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Rhapsody in Blue

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"Rhapsody in Blue" is a 1924 musical composition by American composer George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.

It was featured as a segment in Fantasia 2000, and is played in the lobby of the Hotel New York.

Segment Story

Set during the Great Depression, it tells the story of several people in a daily life during a rough period. It starts with the following:

  • Construction Worker Duke heading off to work, while having dreams of being a jazz muscian
  • A jobless man named Joe is having coffee at a diner, feeling depressed at having no job and having a lack of money and is treated badly due to being out of money, not even having enough to spend on food.
  • A little girl named Rachel has to go various classes throughout the day while her parents work in the struggling economy, having to be with her nasty nanny throughout the day doing things she has no interest in or is bad at (such as ballet, which leads to her crashing into a closet, swimming, where she is covered from head to toe with various swim aids, singing badly to the point a dog faints, splashing her art teacher with blue paint, tying up someone with a gymnastic rope, just blocking a tennis ball with the racket, and almost falling off her piano-playing chair).
  • A man named Flying John is out and about with his wife Margaret, getting stuff for her dog while he just wants to have fun.

Each of them go through a rather dry day, until something miraculous happens to each of them that changes everything. Each of the characters each have a different goal they each want to go to at some point, which is shown while each of them watch a group of people skating on the ice: Duke wishes to become a drummer in a jazz band, Rachel wishes to spend more time with her parents, Joe wishes to have a job, and John wishes to be out and about, having fun.

  • Duke decides that he has had enough of the job that he hates and goes off to join a jazz band, but has trouble getting to the studio, which results in him getting a kid's scooter to make it in time.
  • In quitting, Duke gives up his jackhammer which lands on Joe's arm, and Duke's boss hires him on the spot, believing he's a part of nightshift, giving Joe a job that he can have to himself.
  • Rachel, while resisting her nanny's instance to go to the next class, ends up knocking her rubber ball off a window sill and into the street, which results in it getting the attention of her parents and seeing her head right for oncoming traffic. In their panic, her parents safe her just in time to make sure she doesn't end up getting hit.
  • While Joe is starting his new job, he accidently snags Margaret on a hook meant for some bolts, freeing John and he goes to Duke's grand debut in his jazz band, taking part with the dancers.

So in the end, they each get what they always wanted.


Artistic Supervisors

Animators: Tim Allen, James Baker, Jared Beckstrand, Nancy Beiman, Jerry Yu Ching, Andreas Deja, Robert Espanto Domingo, Brian Ferguson, Doug Frankel, Tom Gately, David Hancock, Jin Kim, Bert Klein, Joe Oh, Jamie Oliff, Mark Pudleiner, Michael Show, Marc Smith, Chad Stewart, Michael Stocker, Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, Theresa Wiseman, Anthony Ho Wong, Ellen Woodbury, Phil Young Layout


Visual Effects


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See Also
Sorcerer Hat

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