on Elgar "s "Pomp and Circumstance " after attending his son Eric"s graduation ceremony, with all the classic characters parading in a wedding procession "carrying their unborn babies " (according to Gabler ). Roy and the entertainers hated it. Eisner "s idea was abandoned but "Pomp and Circumstance" stuck. Image via Disney Prior to the release of Fantasia 2000, Eisner publicly called it a "remarkable continuation of a completely separate Disney legacy." It premiered at Carnegie Hall in December 1999, with the London Philharmonia Orchestra performing live to picture. (The event cost over $ 1 million.) It premiered in 54 IMAX theaters on New Years Day and grossed less than $ 3 million. "original, Fantasia 2000 received poor reviews (Stephen Holden in The New York Times sa id it "has the feel of a giant corporate promotion whose stars are there just to sell the company"s products"). According to Stewart, Eisner sa id the film was "Roy"s madness" and convinced him "that Roy had little or no talent. This acrimony would sow the seeds of the "Save Disney" campaign a few years later, when Roy (and his lawyer and board member Stanley Gold) led a revolt against Eisner, first in the public, then with the board of directors, which ultimately led to Eisner"s dismissal. Eisner told Stewart: “All my ideas are gone. Bernstein would have made a commercial success of it… Fantasia 2000 lost a fortune. When what was then known as Disney"s California Adventure opened in 2001, there was a backlot-themed food court in the theme park called Hollywoo.d & Dine. On one of the walls was a futuristic fresco , with a number of jokes based on the studio"s popular films at the time. Performing in a Skymax theater was Fantasia 2460. Fantasia 2006 internally, it was building on the momentum of Fantasia 2000 and there were four segments, fully produced and animated, by the time the studio unplugged the plug in 2004 ( Disney histo rian Jim Hill wrote at the time : "The discounts at Walt Disney Feature Animation - - both in terms of funding and staff - during theThe past few years had virtually stopped any serious development of possible new sequences for the third film Fantasia. What is really amazing is that all of those segments destined for the third Fantasia finally came out, dripping and gray over the years since the film was canceled. Seeing one of the segments, billed as a standalone short, you probably wouldn"t think it was meant to be part of a larger track, which seemed to adapt "global music" concepts from the past. Image via Disney In 2003, the short film "Destino " was released with great fanfare. A passionate project by Roy, it was based on a collaboration between Walt Disney and the surrealist Salvador Dali . Walt and Dali met after leftSpellbound by Alfred Hitchcock . Dali had provided images for the dream sequences, and the two were connected via Jack Warner . The amazing Dali and Disney: Destino - The illustration and friendship behind the legendary film by David Bossert traces their relationship and even reproduces the correspondence. Dali wrote to Disney early on: “Dearest friend, I constantly and enthusiastically think about our future collaboration and every day I find new ideas. Although the film was never made, interest in this collaboration has always been high. In 1969, much of the artwork the two had collaborated on was stolen, with elaborate maneuvers to salvage the art. Frank Wells had expressed interest in relaunching the project in the late 1980s, but Wells was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in 1994, before he could move the project forward.. It was relaunched by Roy around the time of Fantasia 2000 and although he didn"t make that movie, it was meant for a follow-up. "Destino" ended up being a real tour de force, incorporating elements (and even some animation) of the original planned version, as well as some striking new images that were mainly traditional hand-drawn animation (it was produced by p> Dominique Monfery ). By that time it had been worked on for almost 60 years and served as an imposing creative collaboration between two of the most artistic minds of the 20 th century. And since it was supposed to be part of a future Fantasia project, it was completely set to music by Armando Dominguez (adapted by Michael Starobin), performed by Dora Luz. And you can watch it on Disney + right now . Image via Disney Likewise, "Lorenzo " began as an idea of ​​the mythical artist of Disney history, Joe Grant , in 1949. He was inspired by a moment where a cat got into a fight between Grant"s two poodles. He wondered what would happen if the cat lost its tail. When the project artwork was discovered around the same time as "Destino " , she inspired Mike Gabriel , co-director of The Rescuers Down Under and Pocahontas . He worked on the story and the "set to tango music under the direction of producer Don Hahn , which works perfectly with exhilarated and jazzy expressionist visuals. It was ultimately released ahead of the forgettable romantic comedy Kate Hudson Raising Helen and was not commercially available prior to a collection of Walt Disney animated shorts. released in 2015. Even now, it"s still hard to find (it"s not on Disney +), despite its cultural and historical significance rivaling that of "Destino." Later in 2004, "One by One ", produced by Pixote Hunt and co-directed by Bossert, debuted on the DVD release of The Lion King II: The Pride of Simba (of All Things). Based on a piece of music by Lebo M originally intended for The Lion King (it will later be reused for the theatrical performance), "One by One" feels both classic and modern. The art style is classic Disney but it frankly deals with contemporary themes: it takes place in a South African town (maybe a refugee camp) and shows how children are inspired by a colored At the end of the film, he flies colorful kites over their city. This one has really been buried ; it"s not even in the "extras " section of The Lion King II on Disney +. Image via Disney At the International Animated Film Festival of "Annecy in 2006, Disney launched the last piece of the 2006 Fantasia puzzle - "The Little Match Girl". Directed by filmmaker The Lion King Roger Allers and based on the Hans Christian Andersen short story of the same name, this is arguably the saddest thing Disney has ever done (which is really to say something). Set to the third movement of Nocturne from the String Quartet No.2 in D major by Alexandre Borodin, it is absolutely stunning and heartbreaking, a veritable triumph of truncated narration and bemotional scan. It has been reissued, surprisingly enough, with regularity over the years. It was an extra on a Little Merma id Platinum Edition DVD and later a Little Merma id Diamond Edition Blu-ray and it was included in that same Walt Disney Animation Studios personal video release Short Films Collection in 2015. (Although I can"t find it on Disney +.) What the Most don"t know is that Fantasia 3 was still in the works after Disney bought Pixar and installed John Lasseter at the head of its Eric Goldberg , the legendary Disney animator who directed the remarkable episodes of Fantasia 2000 (including the Al Hirschfield-inspired version of George Gershwin "s "Rhapsody in Blue"), told me sa id that he had presented this new Fantasia project so many times that Lasseter joked calling it "The Goldberg Variations". And no later than October of last year, unconfirmed reports suggested that there might be a new Project Fantasia in the works for Disney +. Obviously, the current crop of Disney artists and animators adore Fantasia and are dying to return to this world. Look no further than “Zenith," Jennifer Stratton "s contribution to Walt Disney Animation Studios" Spark Shorts program (you can watch this one now on Disney +). "I watched and re-examined Fantasia growing up and I think I was drawn to the way emotion and art come together in a dance. I have carried this with me throughout my life and it has influenced a lot of my work. I had the impression that we hadn"t seen somethinghose like this for a while, "Stratton told me right after watching the short. And she"s right - we haven"t seen something like Fantasia in a while. Walt never wanted Fantasia to be complete and the lack of new installments is downright tragic. In the immortal words of Rihanna : Please don"t stop the music. Image via Disney Felicity Jones says She"s always eager to explore the physicality of the black cat Jones also explains why Augustine Frizzell was the perfect choice to direct "LastLetter from Your Love. "