originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/620649...
It’s Thursday again, which means it’s time for… Animation Night!
First show tonight, we’re taking a break from anime (don’t you worry, weebs, it shall return) in order to jump back to the year 1940. This was a time when Walt Disney, the nasty old antisemite himself, was still alive, and unfortunately (on account of his stacks of cash) in charge of some of the best animators in the business.
So in 1940, as WWII was just getting started, Disney produced Fantasia, a collection of animated shorts set to classical music, directed by various animators. It wasn’t a big success, but it’s gone on to be quite well known, especially for shorts like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
The next year, a combination of layoffs and poor work conditions would lead the animators going on strike, precipitated by famed animator Art Babbitt joining the SCG union and promptly getting fired by an irate Walt Disney. As you might expect from an animators’ strike, it led to some pretty incredible images!
Ultimately the strike was successful, insofar as the animators were able to get union recognition. Walt Disney, however, never forgave the strikers, and went to his death still bitter over it. Serves him right.
Animation history aside… I have never actually watched Fantasia, and it seems like a good time to correct that.
Following Fantasia, we have 1976 film by Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto, called Allegro non Troppo, with a similar ‘short films to classical music’ premise. It’s partly a parody of Fantasia:
An enthusiastic filmmaker thinks he’s come up with a totally original idea: animation set to classical music! When he is informed that some American named “Prisney” (or something) has already done it he decides to do his own version using an orchestra comprising mostly old ladies and an animator he’s kept locked in a dungeon. Several different classical pieces are animated while the animator plots his escape.
The title is a pun on the musical term allegro ma non troppo, which means ‘fast but not too fast’; the title of the film instead means ‘not so fast’.
I’ve just seen one short from the film, about a cat in a post-apocalyptic house, which was wonderful. I don’t know if the rest of the film will hold up to that standard, but it will be fun to find out :)
Should we have time, there’s a couple of other short films I’m thinking of watching, such as some of the shorts produced as part of the Fantasia 2000 project (we probably don’t have energy to watch Fantasia 2000 in full). But we shall see!
so if that sounds fun, come to twitch.tv/canmom in twenty minutes at 1900 BST/1800 UTC