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Fantasia

Fantasia(1942)

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Alternate Versions

Except for a minor visual alteration involving "The Pastoral Symphony" sequence, the film was restored with Leopold Stokowski's original FantaSound recordings for its 50th Anniversary re-release in 1990, as based on the 1947 general release version with shortened alternate versions of Deems Taylor's narrative introductions (Taylor was only on screen for the film's introduction, while his subsequent off-screen narration played against alternate shots of the Philadelphia Orchestra which served as transitions for the next musical piece). The 1990 re-issue was restored using whatever film elements were available at the time.

The 60th Anniversary Edition DVD restores all of the interstitial footage (including the Intermission), but the soundtrack of the extended Deems Taylor dialogue could not be located, so a new recording of voice-over actor Corey Butron reciting all of the Deems Taylor dialogue had to be made in order for the narration to sound more uniform throughout. In addition, "The Pastoral Symphony" is more complete, but hard zooming had to be done on some scenes to avoid showing the controversial "picaninny centaurette."

The 1990 50th Anniversary theatrical re-release features an element all other versions before or since don't have...an end title sequence crediting all the people involved in the film's production. This is seen over the departing musicians' footage taken from the long-deleted intermission to the "roadshow" version. The end credit sequence is only available on the 50th Anniversary videocassette and LaserDisc editions.

For some later theatrical reissues distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Co. (especially the 1990 50th anniversary release), and on the videocassette of the 1990 re-issue as well, the actual blue 1940 title card (done in the Art Deco style typical of the era, and containing the film's title as well as the credits "Color by Technicolor" and the RKO Radio Pictures logo) as shown midway through the film prior to the Intermission was replaced by a nearly identical title card printed in a rather more modern style without the RKO credit (and shown at the beginning of the film in conventional main-title tradition). The 1982 reissue contained a title card updated to include a credit for Dolby Stereo. The original mid-point title card with the RKO credits has been restored for DVD.

The Fantasia Anthology DVD Box Set's supplemental section features a segment called "Clair de Lune". Intended to be part of the original "Fantasia", it was deleted due to the film's already excessive length. Walt Disney had the notion early on that "Fantasia" would be re-released every year with new segements as well as old favorites. "Clair de Lune" was prepared at the tail-end of production on "Fantasia". However, because the film was a box office failiure in its initial release, Walt suspended the idea of a future "Fantasia" (thus the deleted "Clair de Lune" sequence was never restored to a future re-release). Until 1994, the "Clair de Lune" short was never seen in its original form and was released with the package feature, "Melody Time" with new music and a new title, "Blue Bayou". It was only recently that a restored version of the "Clair de Lune" segment was issued as a separate movie short.

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