Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #38: The Owner of the Toys

fantasia 2000 toy owner

Well, we’ve left the glorious age of the Disney Renaissance

It's ok! You may cry!
It’s ok! You may cry!

and are now in what I like to call, “The…Post-Disney Renaissance/Modern Age”. During this era, the animated Disney features would stop being nigh unanimous critical and commercial hits and would be like they were in the ’70s-’80s, i.e. some would be hits and others wouldn’t.

And today’s film not only showcases its post-Disney Renaissance quality, but also brings us back to the format of package films!

To recapitulate, package films are films that are a bunch of short pieces put together to make a film rather than having the film be one story from beginning to end. Previous examples of these in the Disney Canon have been “Fantasia”, “Saludos Amigos”, “The Three Caballeros”, “Make Mine Music”, “Fun and Fancy Free”, “Melody Time”, “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”, and “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”.

So what is the name of the film that joins these hallowed others in terms of style and content? It’s none other than “Fantasia 2000”!

A very underrated film, in my opinion!
A very underrated film, in my opinion!

Released in 2000 (the first film to be released in the new millennium, if you consider 2000 as the start of the millennium), “Fantasia 2000” not only follows in the Disney Canon as the 38th feature, but also is the 2nd sequel to a film in the Disney Canon (unless you consider “The Three Caballeros” and “Melody Time” as sequels).

The 1940 film, “Fantasia” was originally meant to be updated and re-released often, so that every time you saw it, you’d see different segments along with some original ones, i.e. it would be a different movie every time you watched it. But the fact that “Fantasia” flopped put that plan down the toilet, but not forever as is evident by the release of “Fantasia 2000”!

The segments of “Fantasia 2000” are “Symphony No. 5”,

Bursting with light, color, and...butterflies!
Bursting with light, color, and…butterflies!

“Pines of Rome”,

But I'd been done seen about everything when I see a pod of whales fly!
But I’d been done seen about everything when I see a pod of whales fly!

“The Carnival of the Animals”,

Ooh...a pentagram!
Ooh…a pentagram!

“Pomp and Circumstance”,

I doubt this set will graduate!
I doubt this set will graduate!

“The Firebird”,

The real cause of the deforestation in "Bambi"!
The real cause of the deforestation in “Bambi”!

the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from “Fantasia”,

A segment that never goes down the drain!
A segment that never goes down the drain!

as well as my personal favorite, “Rhapsody in Blue”.

Before there was Princess Tiana, Disney had their first African-American character named Duke...who was purple, for some reason!
Before there was Princess Tiana, Disney had their first African-American character named Duke…who was purple, for some reason!

But our forgotten/minor character of today comes from the segment inspired by Shostakovich’s “Piano Concerto No. 2” and deals with the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”.

The short animated segment deals with toys coming to life after midnight, and three toys in particular:

a one-legged tin soldier,

That should lead into an interesting war casualty story!
That should lead into an interesting war casualty story!

a ballerina toy that he falls in love with,

The first curly-haired Disney heroine?
The first curly-haired Disney heroine?

and an evil jack-in-the box.

All play and no love make Jack an evil toy!
All play and no love make Jack an evil toy!

The jack-in-the-box fights the soldier and ends up pushing the soldier out of the window. Luck would have it that the soldier would end up floating down the sewer, into the ocean, get swallowed by a fish, get caught by fishermen, and get delivered back to the exact house from which he came from all in one day!

A fish's mouth...what a disgusting place to be in!
A fish’s mouth…what a disgusting place to be in!

Anyway, when the soldier reaches back to his home, the owner of the toys (a young…boy, I think) takes him and puts him back with his other toy soldiers in his toy soldier box.

A place for everything and everything in its place!
A place for everything and everything in its place!

Now when the boy brings back the soldier to the box, doesn’t he notice that there’s an empty space in the box where the one-legged soldier was supposed to be? And to top it all off, the soldier that he found in the fish is none other than a ONE-LEGGED SOLDIER!!! Can’t this boy put two and two together

my little pony

and see that his toys come alive at night and one of them got knocked out the window and miraculously reappeared in his possession?!

Plagiarism, maybe?
Plagiarism, maybe? Or the sincerest form of flattery?

I mean, isn’t it the first conclusion that you’d come to? That your toys are alive and you can become a millionaire after proving this fact?!

"You do know that toys are inanimate objects in real life, right?"
“You do know that toys are inanimate objects in real life, right?”

Ok, well maybe not; but hey the boy knows he’s in a Disney film, so he knows the logic can be quite illogical. And when he comes back to the toy room the next day, surely he must realize what happens at night when (SPOILERS) one of his toys meets a fiery death!

