75 years ago today, Disney’s Fantasia — directed by Norman Ferguson — opened. It was the first of its kind in many ways, most notably in that it was the first film presented in stereophonic sound (a speaker was positioned, with others on either side of it).

And it remains the boldest, most ambitious animated feature that Disney has ever produced. What would it take to bring back that kind of vision to the most powerful animation studio in the world?

Hard to say, but Steven Greydanus has noted that one upcoming Disney movie seems to be subtly acknowledging Fantasia’s influence.

And The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Disney is developing some kind of live-action adaptation of the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence. Yikes.

To mark this anniversary, I’m linking to Greydanus’s Decent Films review of Fantasia, where he writes,

If Fantasia failed to spark a hoped-for entertainment revolution, its achievement is all the more starkly singular. A joyous experiment in pure animation, an ambitious work of imaginative power, a showcase of cutting-edge technique, and a celebration of great music, it is without precedent and without rival. I’ve watched it far too many times to count, and I have yet to begin tiring of it.

He also noted Fantasia‘s debut on Netflix at Crux.

I also recommend Roger Ebert’s write-up from 1990, in which he heralded the 50th anniversary release for its excellence.

And the D23 blog has “Fifteen Fascinating Facts About Fantasia” … featuring some intriguing trivia about Bela Lugosi … and Dopey.