Last weekend, I finally got to cash in on a Christmas purchase: tickets to see the New York premiere Fantasia Live in Concert at Lincoln Center. It was actually my first time attending a performance at this venue, and I was so excited to see some of my favorite scenes from Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 set to live music from The Little Orchestra Society.
The entire concert ran about an hour, and was conducted by the adorable Philip Mann (with his unruly hair), who had a great way of explaining the importance of song and sound in the creation of animation. Fantasia in Concert was part of Happy Concerts for Young People so there were many families there with young children. (Some were super well-behaved like the kids in front of us, and others not so much, like the ones behind us. They proclaimed the show to be boring and ridiculous. They were also seat kickers. Sad times.)
A bonus though? Some of the kids were wearing Sorcerer Mickey hats. That was very exciting to me!
Back to the music! Four selections made up the Fantasia Live in Concert, including two clips from Fantasia 2000 that I’d never seen before.
First up? “Rhapsody in Blue” (George Gershwin)
I absolutely loved this clip and felt it was perfect for our New York City location.
“Dance of the Hours” from La Giaconda
I was giddily excited about this one because the opening is featured in the montage before The Great Movie Ride begins at Hollywood Studios. Ostriches, hippos, alligators! Such a fun clip.
I absolutely loved hearing the applause for the next one: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (Paul Dukas).
People still love Mickey!
Watching this, I found myself thinking of Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom and just how mad Mickey gets at Donald for stealing his hat. Has he forgotten all of this??
Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6”
Fantasia in Concert concluded with Stravinksy’s Orchestra Suite (1919) from The Firebird. I really thought the animation in this scene was beautiful, and I loved the story so much. (I think it would make a great movie, actually)
After much applause, the crowd was treated to a great encore: “The Carnival of Animals” from Fantasia 2000.
Such a funny way to end a great afternoon at Lincoln Center!
It was so interesting to hear live sound to familiar animation sequences. When I was in elementary school, our music teacher would play pieces of Fantasia on separate occasions and (I admit) to finding it entirely torturous. I’m glad to know I’ve grown to appreciate the films, probably because I’ve grown so fond of background music and how it much it enhances our experiences, through sight and emotion. Not only that but it’s amazing the musical combinations that instruments can create, signifying real sounds. (i.e. rain and lightning).
Fantasia Live in Concert was such a simple program but truly showcased some of the great parts of Disney film history. I found myself wondering just how awesome it would be if we saw an attraction or a show in the Disney theme parks, celebrating the importance of sound in animation.
All in all, I’m so glad I jumped on the tickets to see show! Always great to experience a little bit of Disney magic in the middle of New York City. And man, is Lincoln Center a beauty!