Fantasia: Music Evolved

Fantasia: Music Evolved

Developer(s) Harmonix
Publisher(s) Microsoft Studios
Director(s) Daniel Sussman
Composer(s) Inon Zur
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release date(s) NA 20141021October 21, 2014
AUS 20141023October 23, 2014
EU 20141024October 24, 2014
Genre(s) Music, rhythm
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

Fantasia: Music Evolved is a 2014 motion-controlled music rhythm game developed by Harmonix for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One with Kinect. It is the interactive successor to Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia and its 1999 sequel Fantasia 2000, both of which it is based on.


The narration directly references the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment from Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia.[1] The sorcerer Yen Sid tasks his new apprentice, the player, with animating the worlds he has created.[2] Players generate life in initially desolate levels by moving in rhythm with licensed popular music, which unlocks gestures that change elements of the musical composition.[2] In an example, a player traced arrows with her body in time with a song, and was rewarded with a selection of rock, orchestral, and brass music overlays that fit over the song.[2] The Kinect's camera shows the player as an on-screen silhouette, which transforms other objects when the two touch.[3] The game is able to read nuance in the player's body movements and change the visual animations accordingly.[2]

Fantasia: Music Evolved is designed to emphasize creative control, although with that in mind, players are able to score points based on how accurate they are in time with the music, and also build up a streak and a multiplier by switching tracks for even more points. The player is unable to fail or lose the game,[3] although are able to complete goals. After completing a level, some musical elements are exported to the overworld.[2] Players collect magical energy while playing, which is used to unlock items that can be brought into the levels,[3] and can also unlock additional mixes mid-song by completing certain goals.

Players are able to share their final, saved mixes on the game's official YouTube channel after the levels are complete.[3] There is also a two-player mode.[3] Unlocked areas become available for arcade mode,[3] while party mode enables access to all available songs, although song-based goals cannot be completed.[4]


The preliminary logo of the game

Disney Interactive Studios first contacted Harmonix with the idea in 2010.[3] The Harmonix team was invigorated from the success of its Dance Central and brainstormed about further intersections between motion control and music.[1] Harmonix was not open to Disney's offer to meet at first since the team did not traditionally use third-party intellectual property.[1] At the meeting, there was an instant connection when Disney mentioned Fantasia, since the brand connected with Harmonix's projects in development.[1] Disney and Harmonix wanted a game more interactive for the player than simply participating in the actions of the film,[3] so the Harmonix team began planning from Walt Disney's original intentions via his production notes instead of from the final film release.[1] Disney Interactive Studios executive producer Chris Nicholls met with the Harmonix team to establish core principles upon which to base the game.[3] The development team liked the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" dream sequence scene best, where Mickey controlled the weather and background orchestra like a conductor from atop a mountain.[1][3] Its "reaching out" interaction is reflected in the gameplay.[3] This scene, where "magic and the manipulation of music itself were woven into a single act", became a central narrative conceit and "creative inception point" for the team.[1] While visiting the Disney creative teams, the Harmonix team was also inspired by Disneyland's World of Color show.[1]

Fantasia: Music Evolved was unveiled at a press event just prior to Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 as a modern update of Walt Disney's Fantasia.[2] The game was designed as an interactive successor to the film.[3] The team aimed to contemporize the film by connecting physical movement with music.[2] They chose to emphasize freedom of choice instead of themes from their previous games such as imitation and scores based on performance.[2] Harmonix co-founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos has called this evolution into "musical creativity" a long-term interest of the company, as well as its "creative responsibility".[1] Project lead Daniel Sussman differentiated the game from previous Harmonix releases and added that the team was "trying to make something accessible and creative".[3] The game is designed to read nuance in player gestures to afford for greater creativity.[2] Harmonix also wanted the game to be a tool for making music similar to the experience of musicians.[2] The team spent a long portion of its development period iterating through experiments before settling on the final combination of gameplay and creative elements.[1]

Harmonix's CEO affirmed that the team was excited about the innovative aspects of the game, specifically its options for creativity.[1] At the time of the game's announcement, creative director Matt Boch compared the creative spirit and innovation of the Fantasia film's team to that of the Harmonix staff.[2] While internally testing the game, the team competed to perform the "craziest" performance of the songs.[2] Disney and Harmonix have brainstormed about a theme park adaptation of the game as a future possibility.[1]

The game was released for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One Kinect.[1][3][5] Harmonix has plans for downloadable content (DLC), including additional music tracks and other game elements.[1]

There is also another sorcerer named Scout, who acts as the game's guide, and helps the player fight off a force called the Noise. The Noise is a force that brings distortion to the realms of the entire gameplay. Scout helps players learn how to remix music and restore music to each realm.


