Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)


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Musically and dramatically, we have here a picture of the struggle between the profane and the sacred.

I know I have already reviewed an animated film with The Corpse Bride, but did you really think I was going to let Horrorfest go by without reviewing a Disney film or TV episode?

NO ONE

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I can’t remember when I first watched Fantasia, but I know I was young because I became very antsy during the watching. In fact I remember trying to leave part way through…

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And my mom stopped me and made me finish watching it.

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Out of all the scenes, there are three that have remained firmly stuck in my memory. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas, of course, as it starred Mickey Mouse. Who doesn’t love Mickey?

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Then the ballerina part with the Hippopotamuses, the Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli.

Reminds me of Degas

Reminds me of Degas

And the part with the Devil.

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I saw that and had only one reaction:

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an amazing short, but so terrifying. He was just so EVIL.

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And apparently I wasn’t the only one horrified. To this day Disney receives letters complaining about how terrifying this part is for kids. Because of such massive complaints, Disney actually removed this part from the initial video release, but later restored it.

He is probably the scariest of all Disney villains and animated creations.

I'm getting shivers

I’m getting shivers

So the piece is actually a combination of two musical pieces: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert.

The Night on Bald Mountain is about witches and demons worshipping their master, the Devil, also known as Chernabog. He comes out of the mountain

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And awaken all his supporters. From witches:

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To zombies in their graves:

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To skeletons and ghosts:

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And they all praise and dance around him. His pure evil is terrifying and frightening.

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Nothing can stop him except for one thing. The church bells ring and a choir sings Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. It’s message of hope, Mary, and Christ destroys the power of the devil and sends him back into the Earth.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

The music is fantastic, the animation exquisite, and an all around great experience; check it out.

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To start Horrorfest V, from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

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For more Disney, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

For more animated films, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Classic Disney, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more Disney villains, go to There’s No One Like Gaston

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