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Re: Disney's Dinosaur Movie

(Forwarded to the list with permission from Dan Varner.)
In a message dated 99-03-25 12:51:50 EST, you write:
 The new "Fantasia 2000" will be released on 1/1/00.  Has anyone
 seen the old version recently?  How does the dinosaur sequence 
 hold up?   >>

> Magnificently! It is, of course, a period piece from the late 30's. It is 
> essentially Knight's Field Museum Murals come to life with the Stravinsky 
> score. It would be interesting to know who exactly thought up this 
> combination. Anyone know?
> I vividly remember seeing it for the first time on television on Disneyland 
> in it's first season (1954-55). The sequence was shown on a program 
> promoting _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_. It just blew my 5 year-old 
> mind away. This was an eternity before video tape, so I had to recreate 
> the sequence on a roll of wrapping paper. The tyrannosaur vs. stegosaur 
> scene with the advancing thunderstorm was quite wonderful, but it was 
> an earlier scene of the seaway that made the greatest impression on me. 
> The setting was languid with the sun low on the horizon of the still sea.
> Pteranodons launch from cliffsides to Stravinsky's haunting chords. 
> Plesiosaurs arch their necks out of the water and mosasaurs capture 
> their soaring prey. Wonderful!
> I viewed it on video tape recently and it conjured up exactly the same 
> old feelings. 
> Two interesting things about the Stravinsky sequence: 1) Little-known 
> dinosaurs like either Saurolophus or Kritosaurus and (?)Leptoceratops 
> were used, and 2) Stravinsky himself had two very opposing views about 
> his feelings about this film--he took the money and, I believe, visited the 
> Disney studios, but later pretty much dissed _Fantasia_.
> I still think it should be required viewing, along with Kong, for any child.
> Dan Varner.
<SNIP> (my comments to Dan follow)
 I saw
 the movie at one of the numerous revivals, going with my sister's class
 when I was about 6.  I was absolutely terrified by the dinosaur scene.
 (.Did the theropod bite the neck or head of the stegosaur to kill it?  That
 is what I remember.).  And I had nightmares for a long time about the
 Night on Bald Mountain with the Devil unfolding his wings.  Scary stuff
 for a little girl.  >>

> Scary stuff for a little boy, too! But for me only after several viewings.
> It grew on me. The devil on Bald Mountain was exquisite artistry by an 
> artist named Tytla. His genius came from his hands, not a computer.
> I do seem to remember the tyrannosaur doing a number on the neck 
> of the stegosaur. I will have to borrow it again and make sure. Nasty 
> shaking, right? I also remember a scene of Disney artists watching 
> bubbles in a tank of mud for the lava sequences. Just pencils and paper!
> As a kid and an adult, I'm impressed. Try to catch nature sometime. 
> Dan.