Aug 20, 2011

Clair de Lune

My first visit to the Hollywood Bowl tonight and I hereby take back as least some of those things I've said about LA not being as classy a place as Gotham.
Tonight's show featured clips from Walt Disney's Fantasia w/ live orchestra and fireworks even, under the stars on a perfect summer night. I've been to summer concerts in Central Park and they're awesome but they pale in comparison. Only Shakespeare in the Park surpasses this. Quintessential classy LA.
So special too to see the lushness of the hand-drawn animation. I love Toy Story as much as the next guy but there's a warmth and softness to Fantasia that Pixar has yet to touch. They also showed, for the second time ever, pastel and crayon sketches for a segment that never made it to the released movie. The orchestra was playing Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" while these beautifully rough sketches and graceful animations played across the screen. Fantasia has an innocence to it's humor (pirouetting hippos, for example) and a sophistication to the experience, both visual and especially auditory, that's absent from today's animation features. Pixar films are sophisticated edgy, an often sarcastic commentary on society or the environment. Fantasia has no political agenda and harks back to a more innocent time, even though of course the innocence was surface only. But isn't that what great theatre is all about—suspension of disbelief?
Fantasia is revery-inducing suspension of disbelief with Tschaikovsky to soothe your ears and Walt Disney to amaze your eyes. Quite the pair.

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