Developer - Harmonix
Publisher - Disney Interactive Studios
Director - Daniel Sussman
Composer - Inon Zur
Platforms - Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release date - October 21, 2014 (World Wide)
Genre - Music, Rhythm
Modes - Single-player, Multiplayer
Digital Version - $59.99
Digital Deluxe Version - $89.99
Digital Version - $49.99
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” is a breakthrough musical motion video game inspired by Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia.” In the game, players enter the magical realms of Fantasia, selected by the legendary sorcerer Yen Sid, to hone their musical and magical prowess as his new apprentice. “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” takes players on an interactive and immersive motion-controlled journey through worlds of music and magic.
The narration directly references the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment from Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia. The sorcerer Yen Sid tasks his new apprentice, the player, with animating the worlds he has created. Players generate life in initially desolate levels by moving in rhythm with licensed popular music, which unlocks gestures that change elements of the musical composition. In an example, a player traced arrows with her body in time with a song, and was rewarded with a selection of rock, orchestral, and brass music overlays that fit over the song. The Kinect's camera shows the player as an on-screen silhouette, which transforms other objects when the two touch. The game is able to read nuance in the player's body movements and change the visual animations accordingly.
I get the knee jerk reaction to it not being a game that one-to-one tries to emulate the experience of the 1940s film (or the follow-up, Fantasia 2000, which did attempt to emulate and continue exactly what was happening in 1940). It’s fair that fans and lovers of the original work might have certain expectations.
Take or leave what I’m about to say in response to these concerns/reactions – it’s not in any way intended to sway your thoughts on the merits of the game, but should frame where we are coming from. (Full disclosure for those who don’t know, I’m PR and Communications Lead at Harmonix and have worked on Fantasia for 12,000 years by this point.)
First, at no point did Disney Interactive want us to re-create the experience of Fantasia (1940) as a game. That exists, it still holds up as one of the most innovative, beautiful pieces of animation ever created to this date. You can’t touch THAT, and I don’t think you should. (See the 1991 Genesis/Mega Drive game for the results of that.) What Disney did want us to do – and this was an open ended assignment, honestly – was for us to capture the spirit of the film and bring it into a modern context using motion control and the interactive medium. I wasn’t there for the meeting, but there’s a legend that someone in the first Disney/Harmonix meeting said “Players should move their arms around and cool music and stuff should happen.” That’s… really broad!
Still, we wanted to be very respectful of what Walt Disney’s original vision for the film was. So beyond just taking a wild guess, we were given access to the Disney archives that contained transcribed notes of literally hundreds of hours of production meetings, meetings where that original team solidified their intent for the project. TL;DR – marry this new medium of film/animation with music to allow audiences to experience music a completely new and unique way. To connect them with musical pieces in a way that a recording or a live performance couldn’t.
At the time, the idea of a concert film started with these classical pieces people associate with the film. But the idea of building on that concept was to release additional shorts with new music, year over year. That never happened. From 1940 to now, so much has changed about music – evolving genres, new ways to create, new ways to share, new ways to consume, etc. So for us, there’s how we looked at the soundtrack, and that included classical music (we have a handful of classical tracks – including pieces from the 1940s film – as well as orchestral remixes of songs original written for other genres), rock music, pop music, electronic music, and more. All told, when you take a hard look at what genres and sounds you’ll hear in the game in terms of various remixes, it’s bonkers: big band jazz, country, heavy metal, punk, chip tunes, dubstep, pop, easy listening, hip-hop, and all matter of genre variations you could think of. [FWIW, there’s evidence based on archives I’ve read that suggested music that featured electronic drums was being considered for future Fantasia pieces… this was in 1939!]
I don’t expect everyone to agree with all of the music on the soundtrack; musical taste is highly personal and subjective. And you either enjoy the experience or you don’t; that’s also personal and subjective. But please don’t for a moment think that Harmonix or anyone at Disney Interactive has any motives outside of creating a truly unique, innovative experience that remains true to the spirit and core of what Fantasia is. (SomewhatGroovy: I do take issue with you saying “this game offers nothing innovative in any sense of the word.” Show me another game that allows players to not only create their own music in the context of existing works, but to take those existing works and alter them dramatically in real time. There really isn’t, as far as I know. The team worked hard to create a new gameplay experience, and I give them crazy props for actually delivering.)
Another thing to note is that the demo showcases performance gameplay, and there's a whole secondary interactive Discovery element that features gorgeous, musical and magical worlds that players can interact with. (That's hinted at in the visuals behind the Performance gameplay, as well as the "upsell video" that plays after you complete the demo.)
