The Firebird is a giant, phoenix-like villain that appeared in The Firebird Suite Segment in Fantasia 2000 as the antagonist. He is woken up by the Spring Sprite with a small, tiny touch of her fingertips, He is animated by well-known animator John Pomeroy.
The Firebird appears to be a giant eagle with huge wings and whole is made entirely out of lava.
The Firebird has no alliances; he serves no one, he cannot distinguish friend from foe - he is a primal living force of destruction. He lives only to destroy and despises all that brings life and creation (The Spring Sprite). The Firebird's only weakness is that he only destroys - he cannot create nor can he persist, as he returned to his slumber when there is nothing left for him to destroy.
This interpretation of the Firebird actually conflicts with the original version of Igor Stravinsky's ballet. In the ballet, the Firebird was described as a benevolent, peaceful being who bore no traits of evil. However, Disney's Firebird was violent, destructive, and merciless, showing no qualms of destroying a newly created forest.
When the great bird was awoken from his hibernation state by the Spring Sprite, He unleashed a brutal and terrifying display of its destructive power on the Sprite's and Elk's home. It is unknown why the Firebird attacked the Sprite to begin with, but it can be assumed that he was enraged for being awakened, or that he just felt the urge to begin a chaotic rampage. After the destruction was done, he returned to his slumber.
The Firebird takes part in the live night-time at Disney California Adventure during the "Colors of Fear" sequence.
- If you look closely while the Firebird's awakening, you can see evil spirits swarming around.
- He shares many similarities to Chernabog, the villain from Night on Bald Mountain in the original film. They both emerge from a mountain, they reek chaos, they can both manipulate fire, they are both forces of destruction, and good ultimately triumphed over both of them. It is interesting to note that they both appeared in the last segment of the two movies. However Chernabog is a force of evil but the Firebird is a force of nature.
- It is the only character from Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird to appear in the segment.