Did You Know Disney Animated A Beautiful Prayer To Our Lady?

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Nearly 77 years ago, the first screening of the Walt Disney feature film Fantasia took place in the Broadway Theatre of New York. Since its first opening night on Broadway, it has gone down in history as a masterpiece and the pinnacle of animated film. The film is over two hours in length, that was incredibly ambitious for its time, and includes eight animated segments set to different pieces of classical music. The final segment, featuring Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” is a beautiful prayer to Our Lady,  that came close to never being shown in theaters.

The “Ave Maria” segment is the most beautiful of the film, and one of the most ambitious shots in animation history. It was the longest single animated take of its time, and involved moving a camera through a soundstage with a maze of illustrated panels. Walt Disney and his team were so rushed for time that the final footage for the scene arrived to the Broadway Theatre only four hours before the films first showing.

In the penultimate segment, entitled “Night on Bald Mountain,” Chernabog, Satan himself as described by Walt Disney, emerges during the night on the peak of Bald Mountain. (Mount Triglav in Slovenia) The evil figure arises to summon his minions: ghosts, demons, hags, and harpies. Chernabog and his underlings dance maniacally as he throws them into the mountains fiery pit. His antics are defeated when the town below Bald Mountain rings its bells, signalling daybreak, and Chernabog becomes the top of the mountain once again. After the audience descended into darkness, a procession of figures ascends them into light as they greet the coming sunrise.

In the segment, a long line of figures gradually comes into view in the front of village. The silhouettes each carry a source of golden light, and are eventually revealed to be nuns. They walk slowly throughout a sloping forest as the sky is gradually filled with light of day. The camera passes the procession, panning to the horizon and ending with the sun rising. While Walt Disney was originally conflicted whether to include Our Lady in the animation, he eventually decided on including only the nuns who emerge into “a blaze of morning light. Once again the powers of life and hope have triumphed over the hosts of death and despair.”

Watch the beautiful Disney animated prayer of “Ave Maria”:

 

 

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Comments

15 COMMENTS

  1. I have the book that went with the movie. I have two them. I bought them at an estate sale after the death of two Catholic sisters. I did not know there was a video to go with the book of images and words.

  2. Thanks for the video and knowing at one time Hollywood had many devout Catholics and followings. So beautiful to see again and think about Our Lady!

  3. How times have changed! Where abouts in the journey Disney sold it’s soul to the dark arts of the Illuminati, only God knows.
    A beautiful peice of music.
    Billy, you may wish to re-think and pray about your decision to go to med school. Modern medicine, like most things which start as good and well intentioned, has been hijacked by the evil one and is now firmly in the hands of pharmaceutical company beaurocrats, with most doctors rendered as little more than drug company reps. Religious freedom is also under threat in many nations, with doctors being refused the right to dissent against abortion, contraception, euthanasia and more.

  4. Heaven. I had a very profound experience with Mary last night. And seeing this today just affirms it. Beautiful.

    Such a good Mother.

  5. Beautiful video of young lady singing for the Pope. Shocking Disney video…how times have changed!! Nice to see

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