Fantasia at 80: Exploring the Composers and Their Music

By Katie Strobel, Walt Disney Archives

Fantasia (1940) celebrates its 80th anniversary on November 13, 2020, and is remembered to this day for its beautiful marriage of images to music. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences even honored conductor Leopold Stokowski and his associates with a Special Award for creating this new form of visualized music. Normally, the film music genre serves as an accompaniment to a film, but this film was created to accompany the music. Walt described it best as “seeing music and hearing pictures.”

Eight composers spanning five countries and 286 years of music history are featured in Fantasia (1940); we will be highlighting them and their music throughout the month of December. First up: Johann Sebastian Bach!

Until then, please enjoy this selection of behind-the-scene images from the production of the film and be sure to catch Fantasia streaming now on Disney+!

Check out the full composer Series here: Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mussorgsky, Ponchielli and Dukas, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky