Movie: Fantasia 2000

Fantasia 2000I love this whole movie, but the only portion that I want to talk about today is the “Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102″ by Dimitri Shostakovich segment, which retells the story of the steadfast tin soldier and the little ballerina he loved. I always loved this particular Andersen fairy tale (I found it’s very sad ending unspeakably romantic when I was a kid – I was weird). The version of the story that the Walt Disney studios brings us in this movie is very different from the classic one. It has a happy ending for the soldier and the ballerina, but even more than that, it introduces a villain in the person of a jack-in-the-box who loves the ballerina. It almost feels to be like they took “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” and another of Andersen’s tales, “The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep”, and sort of smushed them together to come up with this story. It works fairly well, but the result is very different from either tale of course. I enjoyed it a lot. The mix is creative and I do wonder if it was conscious or if the resemblance they ended up with to the second story just sort of happened as they made changes. I would be interesting to know! This story is so infrequently told in cinema that I’m pleased they included it in Fantasia 2000, especially since it is such an interesting version!

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