Bruno Bozzetto’s Allegro Non Troppo is more Fellini than Disney. If the intent was to pay homage to Fantasia, so be it, but Allegro surpasses the original in every way. Where Disney's characters are often naïve and classical, Bozzetto’s are perverse and iconoclastic. In one segment, Bozzetto indulges in Bosch to portray a satyr chasing women; if it were a Disney film, the man would be lonely and looking for a platonic mate; Bozzetto portrays the satyr as an old lecher out to rape a young fairy maiden. The film is amoral, something Disney has never understood. To them, a film is a lesson to be taught. Not so for Bozzetto. To hit the point home, Bozzetto dedicates an entire sequence to a man whom everyone copies. The search for identity turns to a fascistic control. Just when our Benito-to-be thinks he has full control, his “army” surprises him: they turn and drop their pants. Morality really makes an ass out of a movie.
Also: but for a few intelligible yammers (a very few that are quite forgivable) there are no talking animals.
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.