This is the first entry in a series of classic Golden Age films that, you guessed it: I've never seen! We begin with Walt Disney's Fantasia from 1940. I've never had the chance to watch what looks to be a beautifully rendered animated film set to classical music. I'm aware of what the movie contains, and I also realize that there was some abomination of a remake in 2000, the coincidentally named Fantasia 2000, which I avoided at the time because I didn't want that to be my first exposure to the concept. Perhaps 2010 is the year that Disney will open its vaults and allow me to procure a copy of the 1940 "real deal" original--without censorious cuts, either.
I blame my not having seen Fantasia for having come of age in the late '70-early '80s, a time when the Walt Disney studio largely abandoned quality animation and instead focused on live-action epics like Snowball Express, Herbie, The North Avenue Irregulars, Freaky Friday, and The Cat from Outer Space. Nothing against those films, as I liked them all and even nursed a crush on Barbara Harris, too. I must also admit that my attention was given over to "gritty" fare like Star Wars and The Six Million Dollar Man. Still, even as a hair helmeted seven-year-old dope I knew that Disney had a reputation as an animation powerhouse and I wanted to see more of the magic I'd witnessed in Pinocchio (say the word a hundred times and it ceases to sound like a name) and Dumbo. I wasn't really interested in the animated offerings they did release during my own childhood, as they never appealed to me like the one-after-the-other masterworks they cranked out with frightening regularity in both the animated feature length and animated short films.
From what I've seen of Fantasia, it looks marvelous. Disney always gets credit for their wonderful animation--no one, but no one ever rendered water in motion like Disney. Yes, I'm easily entertained, but the Disney crew earned their reputation for excellence. Even if the scripts of most Mickey Mouse cartoons were lacking, it never mattered to me--remember my stance on plotlines--because the animation was always hypnotically watchable and it looks as though Fantasia's animation might've been the peak of that brilliance. I can't wait for the day I see it.
Postscript: In looking up Fantasia, numerous pictures of some singer come up; who the heck is she???