Happy fall! As we were talking about this blog post and talking about getting our own families ready for Halloween we started brainstorming fun ways to incorporate music into this time of year. We love the spooky sounds people play while kids trick-or-treat, and Monster Mash is a classic October piece, but Fantasia ended up being our inspiration.
Fantasia is an incredible way to introduce kids to classical music without it feeling like a “lesson” they have to learn. The original Fantasia, done in 1940, is full of amazing pieces that you and your families may already be familiar with; The Nutcracker Suite, The Rite of Spring, and Night on Bald Mountain to name a few. We thought of Fantasia at Halloween specifically because of two pieces; Night on Bald Mountain and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The former is an epic piece of music that is played a lot at Halloween. To the animators’ credit, they did an amazing job creating a scary environment in which a demon and his minions are able to freely roam and cavort. That being said, I wouldn’t show this to my 5 year old…..it’s a little scary. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is great for Halloween too. It has all the ingredients you need for a festive diversion; magic, Mickey, a little suspense and great costumes. Overall, the original Fantasia might be too scary or overwhelming for the little ones (5 and under) but check it out for yourself and try to expose your kids to it when you think they’re ready!
Disney followed up this classic with Fantasia 2000, and it is a stunning work of art. In general, it is better for a younger crowd, a little shorter, and certainly less scary. For the nature lovers in your life, half off the songs have animals and nature as the artist’s inspiration. They include classic well known pieces; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Pomp and Circumstance, and Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, and use modern technology to create breathtaking animation. While not in the “scary” Halloween realm, this movie could be a great source of inspiration if your kids haven’t been able to settle on a Halloween costume!
No matter which you choose to show your kids (please remember to preview all videos before showing them to your children), these classics are a fantastic way to introduce them to classical music. I remember watching the original when I was a kid and the songs stuck with me. We’re always looking for ways to add music into our kids’ lives and if Disney can help this Halloween then we are grateful! You can find both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 on Netflix!