This must be the most belated sequel the movies have produced. It features seven new animations, plus the stand-out from the original, Mickey Mouse as 'The Sorceror's Apprentice'. The recipe is much the same, with eclectic visual styles and a penchant for the strident end of the classical repertoire. It gets off to a dreadful high kitsch start with a pastel abstract and Beethoven 's Fifth, then Respighi 's 'Pines of Rome' with a herd of flying whales under the aurora borealis - an Athena poster brought to life.
Just as you abandon hope, director Goldberg pulls out something special with a caricature of 1930s New York in the linear style of illustrator Al Hirschfeld, a vivid compliment to Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue'. A CGI combination ofHans Christian Andersen's 'The Steadfast Tin Soldier' and Shostakovich's 'Piano Concerto No 2' also works quite well, with a nasty jack-in-the-box providing welcome villainy.
And so it veers on, culminating in Stravinsky's 'Firebird Suite', and a spritely allegory about the renewal of nature. It's still not clear who the audience might be, except perhaps the hopeful parents of potential musical prodigies, but it's surely an inspired marketing idea to release the film on IMAX screens, where sight can match sound for scale, and competition is limited to National Geographic documentaries.
Cast and crew
|Director:||James Algar, Eric Goldberg, Hendel Butoy, Paul Brizzi, Pixote Hunt Beethoven's Fifth, Don Hahn host sequences, Gaëtan Brizzi, Francis Glebas|
|Screenwriter:||David Reynolds host sequences, Don Hahn, Irene Mecchi, Hans Christian Andersen|
archive footage Leopold Stokowski
James Earl Jones