I’m completely serious by the way, lest you think this is a
joke, or the title is mere clickbait. If the rumours
are indeed true, and Disney did in fact approach Joel Zimmeran a.k.a
Deadmau5 about re-imagining the classic that is Fantasia through the current
musical trend known as EDM (electronic
dance music), then it’s scuppering by way of the two parties’ trademark
lawsuit is a great opportunity that will sadly be missed.
Something like this is all to easy to be skeptical about;
especially since plenty of classics have been put through similar ringers to
bring them up to par with what’s hip and cool these days. Bear in mind though,
that they were complete re-interpretations of the original content. Rocky and
Bullwinkle went CGI; the Flintstones went live-action, etc. etc, but they all
created something entirely new!
Even Disney themselves got in on the act when they attempted
to ‘update’ the Fantasia concept with Fantasia 2000. The problem
with that film was that nothing from the original concept was really changed;
it still involved animation set to classical music albeit with all the modern
technological trimmings. Michael Barrier in his book Hollywood
Cartoons argues that even the original Fantasia was outdated in 1940; it
being, for all intents and purposes, “a silent film, with orchestral
This new collaboration would not have created something entirely
new, but would instead project something original through a contemporary lens.
Fantasia makes a great example because the emphasis is as much on the musical
score as what is on screen. In other words, the classic and superb animation
would remain completely intact; what would change would be the music that
This is not nearly as scary as it sounds, especially once
you consider that it would have been limited to a handful of live performances
around the world and maybe an album produced for your listening pleasure. The
original Fantasia would still exist, just as it always has and always will.
What a re-imagining would do though, is continue the human tradition that has
existed since the dawn of time that dictates that art and culture are
constantly re-evaluated and remixed so that new art and new cultural objects
Film (and by extension, animation) are no different. Nobody
bats an eyelid when cartoons have crossover
episodes, or when fans
make mashups of their favourite animated films and TV shows. They’re all
considered fair game, and something like Fantasia ought to be considered no
differently just because of its landmark status and age.
Besides, the idea of taking a films based upon classical
works and replacing it with something that’s the polar opposite in a musical
sense would have made for something that’s very interesting at least.
Personally, I think it would have been awesome to see what Deadmau5 would have
come up with. It’s entirely possible that he could have surprised us all with
something truly unique and pleasing. Unfortunately, other problems have
prevented us from ever seeing if that would be the case and we’re all poorer