10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Fantasia

"Yen Sid" being Disney backwards is only the beginning.

Fantasia Mickey Mouse

Disney were animation trailblazers in the 1940s, and after two films specifically aimed at a younger audience, they went in a new direction with a third outing targeting a more mature audience. Easily their most ambitious project at the time (and possibly ever), Fantasia took its inspiration from pieces of classical music and poetry as opposed to a fairytale. The result is some of the most breathtaking animation ever put to film.

The compilation film featured some of the most recognisable music in history, and continues to be named as Walt Disney’s crowning achievement; who himself put more focus on this film than he did Pinocchio, which was also in production at the time.

And despite being another initial bomb financially, Fantasia earned a strong following over time, proving not only can animation be for adults, but it can be a legitimate art form.

For a film with such a problematic production and which was clearly a passion project for Disney, many things were scrapped from the film or pieces of music were considered. It had to be just perfect, and Disney made damn sure it was exactly that.

Here’s how.

10. It Was Made To Boost Mickey Mouse's Popularity

Fantasia Mickey Mouse

As said in the intro, Fantasia was only supposed to be a single short film, i.e. an animation based around The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The reason for this was Mickey Mouse’s popularity was waning in the late 30s, as other Disney characters such as Goofy and Donald Duck were gaining more and more fans for their zany and high energy escapades. In contrast, Mickey hadn’t moved on from his happy-go-lucky, smiling persona and his “hotdog” speaking style since his inception.

Disney and his animation team conceived a redesign of the mouse with clearly defined eyes, a pear-shaped body and realistic ears. Mickey was then given the starring role in the Paul Dukas poem adaptation, given the finest animation team and exclusive showings at theatres throughout the United States.

The plan didn’t pay off as Fantasia failed to make its money back, and despite starring in other acclaimed shorts afterwards, Mickey’s popularity continued to decrease until he had a regular presence on TV during the 1950s.

It’s baffling to think people were sick of Mickey Mouse, but considering the mouse owns practically all media in the USA, we know who had the last laugh.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

A connoisseur of Star Wars, WWE, Sonic the Hedgehog, musical theatre and mature cave-aged cheddar cheese. Can't say that I have limited taste!