Disney · Music

The Music of Fantasia 2000

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Just like the original Fantasia, Fantasia 2000 takes classical music and puts it to animated sequences. And, just like Fantasia, I am going to look into the music behind the animation and share it with you guys.

If you want to read about the music in the original Fantasia and who composed it, then click the link here.

33. Fantasia 2000

Symphony No. 5

Symphony No. 5 was written by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best known compositions in classical music and is one of the most frequently played symphonies. The Fifth Symphony premiered on 22nd December 1808 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Beethoven dedicated the Fifth Symphony to two of his patrons; Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Count Razumovsky.


In Fantasia 2000, the animated sequence was created by Pixote Hunt with story development by Kelvin Yasuda.

Pines of Rome

Pines of Rome is a four movement tone poem composed by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It was completed in 1924. The piece, which depicts pine trees in four locations in Rome on different times of the day. The composed piece premiered on 14th December 1924 at the Augusteo Theatre in Rome. Bernadino Molinari conducted the Augusteo Orchestra.


Pines of Rome was the first piece Disney suggested for the movie. The opening to the piece gave Disney the idea of something flying.

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue was composed by George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band in 1924. The piece combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects. Rhapsody in Blue premiered on February 12th 1924 at the Palais Royal Orchestra.


Rhapsody in Blue is the first Fantasia segment with music from an American composer.

Piano Concerto No. 2

The Piano Concerto No. 2 is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The completed work was premiered on 9th November 1901 with Rachmaninoff’s cousin, Alexander Siloti, conducting.


Piano Concerto No. 2 was directed by Butoy with art director Michael Humphries. It originated in the 1930s when Walt Disney wished to adapt a collection of Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales into an animated film.

The Carnival of the Animals, Finale

The Carnival of the Animals is a humorous musical suite by the French Romantic composer, Camille Saint-Saens. The work was written for private performance by an ad hoc ensemble of two pianos and other instruments. The piece lasts about 25 minutes. The finale, which is used in Fantasia 2000, is somewhat reminiscent of an American carnival in the 19th century, with one piano always maintaining a bouncy eighth-note rhythm.


The Carnival of the Animals, Finale was directed by Goldberg with his wife Susan being the art director. Originally, it was going to be ostriches playing with the yo-yos but this was changed to flamingo’s as Disney wished to avoid reintroducing the characters from the original film. It was also thought Flamingo’s would look more colourful on screen.

Pomp and Circumstance

Pomp and Circumstance was composed by Sir Edward Elgar and is part of the Pomp and Circumstance Marches. in the US, the Trio section ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ of March No. 1 is often referred to as the Graduation March. It is used as the processional tune at virtually all high school and some college graduation ceremonies. It was first played at such a ceremony on 28th June 1905 at Yale University.


Eisner suggested Pomp and Circumstance as a piece after he attended a graduation and thought its familiarity would be suitable for a Fantasia segment. His original idea involved a section of Disney Villains and heroes in a wedding procession carrying their future children. This idea was scrapped in favour of a Noah’s Ark segment.

The Firebird

The Firebird is a ballet by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. It premiered in Paris on 25th June 1910. It was an instant success with both audience and critics.


To close Fantasia 2000, Disney wanted a piece that was ’emotionally equivalent’ to the Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria segments that closed the original movie.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


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