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Deems Taylor: How do you do? My name is Deems Taylor, and it's my very pleasant duty to welcome you here on behalf of Walt Disney, Leopold Stokowski and all the other artists and musicians whose combined talents went into the creation of this new form of entertainment, Fantasia. What you're going to see are the designs and pictures and stories that music inspired in the minds and imaginations of a group of artists. In other words, these are not going to be the interpretations of trained musicians, which I think is all to the good. 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. Now, the number that opens our Fantasia program, the Toccata and Fugue, is music of this third kind, what we call absolute music. Even the title has no meaning beyond a description of the form of the music. 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. At first, you're more or less conscious of the orchestra, so our picture opens with a series of impressions of the conductor and the players. Then the music begins to suggest other things to your imagination. They might be, oh, just masses of color. Or they may be cloud forms or great landscapes or vague shadows or geometrical objects floating in space. So now we present the Toccata and Fugue In D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, interpreted in pictures by Walt Disney and his associates, and in music by the Philadelphia Orchestra and its conductor, Leopold Stokowski.
♪(Toccata and Fugue In D Minor)♪
Deems Taylor: You know, it's funny how wrong an artist can be about his own work. Now, the one composition of Tchaikovsky's that he really detested was his Nutcracker Suite, which is probably the most popular thing he ever wrote. It's a series of dances taken out of a full-length ballet called The Nutcracker that he once composed for the St. Petersburg Opera House. It wasn't much of a success and nobody performs it nowadays, but I'm pretty sure you'll recognize the music of the suite when you hear it. Incidentally, you won't see any nutcracker on the screen. There's nothing left of him but the title.
♪(The Nutcracker Suite)♪
Deems Taylor: And now we're going to hear a piece of music that tells a very definite story. As a matter of fact, in this case, the story came first and the composer wrote the music to go with it. It's a very old story, one that goes back almost 2,000 years. A legend about a sorcerer who had an apprentice. He was a bright young lad, very anxious to learn the business. As a matter of fact, he was a little bit too bright, because he started practicing some of the boss's best magic tricks before learning how to control them. One day, for instance, when he'd been told by his master to carry water to fill a cauldron, he had the brilliant idea of bringing a broomstick to life to carry the water for him. Well, this worked very well, at first. Unfortunately, however, having forgotten the magic formula that would make the broomstick stop carrying the water, he found he'd started something he couldn't finish.
♪(The Sorcerer's Apprentice)♪
Narrator: One day, the sorcerer was just practicing his magic. He put on his magic hat and made a huge beautiful butterfly appear from out of nowhere. And then he made it disappear all at once. The sorcerer became very tired of his magic so he took off his magic hat and set it on the table. He gave his apprentice two buckets and told him to fill up his great well from the spring and went to bed. Now filling up the great well with water was hard work for the apprentice. Where the spring was up many steps, and it would require him to make many trips carrying the buckets. So the apprentice had an idea. He put on the sorcerer's magic hat and waved his arms at the broom that was standing in the corner. And do you know what happened? The broom started to glow as if it was magic. And then the broom started to come to life. It walked up and stood in front of the apprentice. First, one arm appeared out of its stick, then another arm appeared. Then it started to pick up the two buckets and started to move. The broom followed wherever the apprentice led it carrying the buckets. It followed the apprentice right up the steps and dipped one of the buckets into the spring. Then it dipped the second bucket into the spring thus filling them both. Then the broom, that had carried the two buckets of water, followed the apprentice down the steps and all the way to the great well. For when it got to the well, the broom dumped the water out of the buckets and into the well. Then the broom followed the apprentice back up the steps to the spring again to get more water. Now that the apprentice saw what the broom knew exactly what to do, he decided to go back by the well and get some rest, leaving the broom do all the work of filling the well. While the apprentice sat in a big chair, the broom continued to do all the work going back and forth from the spring to the well carrying bucket after bucket full of water. The apprentice grew very tired, and soon, he fell fast asleep, and began to dream. Naturally, he dreamed of standing on the top of a very high rock out in the middle of the ocean. The rock was so high that it could almost touch the stars. The apprentice waved his hands and made the stars shine brighter. He made them come flying by so close they started making great blinding flashes of light. The stars were flying faster and faster, until one exploded... and