|Music||Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy |
Dance of the Reed Flutes
Waltz of the Flowers
|Composer||Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky|
|Story Development/Research||Albert Heath |
|Art Direction||Al Zinnen|
|Background Painting||Ethel Kulsar |
|Animation||Art Babbitt |
|Special Camera Effects|
|Previous Segment||Toccata and Fugue in D Minor|
|Next Segment||The Sorcerer's Apprentice|
|Gallery||Nutcracker Suite Gallery|
Nutcracker Suite is the second installment in Fantasia. It features a number of different scenes within, with their own music respectively.
The Nutcracker Suite features a selection of pieces from Tchaikovsky's classic ballet The Nutcracker. But also personified depictions of other naturalistic or animalistic beings. Unlike the original ballet, this Fantasia adaptation has no real plot. It features a number of different dances relative to the music, each acted out by fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves.
-Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Edit
We open with lights dancing across a dark meadow which we soon realize to be fairies. As they flutter gracefully through the meadow of flowers the fairies use their wands to sprinkle magic making the flowers or fungi sparkle and/or glow such as bluebells, dandelions, fungi, and small flowers. The fairies make a smooth transition by creating sparkling ripples in the water. We are introduced to a bunch of fairies now all dancing on the water creating ripples upon ripples upon ripples but also as the camera pans to the right the fairies dance upwards in unison to the famous spider web where they add dewdrops and light to the surrounding plants, then we end with the fairies exploding into a cluster of magic dust which trickles down into our next scene.
-Chinese Dance Edit
The scene opens with 4 fully grown mushrooms, 2 medium sized mushrooms, and 1 baby mushroom all designed to look like Chinese people wearing hats and robes with slits for eyes, with dewdrops on them. As the camera zooms in the music starts and the mushrooms bounce up and down then into a synchronized dance number which plays out for most of the scene. (The section itself messes with your eyes as you have to pay attention to what is happening and when.) We move to another group of mushrooms only this time they change size and shape depending on how far the mushroom is and the baby mushroom comes in improvising and trying to keep up with the others. At the end of the piece the mushrooms dance in a figure eight, then into a circle and as the tempo slows and the sound softens they bow around the baby mushroom as the screen fades black.
-Reed Flutes Edit
In our next scene we see water droplets fall into a fading in pond where we see the flowers' reflections. The camera pans up to reveal the pink flowers and
-Arabian Dance Edit
A school of underwater goldfish perform a graceful "Arabian Dance".
-Waltz of the Flowers Edit
Not only is the segment a personified depiction of the changing of the seasons; spring, to a quick transition into summer, (while not noticeable at first glance) then to autumn and finally, winter. Both autumn and winter are particularly longer. "The Waltz of the Flowers", autumn fairies color everything they touch brown and gold with their wands. Then the frost fairies arrive, and everything becomes part of an icy, jewel-like pattern among falling snowflakes
- Director(s): Samuel Armstrong
- Story: Albert Heath, Bianca Majolie, Graham Heid, Norman Wright, Sylvia Moberly-Holland
- Art: Al Zinnen, Arthur Byram, Bruce Bushman, Curtiss D. Perkins, Robert Cormack
- Background Painter(s): Ethel Kulsar, John Hench, Nino Carbe
- Animation Supervisor(s): Unknown
- Animator(s): Art Babbitt, Cy Young, Don Lusk, Les Clark, Robert Stokes
- Special Effects: Unknown
- Music: "Nutcracker Suite" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Character Designs: Elmer Plummer, Ethel Kulsar, John Walbridge
- Choreography: Jules Engel
- Deems Taylor states that The Nutcracker ballet "is never performed anymore". The United States did not see a complete staging of The Nutcracker until 1944, four years after Fantasia. In 1954, George Balanchine's staging with the New York City Ballet established the modern tradition of performing the ballet at Christmas time.
- Though it is never truly stated it is presumed that this scene is supposed to take place after the sun has gone down because of the fact that the fairies are lighting the meadow up with their magic. However with the fact that fairies are adding dewdrops everywhere might just mean that they are adding color back into the flowers and since the is personified, the pitch black and dead looking plants may just be a representation of "the dead of night".
- While the fairies can make the flora glow they also have the ability to open their buds.
- There is an animation gap/error in the first scene with the faires, as the yellow fairy is continuing the dewdrops the last frame doesn't match up with the one after that.