SONG - ARTIST : (PINK MIX / GREEN MIX)
• Dvorák – "Symphony No. 9 from the New World" : (1-1 / Remix for Big Band)
• Vivaldi – "The Four Seasons: Winter, 1st Movement" : (Alt Rock / Steve Porter)
• Avicii – "Levels" : (inter:sect 6581 / De7il's)
• Bruno Mars – "Locked Out of Heaven" : (First Impossible / Ska)
• Cee Lo Green – "Forget You" : ('80s Rewind / WatchTheDuck)
• David Bowie – "Ziggy Stardust" : (Orchestral / Ashtar Command Parallel)
• Depeche Mode – "Enjoy the Silence" : (Speed of Dark / Chris Micali)
• Drake – "Take Care" (ft. Rihanna) : (Steve Porter / Pentatonix Vocal)
• Elton John – "Rocket Man" : ('80s and Rainy / Dubspot Labs)
• Fun. – "Some Nights" : (Ashtar Command Parallel / W@RBL3S)
• Gorillaz – "Feel Good Inc." : (Melancholy Town / Case & Point)
• Kimbra – "Settle Down" : (Spartacus / Golden Ratio)
• Lorde – "Royals" : (Hifalutin / Heroes X Villains)
• M.I.A. – "Galang" : (Saffron Harem / inter:sect Spoon Party)
• Mussorgsky – "Night on Bald Mountain" : (Hamilton / Neon Sabbath)
• Nicki Minaj – "Super Bass" : (Soca / Jake Staley)
• Peter Gabriel – "In Your Eyes" : ('79 Mixtape / Pardo Bros)
• Police – "Message in a Bottle" : (Sending Out a CQD / Audrio)
• Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody" : (Classical arrangement / Metal)
• Tchaikovsky – "The Nutcracker Medley" : (D00 BAH D00 / DC Breaks)
• The Who – "The Real Me" : (Orchestral / Big Vision of Little St. James)
• White Stripes – "Seven Nation Army" : (Micali X Bartlett / Steve Porter)
• Mozart – "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" : (Nassau / Chords)
• The Flaming Lips - "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1" : (Mumbai / Grimecraft)
• Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive" : (Spirit Kid / Jake Staley)
• J.S. Bach - "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" : (Organ / Synth)
• Inon Zur - "Scout's Theme (ft Lindsey Stirling)"
• Jimi Hendrix - "Fire" : (Eddie Kramer Electronica/Analog / Eddie Kramer Orchestral)
• Lady Gaga - "Applause" : (Heroes X Villains / Veldt)
• Liszt - "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" : (Hungarian on the Plain / Telecaster)
• Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On" : (Luke Boggia / Death of the Cool)
• New Order - "Blue Monday"
• Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean - "As Long as You Love Me" Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean
• Ellie Goulding - "Burn"
• Talking Heads "Burning Down the House"
• Ne-Yo - "Closer"
• The Band Perry - "DONE."
• Lady Gaga - "The Edge of Glory"
• Flo Rida - "I Cry"
• R.E.M. - "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
• The Cure - "Just Like Heaven"
• Maroon 5 - "Lucky Strike"
• Coldplay - "Paradise"
• Soundgarden - "Spoonman"
• Zedd ft. Hayley Williams - "Stay the Night"
• Skrillex and Alvin Risk - "Try It Out"
• Avicii - "You Make Me"
PRE-ORDER BONUS SONGS:
• OneRepublic - "Counting Stars"
• Avicii - "Lay Me Down"
• Demi Lovato - "Let It Go"
• $1.99 each
• All tracks included in the Digital Deluxe Version
• Not all songs available yet (TBA)
REMIX EXPANSION PACKS:
The remix expansion packs are included with both digital versions of the game on Xbox One. These expansion packs do not provide new songs, instead they provide additional remixes for the on-disc songs.
Dance Expansion Pack
"Get Ur Freak On" - Missy Elliott
"In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel
"Rocket Man" - Elton John
"Some Nights" - Fun
"Take Care" - Drake (feat. Rhianna)
"The Real Me" - The Who
Pop Expansion Pack
"Blue Monday" - New Order
"Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen
"Forget You" - Cee Lo Green
"Levels" - AVICII
"Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
"Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
Rock Expansion Pack
"Applause" - Lady Gaga
"Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz
"Galang" - M.I.A.
"Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
"Message in a Bottle" - The Police
"Royals" - Lorde
• $3.99 each
- First: this only works on Xbox One!
- After completing a performance, you can save the performance. Do that!
- In order to upload, you have to watch the performance first (the Xbox One records it to the console via Game DVR, which is needed for sharing)
- After watching the performance, you have the option to upload your track to YouTube. You DO NOT need a YouTube account to do this as the video is put on the Fantasia YouTube channel. You can view mixes already uploaded here -- makes a decent work playlist.
- Once you choose to share, the game will generate a string of characters for you that will allow you to search for and identify your mix on YouTube via a search.
- Search for your song on YouTube... share it here/with your friends/whatever. Note that it may take awhile for the video to upload, process, and then be searchable. Be patient!
Gameplay & Venue Walkthroughs
Official Youtube Channel
Youtube User Uploads
(Thanks to Zenner for the title suggestion)