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Nutcracker Suite

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The Nutcracker Suite is the second segment of Fantasia.

Synopsis

The Nutcracker Suite, a selection of pieces from Tchaikovsky's now-classic ballet The Nutcracker, is a personified depiction of the changing of the seasons; first from summer to autumn, and then from autumn to winter. As Master of Ceremonies Deems Taylor points out, there is no "nutcracker on the screen; there's nothing left of him but the title." Unlike the original Tchaikovsky ballet, this version of The Nutcracker has no plot. It features a variety of dances, just as in the original, but danced by animated fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves; no actual nutcracker is ever seen in this version. Many elements are rendered carefully and painstakingly using techniques such as dry brush and airbrush. The musical segments are as follows:

As dawn breaks over a meadow, during the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", tiny fairies sprinkle drops of dew on every flower and stern.

A cluster of tiny mushrooms, dressed in long robes and coolie hats resembling Chinese (plus one little mushroom always out-of-step), perform the "Chinese Dance".

Multicolored blossoms shaped like ballerinas perform the "Dance of the Reed Flutes".

A school of underwater goldfish performs a graceful "Arabian Dance".

High-kicking thistles, dressed like Cossacks, and orchids, dressed like lovely Russian peasant girls, join together for the wild "Russian Dance".

In the final musical segment, "Waltz of the Flowers", autumn fairies color everything they touch brown and gold with their wands. Then the frost fairies arrive and everything becomes part of an icy, jewellike pattern among falling snowflakes.

One quaint novelty of the full-length roadshow version of Fantasia is that during his commentary on the Nutcracker Suite, Deems Taylor observes that the complete ballet The Nutcracker "wasn't much of a success and nobody performs it nowadays." The United States did not see a complete staging of the Nutcracker until 1944, four years after Fantasia, and George Balanchine's 1954 staging with the New York City Ballet established the modern tradition of performing the ballet at Christmas time.

Credits

  • Musical score: Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyNutcracker Suite Op. 71a
    • "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
    • "Chinese Dance"
    • "Dance of the Reed Flutes"
    • "Arabian Dance"
    • "Russian Dance"
    • "Waltz of the Flowers"
  • Directed by Samuel Armstrong
  • Story development: Sylvia Moberly-Holland, Norman Wright, Albert Heath, Bianca Majolie, and Graham Heid
  • Character designs: John Walbridge, Elmer Plummer, and Ethel Kulsar
  • Art direction: Robert Cormack, Al Zinnen, Curtiss D. Perkins, Arthur Byram, and Bruce Bushman
  • Background painting: John Hench, Ethel Kulsar, and Nino Carbe
  • Animation: Art Babbitt, Les Clark, Don Lusk, Cy Young, and Robert Stokes
  • Choreography: Jules Engel

Trivia

Gallery


v - e - d
Fantasia-5155dffd9b20f
Media
Fantasia | Fantasia 2000 | Video game | House of Mouse | Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance | Disney Infinity | Fantasia: Music Evolved | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | Night on Bald Mountain | Once Upon a Time | Video
Disney Parks

Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour | Disney Animation Building | Fantasia Carousel | Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf | Fantasy Gardens | Primeval World | Le Pays des Contes de Fées | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom | The Sorcerer's Hat | Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
Entertainment: Disney Classics: The Music & The Magic | Fantasmic! | Le Livre Magique de Mickey | Mickey's Magical Celebration | Mickey and the Magical Map | Villains Tonight! | World of Color
Restaurants: Fantasia Gelati
Halloween: Celebrate the Magic | Happy Hallowishes | Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night

Characters
Mickey Mouse | Donald Duck | Daisy Duck | Yen Sid | Chernabog | Chernabog's minions | Magic Brooms | Tyrannosaurus Rex | Stegosaurus | Triceratops | Pteranodon | Gryposaurus | Corythosaurus | Apatosaurus | Diplodocus | Ornithomimus | Brachiosaurus | Ceratosaurus | Psittacosaurus | Kannemeyeria | Edmontosaurus | Dimorphodon | Parasaurolophus | Dimetrodon | Placochelys | Tylosaurus | Plateosaurus | Ankylosaurus | Compsognathus | Archaeopteryx | Troodon | Oviraptor | Bacchus | Jacchus | Centaurs | Centaurettes | Melinda | Brudus | Iris | Morpheus | Diana | Zeus | Apollo | Vulcan | Madame Upanova and her ostriches | Hyacinth Hippo and her hippos | Elephanchine and her elephants | Ben Ali Gator and his alligators | Colorful Triangles | Black Triangles | Humpback Whales | Fish | Duke | Rachel | Flying John | Killjoy Margaret | Joe | Elizabeth | Tin Soldier | Ballerina | Jack-in-the-Box | Yo Yo Flamingo | Snooty Flamingos | Noah | Spring Sprite | The Elk | Firebird | Boreas | Mother Pegasus | Father Pegasus | Pegasi Siblings | Young Pegasus | Cherubs | Centaurs | Satyrs | Unicorns | Sugar Plum Fairies | Nutcracker Suite dancers | Seagulls | Dancing Thistles
Deleted Concepts/Characters
Unused Fantasia Segments | Clair de Lune | Sunflower | Otika | Egret Couple | Naiads
Segments
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor | Nutcracker Suite | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Rite of Spring | The Pastoral Symphony | Dance of the Hours | Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria | Symphony No. 5 | Pines of Rome | Rhapsody in Blue | Piano Concerto No. 2 | The Carnival of the Animals | Pomp and Circumstance | The Firebird Suite
Shorts from the Unfinished Third Fantasia
Destino | The Little Matchgirl | One by One | Lorenzo
Locations
Yen Sid's Tower | Bald Mountain | New York City | Prehistory
See Also
Sorcerer Hat

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