Did you wake up this morning and immediately think to yourself, “Gosh, I sure wish I knew more about the ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ segment of Disney’s Fantasia 2000“? Then do I have a post for you! It is over a decade in the making, on account of because it isn’t really a blog post.
Rather it is a project I did in college for my History of Jazz class. I took this class because I was pursuing a minor in music but, given the small nature of my school, there were very few credit options available in a given semester. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of straight-ahead jazz. Jazz vocals, sure; jazz touches, absolutely. Nobody can wield a sax like Prokofiev. But improvisational jazz does nothing for me. And having taken the class, it still doesn’t. What’re ya gonna do. Jazz is like Star Wars; I respect it but Star Trek is better it’s not my personal thing.
Which is why I took the easy road for my final project and centered it around Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a classical piece with jazz elements. And to sweeten the deal, I tossed in the “Rhapsody in Blue” section from the incomparable Fantasia 2000. If you have not seen Fantasia 2000, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. It’s amazing. Better than the original, even. YEAH I SAID IT.
Today I offer up not only that cartoon short for your viewing pleasure but also the presentation I made. Click here to view it. It includes such tidbits as quotes from Gershwin and Disney animators about their process, historical context for the composition of both the piece and the animation, elements of classical music and jazz in Gershwin’s work, and more, gleaned from such sources as director commentary and David Koenig’s Mouse Under Glass. And I took some pretty nifty screenshots for the backgrounds if I do say so myself.
So yeah. View the presentation. When you’re done, you can watch the “Rhapsody in Blue” segment below, BUT I’m having a hell of time find a complete, synchronized version online. The closest I could get was a live performance synced up with the video. Try that, but I highly recommend getting your hands on a DVD if you can. Then watch Fantasia 2000 entirely because it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE
If you want to view more of my Disney-related school work, check out this essay I wrote about cultural policy and Epcot’s World Showcase.
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!