Various animated sequences illustrate classical music in the sequel to Disney's 1940 film, Fantasia.

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The original idea was to illustrate with animation some great musical compositions. The new Fantasia consists of seven new segments and a reprise of a popular old one from the original, Paul Dukas` The Sorcerer`s Apprentice, with Mickey Mouse. Highlights of the new version are Ottorino Respighi`s Pines of Rome, a hauntingly beautiful hymn to the beauty of the whale; Gershwin`s Rhapsody In Blue, with its crisp jazz-age imagery inspired by the drawings of Al Hirschfeld; and Elgar`s Pomp and Circumstance, which is illustrated by the Noah`s Ark story with a funny contribution from Donald Duck. But perhaps the most creative segment is Shostakovich`s Piano Concerto No 2 Allegro Opus 102, which accompanies a beautiful re-enactment of Hans Anderson`s The Steadfast Tin Soldier. The downside - and it`s a major flaw - is the at times embarrassing stop-gap footage, in which a variety of personalities, from Steve Martin to Bette Midler to Angela Lansbury, give awkward introductions to what`s to follow. These miscalculations apart, Fantasia 2000 impresses both musically and visually - but what a shame we couldn`t see it, as Americans saw it, on the giant IMAX screen.