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The Firebird Suite written by Igor Stravinsky is the eighth and final segment in Fantasia 2000.

Summary

After a long winter, in the form of water, the Spring Sprite emerges from the pool to meet the Elk and he leads her out of the hidden alcove for her to get to work. Her body turns green and melts the snow away for the coming of the spring season, covering the forest in fresh foliage.

Going up a nearby mountain, though, her abilities escape her when she ascends the slope. Curious as to what is going on, she looks inside the massive crater of the mountain at a small volcanic stone. Touching the stone, it awakens the Firebird, who rises from the ash, smoke, and magma to attack the Sprite and destroy the forest. It immediately fires on the Sprite, who evades the attack, but is then knocked over by a series of rocks broken off from the mountain they were on. Chaos ensues, done over with lava flows and a fiery carnage. Evading a second flow of lava, the Spring Sprite scrambles up a ledge, where she sees the entire forest engulfed in fire. The Firebird makes for her, and she runs away for dear life and climbs up a tree. Here, the monster rises up for one final attack, consuming the Spring Sprite.

Cutting to the aftermath where the landscape has turned gray and ash-covered, the Elk, who has witnessed the carnage, finds a burnt out and gray Sprite in Ash form. The Elk helps her up and gives her a ride on his antlers, as the Sprite cries from the destruction she had unleashed. Soon she realizes her tears are healing the land when they uproot plants and returns back to the sky in a rain form, bringing a healing shower down upon the valley. Continuing her work, she brings the plant life back to the forest, restoring the trees and finally covering the volcano in a fresh layer of grass, her confidence fully restored.

Development

Firebird Suite was part of a 1940 list of potential future segments in a 1940 document called "Future Fantasias", with Disney having acquired the rights from Stravinsky during the production of Rite of Spring. The version discussed in the document however would go for the full 30 minute length versus the abridged presentation Disney would end up going with.[1]

After a search for a piece to cap off "Fantasia Continued" on an emotional high note on the level of Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria with considered pieces including Beethoven's 9th and the Hallelujah Chorus, Firebird would end up becoming the selected piece.

The story itself would be inspired by the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

I had an idea for the images. I'd driven by Mount St. Helens not too long after the eruption up there, and I carried that image with me for a long time. And I thought, if I could put a camera up here for the next thousand years and watch what happens to this place, and time-lapse it in five minutes - and that was our finale.
—Roy Disney


The sequence was directed by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi and primarily produced at Walt Disney Animation France.

Characters

Trivia

  • This is the second piece of Igor Stravinsky's to be played on a Fantasia film, first Fantasia film playing the Rite of Spring.
  • Contrary to what some believe, the story in the Firebird is about forces of nature showing the cycle of life, death and rebirth, rather than a clash between the forces of good and evil.

Gallery

References

  1. Future Fantasias, 1940 - Progress City USA


v - e - d
Fantasia logo
Media
FantasiaFantasia 2000House of MouseThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeNight on Bald MountainOnce Upon a TimeVideo
Video Games: FantasiaKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceDisney InfinityFantasia: Music EvolvedDisney Emoji Blitz
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 Gift of DreamsMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey and the Magical MapVillains Tonight!
Restaurants: Fantasia Gelati
Parade: Dreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Parade of the StarsSpectroMagic
Firework: Celebrate! Tokyo DisneylandWe Love Mickey!WishesWorld of Color
Halloween: Celebrate the MagicHappy Hallowishes

Characters
Fantasia: Mickey MouseSugar Plum FairiesNutcracker Suite dancersYen SidMagic BroomsTyrannosaurus RexStegosaurusTriceratopsPteranodonCorythosaurusApatosaurusDiplodocusOrnithomimusBrachiosaurusCeratosaurusKannemeyeriaEdmontosaurusDimorphodonParasaurolophusDimetrodonTylosaurusPlateosaurusAnkylosaurusCompsognathusArchaeopteryxTroodonOviraptorBacchusJacchusCentaursCentaurettesMelindaBrudusIrisMorpheusDianaZeusApolloVulcanBoreasMother PegasusFather PegasusPegasi SiblingsPeter PegasusCherubsSatyrsUnicornsMadame Upanova and her ostrichesHyacinth Hippo and her hipposElephanchine and her elephantsBen Ali Gator and his alligatorsChernabogChernabog's minions
Fantasia 2000: Donald DuckDaisy DuckColorful TrianglesBlack TrianglesHumpback WhalesSeagullsDukeRachelFlying JohnKilljoy MargaretJoeElizabethTin SoldierBallerinaJack-in-the-BoxYo Yo FlamingoSnooty FlamingosNoahSpring SpriteThe ElkThe Firebird
Deleted: OtikaSunflower
Segments
Original: Toccata and Fugue in D MinorNutcracker SuiteThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Rite of SpringThe Pastoral SymphonyDance of the HoursNight on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria
Fantasia 2000: Symphony 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