Monday, October 5, 2015

Young Fears 5: A Night on Bald Mountain

Each October I like to run a series of Halloween-themed posts on this blog. All this month, I'll be telling anecdotes about things which frightened me while growing up.

Yesterday I spoke about Disney's Legend of Sleepy Hollow clips, usually shown in truncated form each Halloween. Another moment which you could be sure to see in those clips shows came from Fantasia: A Night on Bald Mountain.

There are times when I wonder how a sequence full of flying corpses, demonic dances and flashes of upper female nudity ever made it to child-approved programming. A Night on Bald Mountain has so many moments my mind's eye can recall vividly, from Chernabog's shadow being cast over the land to the spirits rising up and riding across the sky, to the weird imps he crushes in his hand, reforming into different shapes.

For many years I would make a point of watching Disney's Halloween shows each October in the hopes that either the Legend of Sleepy Hollow or A Night on Bald Mountain would be used - perhaps both! Yes, they were freaky, but, as I found while growing up, sometimes you can't resist the fascination of allowing yourself to be scared.

The sequence ends with Chernabog simply going to sleep as the sun rises, a bit usually cut from the Halloween shows. But no matter what edit you see, it's a sequence which shows you evil being unleashed upon the world and left to come back again. Sleep easy, kids!

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