another one. Then the apprentice made a wave and by swinging his arms, it caused great waves of water to splash against the rock. The waves rose higher and higher. He caused a lot of thunder and lightning... and the water splashed and poured all over him. Just then, the little apprentice woke up standing on his chair. There was water all around him, and this was no dream. All the time he was fast asleep, the broom had been carrying water from the spring to the well. And the well had overflowed. So there was water all over the floor. The apprentice ran to stop the broom from bringing any more water. And when he tried to stop it, he couldn’t. The broom walked right over him bringing more and more water. Finally in desperation, the little apprentice grabbed a huge axe and brought it down in the boom again and again and again and again and again and again. Until there was nothing left, but many little pieces of wood lying quietly on the floor. Then the apprentice went back to the well to clean up the mess he made. And while he was away, a very strange thing happened. Each of the little pieces of wood began to come to life. Then they stood upright and then hands grew out of their sides. In a few minutes, there were a hundred full sized brooms, instead of only one. And each one had buckets filled with water then they started to march down the steps to the well. Suddenly, the apprentice heard them coming, then was horribly frightened now, and then rushed to shut the door on their faces. But the brooms forced it to open and they walked right over to the apprentice with the buckets of water. He tried everything he could to stop the brooms, but they brought more and more water. The room was like a river and it swirled around and around pouring over the apprentice's head. The brooms kept marching with more buckets even though the water had almost reached the ceiling. The apprentice would no longer stay afloat because he was about to drown. Suddenly, the sorcerer appeared, and when he saw the water, he was really angry. He raised his hands in the air and the water began to disappear he raised them again and more water disappeared. Once more he raised his hands over and over and over and over and over until, the water was all gone. Then, he walked over to the frightened apprentice, took away his magic hat, and took away one broom that was left. He handed him the buckets for him to go back to work with. And then, he kicked him right square in the pants.
Mickey Mouse: (pulling on Stokowski's coat; panting) Mr. Stokowski. Mr. Stokowski! (whistles to get Stokowski's attention; chuckles) My congratulations, sir.
Leopold Stokowski: (shaking hands with Mickey; chuckles) Congratulations to you, Mickey.
Mickey Mouse: Gee, thanks. (laughs) Well, so long. I'll be seein' ya.
Leopold Stokowski: Goodbye.
(Deems and the musicians clapping Leopold Stowkowski and Mickey Mouse)
Deems Taylor: When Igor Stravinsky wrote his ballet, The Rite of Spring... (a crashing chime sound is heard) I repeat, when Igor Stravinsky wrote his ballet, The Rite of Spring, his purpose was, in his own words, to "express primitive life." And so Walt Disney and his fellow artists have take him at the word. Instead of presenting the ballet in its original form, as a simple series of tribal dances, they have visualized it as a pageant, as the story of the growth of life on Earth. And that story, as you're going to see it, isn't the product of anybody's imagination. It's a coldly accurate reproduction of what science thinks went on during the first few billion years of this planet's existence. Science, not art, wrote the scenario of this picture. According to science, the first living things here were single-celled organisms, tiny little white or green blobs of nothing in particular that lived under the water. And then, as the ages passed, the oceans began to swarm with all kinds of marine creatures. Finally, after about a billion years, certain fish, more ambitious than the rest, crawled up on land and became the first amphibians. And then, several hundred million years ago, nature went off on another tack and produced the dinosaurs. Now, the name "dinosaur" comes from two Greek words meaning "terrible lizard", and they certainly were all of that. They came in all shapes and sizes, from little, crawling horrors about the size of a chicken to hundred-ton nightmares. They were not very bright. Even the biggest of them had only the brain of a pigeon. They lived in the air and the water as well as on land. As a rule, they were vegetarians, rather amiable and easy to get along with. However, there were bullies and gangsters among them. The worst of the lot, a brute named Tyrannosaurus Rex was probably the meanest killer that ever roamed the earth. The dinosaurs were lords of creation for about 200 million years. And then... Well, we don't exactly know what happened. Some scientists think that great droughts and earthquakes turned the whole world into a gigantic dustbowl. In any case, the dinosaurs were wiped out. That is where our story ends. Where it begins is at a time infinitely far back, when there was no life at all on earth. Nothing but clouds of steam, boiling seas and exploding volcanoes. So now, imagine yourselves out in space billions and billions of years ago, looking down on this lonely, tormented little planet, spinning through an empty sea of nothingness.
♪(The Rite of Spring)♪
Deems Taylor: And now, we'll have a 15-minute intermission.
