As I continue this series, I am getting exhausted. A writer has only so many words in his vocabulary, and I am just an amateur film viewer and writer. It is difficult to go on and on writing about genius!
This choice was a no-brainer. Walt Disney makes us want to keep our eyes open while listening to classical music. The first motion picture with stereo sound, it was a highly ambitious project, financially risky, original and provocative. Disney was treading unchartered waters, going where no film-maker had gone before.
To ask whether the 2000 version is better than the 1940 one is like asking whether Mozart’s 41st is better than the 40th. To ask which of the episodes is the best is like asking which of Beethoven’s symphonies is the greatest.
Mickey Mouse as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the cute centerpiece. Who can dream of visualizing Beethoven’s Fifth or Bach’s Toccata and Fugue? Who can bring the cosmic reaches of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring to the screen and how? Did Elgar write Pomp and Circumstance for Donald Duck ushering animals into Noah’s Ark? Gershwin definitely composed Rhapsody in Blue for the Fantasia episode. This is simply mind-blowing creativity.
The honesty and dignity of a simpleton with the most atrociously unlikely life story, made believable and heartwarming by Zemeckis and the only actor who could have carried it off, Tom Hanks. The ingenious script requires walking a tight rope between comedy and sadness, and Hanks excels at it wonderfully to get your heart intertwined with this very likeable character.
There are awesome special effects of the non-sci-fi kind. There are plenty of hilarious moments. There are plenty of emotionally touching and uplifting moments. To weave all these together into a constantly engaging, constantly surprising, and constantly entertaining drama, is an achievement. Zemeckis comes a long, long way from his technology obsessed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, focusing more on content and emotional substance.
Finding Nemo, an animation classic for all ages
Fanny and Alexander, Bergman’s masterpiece with Sven Nykvist’s beautiful cinematography