Fantasia 2000 (1999) Script

MAN: It's my very pleasant duty to welcome you here on behalf of all the other artists and musicians whose combined talents went into the creation of this new form of entertainment, Fantasia.

What you will see on the screen is a picture of the various abstract images that might pass through your mind if you sat in a concert hall listening to this music.

Now, there are three kinds of music on this Fantasia program.

First, there's the kind that tells a definite story.

Then there's the kind that, while it has no specific plot, does paint a series of, more or less, definite pictures.

Then there's a third kind, music that exists simply for its own sake.

The number that opens our Fantasia program is music of this third kind.




You know, what's amazing is that many of these musicians are playing for the very first time.

Thanks to Steve Martin's Two-Week Master Musician Home Study course.

More about that later.

Hello, and welcome to Fantasia 2000.

It's been more than 60 years since Walt Disney and his artists, teamed up with maestro Leopold Stokowski to create a film they titled The Concert Feature.

I think we're all glad that they changed the name to Fantasia.

You know, Fantasia was meant to be a perpetual work in progress.

Every time you went to see it, you'd experience some new pieces along with some old familiar favorites.

But that idea fell by the wayside, until now.

So let me turn things over to the great Itzhak Perlman, who, I have just been informed, plays the violin.

Well, so do I. Big deal. Could I have my violin, please?

Ahh, thank you. All right, boys, let's...

-Oh! Oh, sorry. -(MAN GRUNTING)

Could I have another stick thingy, please?

Oh, and camera back on me.

Camera back on me.

Am I done?

When you hear a title like Pines of Rome you might think of tree-lined streets and romantic ruins.

But when the Disney animators heard this music, they thought of something completely different.

Here is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro James Levine, performing Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome.



Beautiful, Ralph.


Next, we're gonna take you to the streets of New York City for a piece that's inspired by a couple of my favorite artists.

First there's the illustrator Al Hirschfeld, who's been drawing celebrities and Broadway stars for most of the 20th century.

And then there's composer, songwriter George Gershwin, who took jazz off the streets, dressed her up, and took her to the concert hall.

My friend Ralph Grierson plays piano on this next number.

And it all starts with a single slinky note on a clarinet, and a simple line on a piece of paper.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rhapsody in Blue.



Hi. You may not know this, but over the years, the Disney artists have cooked up dozens of ideas for new Fantasia segments.

Some of them made it to the big screen this time, but others, lots of others...

How can I put this politely? Didn't.

For example, the Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen drew these sketches for a segment inspired by Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.

Here they are, and there they go.

Now, Salvador Dali, you know, the "limp watches" guy, he got into the act with an idea that featured baseball as a metaphor for life.

How come that didn't work? Makes perfect sense to me.

Let's see. Then we had a bug ballet and a baby ballet, and for a time, they even considered a sequence inspired by The Polka and the Fugue, from Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper.

But finally, a success.

The Disney artists wanted to create a short film, based on Hans Christian Andersen's wonderful fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, but they could never find the perfect musical match until now.

Here is Yefim Bronfman, playing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto Number 2, and The Steadfast Tin Soldier.




These drawing boards have been the birthplace of some of the most beloved animal characters of all time.

So it's no surprise that the artists chose for our next segment The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saƫns.

Here, the sensitive strains of impressionistic music combine with the subtle artistry of the animator, to finally answer that age-old question, "What is man's relationship to nature?"

Oh, sorry.

That age-old question, "What would happen if you gave a yo-yo to a flock of flamingos?"

Who wrote this?



Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to take a moment, if we may, to talk about a little something we like to refer to as magic.

Picture this. You're at home, hosting a birthday party for your daughter, and you've just shelled out 50 bucks, so some pathetic loser can pull a mangy rabbit out of a flea market hat.

At first, you might wonder to yourself, "How did he do that?"

But then you would probably just dismiss it as some sort of a trick.

And you know something? You'd be right! It's just a trick.

It's an example of what we laughingly refer to as stage magic.

We're here to tell you that all stage magic is a fraud, a hoax, a sham.

It's all based on deception and, yep, lying. All of it.

Sleight of hand... Lies.

Transformations... Fraud.

Dismemberment... Rip-off!

Fake! All are illusions.

What we're here to talk about is real magic.

We're gonna bring on a guy now who's the real deal, the genuine article.

In fact, he taught us everything we know.

And he is featured prominently in the next sequence, from the original Fantasia, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.


You know, come to think of it, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, is a little guy, who never speaks and just kind of messes everything up, (WHISPERS) like him.

(LAUGHS) And now...

And now, the...

Oh, hi. Hi, little fella. I gotta...

And now, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.




Mr. Stokowski. Mr. Stokowski!



Just wanted to offer my congratulations, sir.

(CHUCKLES) Congratulations to you, Mickey.

Aw, gee, thanks. Well, I gotta run now. So long!

Mr. Levine! Okay, Mr. Levine.

Everybody's in place for the next number.

Thanks, Mickey.

-Psst. -When...

But we can't find Donald.

So you stay here and stall for time. I'll be right back.

(YELLING) Donald! Oh, Donald!

When we hear Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance, we think of a graduation ceremony.

Donald, where are ya?

Actually, Elgar composed it for many kinds of solemn events.


This march inspired the Disney artists to recreate the age-old story...


-MICKEY: Oh, sorry, Daisy. -...of Noah's Ark, with one slight twist.

-(MICKEY KNOCKING) -Oh, Donald Duck!

-Who is it? -Donald, it's me, Mickey.

You're on in 30 seconds. Hurry!

What? You gotta be kidding! I'm not even dressed...

Psst. Okay, Jim, he's on his way. Go to the intro.

Ladies and gentlemen, Pomp and Circumstance, starring Donald Duck.



Walt Disney described the art of animation as a voyage of discovery into the realms of color, sound and motion.

The music from Igor Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird, inspires such a voyage.

And so we conclude this version of Fantasia with a mythical story of life, death and renewal.





STEVE MARTIN: Camera back on me.

Camera back on me, please. Anyone? Hello?

Hello? Could someone give me a ride home?