2. FANTASIA (1940)

Though others of his films became more famous, Walt Disney always considered Fantasia his masterpiece. Attempting to capture what music looks like, Fantasia is actually made up of several animated segments, all inspired by classical music, and all devoid of any speech.

Though you'll probably recognize most of the music ("The Rite of Spring," "Night on Bald Mountain," "Ave Maria," etc.), the most famous segment is called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." In this story, Mickey Mouse is a helper to a powerful sorcerer. Naturally, Mickey wants to be a powerful sorcerer, too (and he's pretty sick of lugging bucketfuls of water up the stairs). So when the sorcerer leaves, Mickey steals the wand and uses magic to make a broom spout arms and carry the water for him. Chaos ensues, and Mickey quickly learns that he should not play with powers that he can't control. Several over-analytical film critics have likened "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" to a cautionary tale about sex (Mickey can't control the broom, which keeps dipping into the water until, well, until they both get sucked down the drain). We think these people should get lives. Take it for what it is: an amazing piece of storytelling set to beautiful music.

By the way, if you ever have a party and want to have something interesting on TV in the background, this is perfect. As film critic Rex Reed once said, "It's even better when you're drunk."


  • Presented with a special Academy Award for its "unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music"

  • Though Walt Disney poured his heart, soul, and money into this film (it was the most expensive animated film ever at its time, requiring theaters to install new sound systems), it was originally a colossal flop

  • The Sorcerer in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is named "Yen Sid", which is "Disney" spelt backwards