"You've chosen unwisely, Mr. Jack!"
“You’ve chosen unwisely, Mr. Jack!”

Oh well, he’s not all that important, but hey, he’s the owner of our main characters and is never seen or heard. If it wasn’t for him and his hobbies/interests, we’d never have the characters we need for this segment, and hence this segment wouldn’t exist. So because of all that, we should honor him with the forgotten/minor character award for this film!

"I hope that I get remade into a feature with an actual voice actor, body, screentime, and dialogue!"
“I hope that I get remade into a feature with an actual voice actor, body, screen time, and dialogue!”

21 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #38: The Owner of the Toys”

  1. Very good! A highly enjoyable read. Give yourself a pat on the back! I agree that Fantasia 2000 is a very underrated movie and I actually prefer it to the original Fantasia. I enjoy all the segments and I believe it works better with the shorter running time than the 2 hours of the original Fantasia. Loving the Dumbo twist for the whale segment!

    1. Thanks! I did indeed give myself a pat on the back. I also prefer this movie wayyyyyy much over “Fantasia 2000” and if you read my “Top 13 Animated Movies that I Don’t Like, But Everyone Else Does” list, you can see why.

      1. I did indeed read it and I do now understand why. I am very simillar to you, I find it to be one of my least favourite Disney classics although I do still like it (a little).

  2. I like Fantasia 2000….but I can’t watch it without the fast forward button in hand. Those damned celebrities ruin the movie for me!
    One thing I really like about the original Fantasia (in the German version) is that you don’t really see people in there, the musician’s aside…all the narrations are done from the off, and I wish Fantasia 2000 were the same way. They should have cut the nonsense and instead added the “Little Matchbox girl” segment.
    Either way, count me in as one of the people who like Rhapsody in Blue the best (well, it’s the most creative), though I’m not keen on the Whale (too long) and on the Tinsoldier Segment (totally missing the point of the original story). Both Segments didn’t age well either, they should have stuck to traditional animation and experimented a little bit with it for that one.
    I also hate that they repeated the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Segment, because it feels like useless padding.
    But I think it was a great idea to make this movie in remembrance of Walt. I just wish that they had made it big. Really big!

    1. Thanks for reading!

      The celebrities don’t bother me as much as everyone else, mainly because their cameos are quite brief. So I just kind of tune out until the next segment starts.

      Yeah, the “Pines of Rome” segment was wayyyy too long, I usually end up fast-forwarding that one. I don’t mind the “Tin Soldier” segment, mainly because I’m not familiar with the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, so I don’t know how it’s supposed to end. I even like the “Flamingo with a Yo-Yo” segment, lol!

      Walt’s original idea of re-releasing “Fantasia” was to keep adding new segments while keeping some old ones in, so every time you watch the movie, it’d be a “new” movie, but not entirely new. So that’s how I see the inclusion of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in this film rather than seeing it as useless padding.

      I wish this movie had been a little longer.

      1. I like the Flamingo, too…and the Donald Segment….perhaps because the Graduation part isn’t that ingrained in me.
        In the original tale, there is no villain…the ballerina is made of paper and the tin soldier ends up on his travels by accident. When he finally makes it back to her, they both end up in the fire, and while she burns to nothing (because she is made of paper), the only thing left of the tin-soldier is a piece of heart shaped tin. I wouldn’t mind the change though, if the result were good (I don’t mind the changes of TLM either after all, when they do it good, I have no issue with it), but the story they made out of it is soooo bland, and, similar to Pines of Rome, a little bit too long for my taste.
        What I miss in Fantasia 2000 are the truly grand segments…Fantasia is a movie for theaters, and when you watch it on the big screen it’s sometimes overwhelming (could do without the “Rise of Spring” in this case, though, but other people consider it their favourite part, so I guess it’s good), but Fantasia 200ß lacks those truly great scenes in most of the segments.

  3. I’m sorry to backtrack to what seems an old post, but this made me re-watch Fantasia 2000. My favorite segment was and still is Pomp and Circumstance, its just filled with Easter eggs and quirky references.

  4. I don’t know the segments by name, but I like the Donald one, whales one, nature one, and the one with the ballerina. It has been years since I have watched Fantasia, so I can’t compare it to it. The celebrity appearances are annoying and I think Steve Martin should retire in comedy.

  5. As previously stated, I much prefer this film to its 1940 predecessor, for the following reasons: (1) It doesn’t run as slowly as the original. (2) The pieces of music they chose are more lively. (3) And the animation is much more vibrant.

    Tangentially, my personal favorite segments are “Carnival of the Animals,” “Pomp and Circumstance,” and “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s