It’s one of the most beloved classic Disney films – and it ends with Catholic victory over evil!
Really. I’m talking about Disney’s 1940 animated feature Fantasia.
Maybe it’s been a while since you last saw it. You probably remember the iconic Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence with Mickey Mouse. But towards the end of the movie things take a very spiritual turn.
The third-to-last sequence is basically a celebration of paganism. There are centaurs, a festival for Bacchus, and a Zeus appearance. The second-to-last sequence is a strange dance between a hippo and an alligator (really!).
But then the last sequence goes full-on spiritual, with two complementary parts: the Night on Bald Mountain followed by Ave Maria.
You may remember Night on Bald Mountain as the thing that gave you terrible nightmares as a child. Some sort of giant demon awakens and calls summons a mass of spirits. Together with demons, they indulge in some sort of satanic revelry, complete with fire and flying harpies.
But then their evil party is suddenly broken up. The main demon starts coming back down to the ground. The spirits return to their graves. At first it’s not quite clear what’s causing this.
And then you see the lights and hear the music.
The sun is just beginning to rise and there’s a band of robed monks and/or nuns holdings candles singing Ave Maria! The camera follows the worshipers to a part of the forest that resembles a cathedral, and then into the rising sun.
And that’s the end of the film. The Catholics get the last word. It’s really beautiful! Something tells me today Disney would be less likely to release something like this.