Well, we’ve left the glorious age of the Disney Renaissance
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”!
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”,
“Pines of Rome”,
“The Carnival of the Animals”,
“Pomp and Circumstance”,
the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from “Fantasia”,
as well as my personal favorite, “Rhapsody in Blue”.
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,
a ballerina toy that he falls in love with,
and an evil jack-in-the box.
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!
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.
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
and see that his toys come alive at night and one of them got knocked out the window and miraculously reappeared in his possession?!
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?!
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!
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!
21 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #38: The Owner of the Toys”
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!
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.
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).
I mean I prefer this movie wayyyy much over “Fantasia”.
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!
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.
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.
A worthy one to mention! And I also greatly preferred the Rhapsody in Blue segment of Fantasia 2000.
Thanks! Yes, the “Rhapsody in Blue” was amazing!
Yes, Shining reference!
Lol, did I make a Shining reference? Where?
“All play and no love make Jack an evil toy!”
Oh, I meant that to be a pun on the proverb, “All work an no play makes Jack a dull boy. All play and no work makes Jack a mere boy.”
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.
No problem, I actually enjoy reading comments from old posts, because it makes me feel like people like my blog and are actually looking at previous posts that they might have missed 😀 !
That’s a cool choice!
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.
The celebrity appearances don’t bother me, because they last for only a few seconds.
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.”
I should also mention the fact that the original FANTASIA seems a little dated to me, whereas FANTASIA 2000 doesn’t.
My thoughts precisely!