(He and all the musicians leave the concert, then the door closes, then the title card appears, then Deems and all of the musicians come back to the concert)
Deems Taylor: Oh, yeah. (clears throat; chuckles) Before we get into the second half of the program, I'd like to introduce somebody to you, somebody who's very important to Fantasia. He's very shy and very retiring. I just happened to run across him one day at the Disney Studios. But when I did, I suddenly realized that here was not only an indispensable member of the organization, but a screen personality whose possibilities nobody around the place that had ever noticed. And so I'm very happy to have this opportunity to introduce to you the soundtrack.
(The soundtrack comes out a little) All right. Come on. That's all right. Don't be timid. (The soundtrack goes to the center) Atta soundtrack. Now, watching him, I discovered that every beautiful sound also creates an equally beautiful picture. Now, look! Will the soundtrack kindly produce a sound? (it is silent) Go on, don't be nervous. Go ahead. Any sound.
(The soundtracks blows a "raspberry", vibrating as it does so; Deems chuckles)
Deems Taylor: Well, that isn't quite what I had in mind. Suppose we hear and see the harp.
(The soundtrack plays a scale on harp)
Deems Taylor: And now... now one of the strings. Say, oh, the violin.
(The soundtrack plays a scale on violin)
Deems Taylor: Now one of the woodwinds. A flute.
(The soundtrack plays a scale on flute)
Deems Taylor: Very pretty. Now, let's have a brass instrument, the trumpet.
(The soundtrack plays a scale of trumpet)
Deems Taylor: All right. Now, how about a low instrument, the bassoon?
(the soundtrack plays a minor scale on bassoon, ending on a very low note)
Deems Taylor: Go on. Go on. Drop the other shoe, will you?
(The soundtrack sounds an even deeper note, obviously the lowest)
Deems Taylor: To finish, suppose we see some of the percussion instruments, beginning with the bass drum.
(The soundtrack plays the bass drum and percussion instruments, ending on a tiny ding)
Deems Taylor: (chuckling) Thanks a lot, old man.
(The soundtrack leaves the scene)
Deems Taylor: (chuckling) The symphony that Beethoven called the Pastoral, his sixth, is one of the few pieces of music he ever wrote that tells something like a definite story. He was a great nature lover, and in this symphony, he paints a musical picture of a day in the country. Now, of course, the country that Beethoven described was the countryside with which he was familiar. But his music covers a much wider field than that, and so Walt Disney has given the Pastoral Symphony a mythological setting, and that setting is of Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods. And here, first of all, we meet a group of fabulous creatures of the field and forest, unicorns, fauns, Pegasus, the flying horse, and his entire family, the centaurs, those strange creatures that are half-man and half-horse. And their girlfriends, the centaurettes. Later on, we meet our old friend, Bacchus, the god of wine, presiding over a bacchanal. The party is interrupted by a storm, and now, we see Vulcan forging thunderbolts and handing them over to the king of all the gods, Zeus, who plays darts with them. As the storm clears, we see Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. And Apollo, driving his sun chariot across the sky. And then Morpheus, the god of sleep, covers everything with his cloak of night, as Diana, using the new moon as a bow, shoots an arrow of fire that spangles the sky with stars.
♪(The Pastoral Symphony)♪
Deems Taylor: Now we're going to do one of the most famous and popular ballets ever written, The Dance of the Hours from Ponchielli's opera La Gioconda. It's a pageant of the hours of the day. We see first a group of dancers in costumes to suggest the delicate light of dawn. Then a second group enters dressed to represent the brilliant light of noon day. As these withdraw, a third group enters in costumes that suggest the delicate tones of early evening. Then a last group, all in black, the somber hours of the night. Suddenly, the orchestra bursts into a brilliant finale in which the hours of darkness are overcome by the hours of light. All this takes place in the great hall, with its garden beyond, of the palace of Duke Alvise, a Venetian nobleman.
♪(Dance of the Hours)♪
Deems Taylor: The last number on our Fantasia program is a combination of two pieces of music so utterly different in construction and mood that they set each other off perfectly. The first is A Night On Bald Mountain, by one of Russia's greatest composers, Modest Mussorgsky. The second is Franz Schubert's world-famous Ave Maria. Musically and dramatically, we have here a picture of the struggle between the profane and the sacred. Bald Mountain, according to tradition, is the gathering place of Satan and his followers. Here on Walpurgnisnacht, which is the equivalent of our own Halloween, the creatures of evil gather to worship their master. Under his spell, they dance furiously until the coming of dawn and the sounds of church bells send the infernal army slinking back into their abodes of darkness. And then we hear the Ave Maria, with its message of the triumph of hope and life over the powers of despair and death.
♪(Night on Bald Mountain)♪
(Church bells dinging)