The musical legacy of The Walt Disney Studios will be celebrated at the 2011 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in collaboration with D23, The Official Disney Fan Club, will host a multi-faceted celebration of the studio’s history of bringing music and film together. Presentations at TCM’s four-day festival in April 2011 will include a screening of the recently restored groundbreaking classic Fantasia (1940), which integrated great works of classical music with some of the most innovative animation ever put on film; a collection of Silly Symphonies animated shorts, curated and introduced by film historian Leonard Maltin; and a special tribute to Disney live-action musicals.
TCM will also be presenting a collection of animated Laugh-O-Grams. These shorts were created by Walt Disney made at the Laugh-O-Gram studios, which he founded in the 1920s and where he was inspired to ultimately create the Mickey Mouse character. These historically important films were recently discovered and restored by Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and are being presented in partnership with The Walt Disney Family Museum, located in San Francisco.
The celebration of the musical world of Disney is part of the 2011 festival’s overall theme, Music and the Movies. Throughout the four days, the TCM Classic Film Festival will shine a spotlight on outstanding composers, great songwriters and the unique role music plays in the art of filmmaking.
“When it comes to the merging of music and motion pictures, no single studio has made as consistent and important contributions as Disney,” said TCM host Robert Osborne. “We are proud to join with Disney’s D23 fan club to celebrate that legacy as an important part of the festival. It is also a rare opportunity for everyone to experience the magic of Disney through beautifully restored feature films and rare shorts from the early days, shown on giant movie screens for the first time in years.”
The following is a rundown of the Disney celebration planned for the TCM Classic Film Festival:
Fantasia (1940) – Recently restored edition
This groundbreaking animated anthology, one of Walt Disney’s most astonishing achievements, combines classical music with animated imagery, from the abstract (“Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”) to the hilarious (“Dance of the Hours”) to the awe-inspiring (“Night on Bald Mountain” / “Ave Maria”). A commercial failure when it was first released, the film has since become a cultural treasure, thanks not only to the innovative recording and animation techniques, but also to Mickey Mouse’s memorable appearance as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
Silly Symphonies – Curated by Leonard Maltin
Film historian Leonard Maltin will curate and introduce this collection of memorable Silly Symphonies shorts. Walt Disney Productions created 75 of these music-filled animated shorts from 1929 to 1939. Many of the featured shorts (rarely theatrically screened) broke new ground in animation techniques, garnering seven Academy Awards® along the way.
A Special Tribute to Disney Live-Action Musicals
After establishing its artistic reputation through animated films, the Disney studio moved into the realm of live-action musicals. The TCM Classic Film Festival’s Disney celebration will include a special tribute to the Disney Live-Action Musicals.
Laugh-O-Grams – Newly discovered and restored shorts, presented in collaboration with The Walt Disney Family Museum and Museum of Modern Art
This collection of recently discovered and restored Laugh-O-Grams heralds the earliest days of Walt Disney’s career. Before he started the studio that would bear his name, Disney started the Laugh-O-Grams studio. Located on the second floor of a brick building in Kansas City, Mo., the Laugh-O-Gram studio became home to many of the pioneers of animation. The building, which still stands, is also said to have provided Disney with the inspiration for his most enduring character, Mickey Mouse
Festival passes are now on sale at www.tcm.com/festival