For our last PAX East 2014 preview, we are taking a look at Harmonix’s upcoming game Fantasia Music Evolved. While technically this preview was offered off site from the main convention, it was something intended for PAX East attendees and press. This special event was held at the restaurant Trade just a short walk from the main convention and was hosted by Harmonix, Destructoid, and ASTRO Gaming. The event was a chance to showcase the game’s multi-player mode and to announce some of the new pieces being added to the game. Harmonix is a company known for developing the first few Guitar Hero games, Rock Band, and Dance Central. It makes sense that if you wanted to do a music game based off of Disney’s Fantasia, this is probably the group that you want.
Fantasia is a movie that most people are aware of, even if they haven’t seen it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the film, Fantasia was a film released in 1940 by Walt Disney Productions. The movie is a collection eight animated segments that are artistic interpretations of eight different pieces of classical music. Each segment featured different types of animation and presentations. Some segments like Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” (in the video below) are more abstract, with animation slowly being introduced and eventually taking over the screen.
Others like Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastoral'” featured animation with some distinct characters whose actions matched the mood and structure of the music. Finally, other segments featured more fully realized plots that matched the music, such as the well known “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment. Fantasia, simply put, is an artistic masterpiece. A beautiful combination of animation and classical music that is considered by many, including myself, to be one of the greatest films that Disney ever created. A collection of eight pieces of animation, inspired by some of the greatest music ever written. So how did Harmonix approach making a game inspired by this movie? Read on to find out. (more…)