Saturday, January 31, 2009

“FANTASIA” at the Radio City Music Hall…1941

My oldest sister, Mary, gave me the gift of a lifetime in 1941. It was my 8th birthday and her gift to me was an enchanted afternoon at the world-famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. We were there to enjoy the live stage show and the ground-breaking Disney musical, “Fantasia”.

The movie portrayed cartoon characters performing their skits to classical music. Leopold Stokowski conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra and I sat entranced as the music wrapped around me. It literally felt like I was being carried up and into the movie that was enfolding.

I particularly remember “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” featuring Mickey Mouse as an aspiring magician who gets himself into and out of a bunch of predicaments. At one sequence he is practically over-run by a battery of brooms carrying buckets of water.

Then there was the “Dance of the Hours” with lumbering hippos, crocodiles, ostriches and elephants ... up on tip-toes, twirling their huge bodies in time to the music. The juxtaposition between the clumsy animals and the dainty dance that they were performing was charming. We clapped with delight.

“Fantasia” never became a box office success but it was an enormous treat for me and I loved it. However, the memory that burns the brightest happened at the finale of the live stage show. Two comedians were sparring with each other and playing to the audience. At the end of their performance they came close to the front of the stage and one man said, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here”. His partner chimed in with, “and I thank you from my bottom, too” ... while proceeding to turn his back on the audience, dropping his pants and "mooning" the lot of us.

How shocking! How crude! How DELIGHTFUL!! My virgin 8-year-old ears were burning but I thrilled to the naughtiness of it all. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the experience (in great detail and with many embellishments) with all my young friend


Blogger RoyalTLady said...


Did you write and lock these memories
away in your memory bank...?? How amazing you could still scribe this detail account.... from 1941???

I can't remember anything from my 8th yr old... except what I wrote in my Alma Mater.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Bud said...

Another wonderful childhood memory Ginny. I love it!!!

6:44 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...


7:42 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I love it too, and I have always loved the movie Fantasia. When it came out on VHS tape in the 80's or 90's, I bought it for my grandchildren (but really I bought it for me!!)

You have a very good memory!

4:28 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--Fantasia is one of the first movies I remember seeing.
I was visiting southern California and a "rich" relative took me and a cousin to see it in CINERAMA--full wide screen with stereo sound.
Huge treat.
I say "rich" because anyone living in southern California in the mid-1950s seemed rich to me, a missionary child visiting the U.S. on my parents' vacation.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I like Fantasia. I remember the dancing elephants. Really cool.

12:27 PM  
Blogger dmmgmfm said...

I love the way you wrote this, it was like I was there.

Thanks for sharing this priceless memory with me.


8:42 PM  

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