Friday, 17 December 2010

MATCHLESS

In writing recently about Walt Disney's 1940 experimental masterpiece, Fantasia, and its much-delayed sequel, Fantasia 2000, I should also mention that Walt's nephew, the late Roy E Disney, attempted to get the studio to release a third Fantasia compilation in 2006.

The project was never realised, but among the pieces intended for inclusion were the Disney-Dali collaboration, Destino and a sequence inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Match Girl, but with the setting transferred from Denmark to Russia and accompanied by the Third Movement of Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No 2 in D Minor.

Adapted and directed by Roger Allers – who worked on the Disney version of another Andersen story, The Little Mermaid, as well as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King – this is a beautiful little film that perfectly captures Andersen's hauntingly melancholic style.

It is also a story well suited to December days especially as, once again, the Great Freeze begins to tighten its grip...



8 comments:

Brian Sibley said...

GILL e-mailed to say...

"I have just had to supply the Duchess with clean dry handkerchiefs, so moved was she by The Little Matchgirl.

"I too was moved (it is lovely) but Her Grace and I would jointly request just a little 'Merry / Jolly / Ho-ho-ho' in the next few days should you find this possible.......!"

Brian Sibley said...

OK! Tell Her Grace I'll see what I can do!

Michael said...

I remain extremely sad that Fantasia 2006/whatever will never see the light of day. It's even worse in light of the fact that they really botched the new Blu-ray release by leaving out so much wonderful material that could have been included.

I adore the Fantasias and am always fascinated by what could have been / could be. Combining the existing shorts for F2006 with, say, the restored "Claire de Lune" would make a lovely feature. And all the great Mel Shaw art for "Musicana" from the Blu-ray makes me want to see those realized as well.

Thanks for posting this. Hopefully we haven't seen the end of this kind of animated short. I'm always hoping against hope for more Fantasia.

Elliot Cowan said...

Brian - you'll find Roger Allers on the Facebook.
A lovely man.
You should look him up.

Andy J. Latham said...

I made every animator in my department sad with this today! :P

Thanks for sharing it Brian, I hadn't know about this one. Were any other sequences for a new Fantasia started? I love this as well as Destino, so it seems I would have thoroughly enjoyed another one!

Michael said...

Andy:

There were two other segments released, "One By One" and "Lorenzo" - sadly, they're really difficult to find. "One By One" was released with the DVD of Lion King 2 and "Lorenzo" has never been released on home video. I looked for both for years until I finally managed to attend a great presentation of Disney rarities by Don Hahn. They all really deserve to be released together, as they're all great.

Brian Sibley said...

Elliot – Thanks for the tip, will try to make contact. (BTW, hoping you and yours have a great holiday! Is there snow in NYC? Fond memories of our get-together in a wintery January 2009!)

Andy – You ol' softy, you! ;)

Michael – Thanks for adding that information. Readers of this blog will get a chance to see One by One in a couple of weeks time; meanwhile, they can watch it on YouTube here. YouTube also have all that is currently available of Lorenzo: the The Trailer!

Michael said...

Thanks for posting the link for One By One... that wasn't on YouTube the last time I had checked. I can't believe that Lorenzo still hasn't turned up. It's fantasic...