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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 logo
Media
FantasiaFantasia 2000Video gameHouse of MouseKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceDisney InfinityFantasia: Music EvolvedThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeNight on Bald MountainOnce Upon a TimeVideo
Disney Parks
Cinderella Castle Mystery TourDisney Animation BuildingFantasia CarouselFantasia Gardens Miniature GolfFantasy GardensPrimeval WorldLe Pays des Contes de FéesMickey's PhilharMagicSorcerers of the Magic KingdomThe Sorcerer's HatVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Disney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Le Livre Magique de MickeyMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey and the Magical MapVillains Tonight!
Restaurants: Fantasia Gelati
Parade: Festival of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Parade of the Stars
Firework: WishesWorld of Color
Halloween: Celebrate the MagicHappy HallowishesMickey and his Magic Halloween Night

Characters
Mickey MouseDonald DuckDaisy DuckYen SidChernabogChernabog's minionsMagic BroomsTyrannosaurus RexStegosaurusTriceratopsPteranodonGryposaurusCorythosaurusApatosaurusDiplodocusOrnithomimusBrachiosaurusCeratosaurusPsittacosaurusKannemeyeriaEdmontosaurusDimorphodonParasaurolophusDimetrodonPlacochelysTylosaurusPlateosaurusAnkylosaurusCompsognathusArchaeopteryxTroodonOviraptorBacchusJacchusCentaursCentaurettesMelindaBrudusIrisMorpheusDianaZeusApolloVulcanMadame Upanova and her ostrichesHyacinth Hippo and her hipposElephanchine and her elephantsBen Ali Gator and his alligatorsColorful TrianglesBlack TrianglesHumpback WhalesFishDukeRachelFlying JohnKilljoy MargaretJoeElizabethTin SoldierBallerinaJack-in-the-BoxYo Yo FlamingoSnooty FlamingosNoahSpring SpriteThe ElkFirebirdBoreasMother PegasusFather PegasusPegasi SiblingsYoung PegasusCherubsCentaursSatyrsUnicornsSugar Plum FairiesNutcracker Suite dancersSeagullsDancing Thistles
Segments
Toccata and Fugue in D MinorNutcracker SuiteThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Rite of SpringThe Pastoral SymphonyDance of the HoursNight on Bald Mountain/Ave MariaSymphony No. 5Pines of RomeRhapsody in BluePiano Concerto No. 2The Carnival of the AnimalsPomp and CircumstanceThe Firebird Suite
Locations
Yen Sid's TowerBald MountainNew York CityPrehistory
Deleted and unused concepts
Unused Fantasia SegmentsClair de LuneSunflowerOtikaEgret CoupleNaiadsDestinoThe Little MatchgirlOne by OneLorenzo
See Also
Sorcerer Hat

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