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Fantasia is a Disney animated film featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Joe Grant & Dick Huemer, and directed by different directors for each segment. It was released on November 13, 1940.

Fantasia consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski. One of these pieces of music is based on "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", a poem written by Goethe.


Fantasia opens with live action scenes of members of an orchestra gathering against a blue background and tuning their instruments in half-light, half-shadow. Master of ceremonies Deems Taylor enters the stage (also in half-light, half-shadow) and introduces the program:

  • Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Live-action shots of the orchestra illuminated in blue and gold, backed by superimposed shadows, fade into abstract patterns. Animated lines, shapes and cloud formations reflect the sound and rhythms of the music.
  • Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Selections from the ballet suite underscore scenes depicting the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn to winter. A variety of dances are presented with fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves, including "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", "Chinese Dance", "Dance of the Flutes", "Arabian Dance", "Russian Dance" and "Waltz of the Flowers".
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas. Based on Goethe's 1797 poem "Der Zauberlehrling". Mickey Mouse, the young apprentice of the sorcerer Yen Sid, attempts some of his master's magic tricks but doesn't know how to control them.
  • Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. A visual history of the Earth's beginnings is depicted to selected sections of the ballet score. The sequence progresses from the planet's formation to the first living creatures, followed by the reign and extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack. The orchestra musicians depart and the Fantasia title card is revealed. After the intermission there is a brief jam session of jazz music led by a clarinettist as the orchestra members return. Then a humorously stylized demonstration of how sound is rendered on film is shown. An animated sound track "character", initially a straight white line, changes into different shapes and colors based on the sounds played.
  • The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. A mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, cupids, fauns and other figures from classical mythology is portrayed to Beethoven's music. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine, is interrupted by Zeus, who creates a storm and throws lightning bolts at the attendees.
  • Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli. A comic ballet in four sections: Madame Upanova and her ostriches (Morning); Hyacinth Hippo and her servants (Afternoon); Elephanchine and her bubble-blowing elephant troupe (Evening); and Ben Ali Gator and his troop of alligators (Night). The finale finds all of the characters dancing together until their palace collapses.
  • Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. At midnight the devil Chernabog summons evil spirits and restless souls from their graves to Bald Mountain. The spirits dance and fly through the air until driven back by the sound of an Angelus bell as night fades into dawn. A chorus is heard singing Ave Maria as a line of robed monks is depicted walking with lighted torches through a forest and into the ruins of a cathedral.

Show Adaptation

  • Contrary to the film, the Sorcerer's Apprentice is a human. However, he is transformed into a mouse by Rumplestiltskin, which is a reference to Mickey Mouse in this film.
  • Mr. Gold uses an Enchanted Broom to lead him to the Apprentice's house in Storybrooke.
  • The Sorcerer's Hat is guarded by the Apprentice. It is a really powerful magic item which every Dark One wishes to possess, but Rumplestiltskin was the only one to ever succeed.
  • The Chernabog lives underneath the Bald Mountain, and is the guardian of the Dark Curse.

Characters Featured

Original Character Adapted as First Featured in
The Sorcerer The Sorcerer "Lily"
The Appretince The Apprentice "The Apprentice"
Chernabog Chernabog "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

Locations Featured

Original Location Adapted as First Featured in
Bald Mountain Bald Mountain "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

Items Featured

Original Item Adapted as First Featured in
Enchanted Broom Magic Broom "The Apprentice"
Sorcerer's Hat Sorcerer's Hat "The Apprentice"


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