Thursday, January 13, 2011

Night on Bald Mountain... recap

Have you sat and watched "Night on Bald Mountain" recently? It is a sobering experience to be reminded what fine, truthful, and master-crafted animation can accomplish. This segment of "Fantasia" encompasses so many elements of quality film making, that I'm finding it hard to even discuss, you may try reading this article by Michael Koresky. I'm simply in awe of this segment of Fantasia and it's accomplishments. I can't possibly begin to point out all the great aspects of this animation.Above, It begins with an incredible opening, the image of Chernabog coming to life on the precipice of a steep rocky mountain. The simple but dramatic and raw power in the drawings of Bill Tytla is enough to give you the chills.Turning into a multimedia technique(which happens throughout), we see ghosts and spirits, brilliantly rendered in pastel, or by using camera effects, rising from the ground, and riding up toward the mountain. There are moments of true brilliance through horrific imagery of demons, spirits, and lost souls. One of my favorites is the realistically rendered dancing female figures in flames. Most of the demon characters end up be morphed into sacrificial beasts, or simply cast down into flames after a playful exchange within hands of Chernabog. "If it’s the enormousness of Fantasia that still reverberates to this day, then it’s the film’s beatific final statement that still manages to surprise" That quote sums up the ending of "Night on Bald Mountain", as well as the ending of the feature itself. the animated rendition of "Ave Maria" is an incredible victory over the evil imagery that came before it. So, in closing, next time you get into a discussion of "Sponge Bob", or "Family Guy" (and yes, you CAN compare them, one is crap, one is brilliant), remember what has truly had an impact within art history, and re-discover what powerful, quality animated content can be. Cease this artform!!!!


  1. Night on Bald Mountain is one of my favorite segments in all of Fantasia. Not to mention the music is excellent and has become one of my favorite pieces of classical music. Bill Tytla is one of my animation gods!