Time and Place of Fantasia

7th March, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on Time and Place of Fantasia

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor – Let’s see. . . at the end it is the clouds at sunrise. That’s about as close to a determination of time and space as we’re going to get.

Nutcracker Suite – There is no indication of time in this segment. Typically, to determine time, we need something human to use to determine it with (since human fashions and conditions change, but nature doesn’t that much). The setting is definitely a forest, however. I figured that I might be able to figure out a particular forest using the different species as guides, but I was unlucky in this endeavor. Goldfish are typically domesticated fish and don’t appear in specific locations in the wild. Willow and maple trees (the only ones I was able to identify) occur all over the place in the northern hemisphere. And I wasn’t able to identify the flowers or mushrooms in order to figure out if they are from a specific location on the globe. So I’m afraid that I can’t suggest anything beyond a forest as the setting.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Since everything in the story occurs in a single room, the time and setting is very difficult to pinpoint. For example, robes have been worn for hundreds of years. Brooms have not only been used for centuries, but they’ve also been associated with magic for hundreds of years. A relatively safe guess might use Goethe’s original poem as a reference guide. He was a German who wrote the poem in 1797. But again, there isn’t anything in the poem itself to suggest that he was writing about anything considered contemporary (or even actual, considering it’s a fantasy setting).

The Rite of Spring – The segment begins before the existence of the earth and ends with the death of the dinosaurs. Therefore, the time frame is everything from 65 million years and previous to the beginning of the earth. The location is equally difficult. Even the dinosaurs shown in the sequence aren’t found in different continents.

The Pastoral Symphony – At least we have a pretty good location for this one: Greece. My understanding of Greek mythology isn’t good enough to give a specific time, but it seems that the mythology flourished between 900 B.C. and 500 B.C., more or less.

Dance of the Hours – The only distinguishing feature of the segment is ballet. Ballet began to make an appearance in the 15th century, more or less. The items of clothing worn in the sequence would probably place it at a later date (though again, an exact date would be too difficult to determine). All of the animals are native to Africa (if you consider the alligator to actually be a crocodile, as true alligators are from either the United States or China), but this hardly seems a way to determine the setting of the piece, as they are all anthropomorphic.

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria – Chernobog himself is the best indication of the location of the segment. Chernobog, while being a Slavic deity, is only found in traditions of the western Slavs in the 12th century. Considering this, as well as a few other things (such as the possibility of the events of the segment occurring on Walpurgis night and the fact that the animator was drawing on his childhood myths from the neighboring Ukraine), I place the location as being in the Czech Republic. The graveyard displays several crosses, though Christianity would have already taken root before the 12th century, so it still works. In fact, if you consider the end of Chernobog’s nighttime terror to be symbolic of the transfer of religions, the 12th century fits rather well. Thus, even though my conclusions are easily disputable, the Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence is the only one that I suggest as a specific time and setting. The setting is (what is now) the Czech Republic; the time is 1200 (the end of the 12th century).

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