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Fantasia 2000
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Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today "Disney's animated concert feature, renamed Fantasia 2000 for its millennial incarnation, continues to be one of the trippiest journeys you can take without ingesting hallucinogens. The irresistible blend of pop 'toons and classical tunes was MTV before MTV was cool. It's pure brain candy, yummy to both eye and ear..."

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Nancy Churnin of the Dallas Morning News "Sixty years after Mickey Mouse commanded a broomstick to carry his water buckets in "Fantasia," the mouse marches into the new millennium in style in Fantasia 2000...When Walt Disney conceived the original 1940 "Fantasia," it was with the intention of updating it annually with new pieces as a way of showcasing new ideas. It took 60 years to fulfill that dream. Here's hoping it won't take so long for the next one."

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Joe Baltake of the Sacramento Bee "... Shrewdly positioned as the first official film of not only the new year, but also the new century and the new millennium, it was conceived first and foremost as "an event," with all the glories and drawbacks that go with that dubious goal. It is stunning in every sense of the word -- stunningly good most of the time, stunningly arch some of the time and technically stunning all of the time. The movie's ability to swing every which way, no matter what, makes it very much the progeny of the original, a film both praised and criticized in its time for its frenzied intent on combining high art (namely, classical music) with mass culture (animation) and initially written off as a failure..."

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Susan Stark of the Detroit News "...Among the new films, Goldberg's second, more sustained piece, set to passages from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, promptly declares itself best-of-breed among Fantasia/2000's new films. Set in the city during the Depression era, with blues and purples dominating the palette, it assembles a cast of varied urban characters drawn in the elegant style of legendary theatrical cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. Moody, witty and shapely, it's a dazzler..."

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Jay Boyar of The Orlando Sentinel  "...That pulling-out-all-the-stops quality of the first Fantasia is absent from many of the sequences in the new film, which seems to have been made by people with nothing in particular to prove. Some of the sequences, in fact, aren't big enough, in terms of their visual concepts, to benefit from Imax presentation...Walt Disney originally conceived of Fantasia as an ongoing project, with new versions coming along every so often. Here's hoping that the new film jump-starts Walt's stalled plan, and that his studio will produce a truly splendid version of the project well before it's time to bring out Fantasia 3000."

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Jan Stuart of Newsday  "...I'm not sure what to make of this fetish Disney animators have for water. One too many of the sequences lean into people and things being swept by huge bodies of water, like a 'Pomp and Circumstance'-led march of the animals to Noah's ark that climaxes with the Great Flood. The original waterlogged classic from which all of these segments ostensibly take their cue is "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the only one of the original "Fantasia" sequences retrieved here...In the wake of Stuart Little and The Green Mile, Disney's Fantasia 2000 caps a banner year in the American cinema for tolerance and understanding of rodent equality..."

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Bob Graham of the San Francisco Chronicle  "Stunning, and that's the word, as Fantasia 2000 is, at 75 minutes it falls just short, fortunately, of becoming too much...Throughout Fantasia 2000, the imagery inspired by the music is intentionally far different from any previous associations. Building up to imagery of rebirth, the effect of the last segment is clearly intended to be inspirational. The timing of this release can be taken as an expression of optimism for the new millennium."

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Stephen Holden of the New York Times  "...From the movie's wraparound Imax images to its hosts (Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn and Teller, Angela Lansbury and James Levine) who introduce the segments, Fantasia 2000 often has the feel of a giant corporate promotion whose stars are there simply to hawk the company's wares. As smooth as these introductions are, they give the film a choppy momentum and only underscore the grandiosity of the idea of "improving" mass culture by wedding classical music and animation..."

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Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times  "...Fantasia 2000 as a film is not the equal of the original Fantasia, maybe because it aims a little lower, for broader appeal. Some of the animation is powerful, including a closing segment with a theme of ecological healing. Other sections, including the opening abstraction of abstract triangles, dancing to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, seem a little pedestrian. Computer-animated experiments such as those shown on The Mind's Eye videos are more daring than anything in Fantasia 2000. Still, as exactly what it is, Fantasia 2000 is splendid entertainment, and the IMAX system is an impressive co-star..."

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