Songs from more than 30 artists are included in the game, and each song (except for one) is accompanied by 3 colour-coded mixes (Blue, Pink, and Green) with an optional fourth mix that's available as part of each expansion pack, 2 of the default on-disc mixes varies by the song, but can be customized before the song is played.[2] "Bohemian Rhapsody", for example, has the original, an orchestral composition, and a Metal mix.[3] The licensed music includes compositions from the classical era, including Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky that is a feature piece of the original Fantasia film.[6] The span of music is a first for Harmonix, and represents a fusion of music genres across music history.[1] Classical pieces are highlighted Italic and any other genre of songs are highlighted regular.[2][7][8] There are thirty three songs in this game.

The original score for the game was written by Inon Zur, who also produced and orchestrated many other tracks in the game.[9] The official soundtrack, consisting of Zur's original music (including the classical pieces featured in the game), was released on October 21, 2014.[10]

Song title Artist Realm Pink mix Green mix
"Applause" Lady Gaga Bonus Songs/Tutorial/The Hallow Heroes X Villains Veldt
"Blue Monday" New Order The Plant Orchestral Whalley's Strange
"Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen The Nation Classical arrangement Metal
"Eine kleine Nachtmusik" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Shoal Nassau Chords
"Enjoy the Silence" Depeche Mode The Shadows Speed of Dark Chris Micali
"Feel Good Inc." Gorillaz The Plant Melancholy Town Case & Point
"Fire" The Jimi Hendrix Experience Bonus Songs/The Nation Eddie Kramer Electronica/Analog Eddie Kramer Orchestral
"Forget You" Cee Lo Green The Neighborhood '80s Rewind WatchTheDuck
"The Four Seasons: Winter, 1st Movement" Antonio Vivaldi The Haven Alt Rock Steve Porter
"Galang" M.I.A. The Neighborhood Saffron Harem inter:sect Spoon Party
"Get Ur Freak On" Missy Elliot The Plant Luke Boggia Death of the Cool
"Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" Franz Liszt The Press Hungarian on the Plain Telecaster
"In Your Eyes" Peter Gabriel The Capsule '79 Mixtape Pardo Bros
"Levels" Avicii The Cosmos inter:sect 6581 De7il's
"Locked Out of Heaven" Bruno Mars The Cosmos First Impossible Ska
"Main Theme" Inon Zur The Cliff Closer to Inon Four Way Stop
"Message in a Bottle" The Police The Shoal Sending Out a CQD Audrio
"Night on Bald Mountain" Modest Mussorgsky The Hollow Hamilton Neon Sabbath
"The Nutcracker Suite, Op 71a" Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky The Shadows D00 BAH D00 DC Breaks
"Radioactive" Imagine Dragons Bonus Songs/The Press Spirit Kid Jake Staley
"The Real Me" The Who The Neighborhood Orchestral Big Vision of Little St. James
"Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)" Elton John The Capsule '80s and Rainy Dubspot Labs
"Royals" Lorde The Cliff Hifalutin Heroes X Villains
"Scout's Song" Inon Zur ft. Lindsey Stirling The Cliff
"Settle Down" Kimbra The Haven Spartacus Golden Ratio
"Seven Nation Army" The White Stripes The Hollow Micali X Bartlett Steve Porter
"Some Nights" Fun. The Haven Ashtar Command Parallel W@RBL3S
"Super Bass" Nicki Minaj The Cosmos Soca Jake Staley
"Symphony No. 9: From the New World, 4th Movement" Antonín Dvořák The Nation 1-1 Remix for Big Band
"Take Care" Drake ft. Rihanna The Shadows Steve Porter Pentatonix Vocal
"Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565" Johann Sebastian Bach Bonus Songs/Tutorial/The Capsule Organ Synth
"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" The Flaming Lips The Press Mumbai Grimecraft
"Ziggy Stardust" David Bowie Bonus Songs/The Shoal Orchestral Ashtar Command Parallel

Downloadable content

In addition to the on-disc setlist, there is also downloadable content which consists of 18 songs and three remix expansion packs.[11] Three of the DLC songs are available as a pre-order bonus with retail copies of the game.[12] The three remix packs are included with pre-orders of the either the standard digital copy or the digital deluxe copy of the game on Xbox One. The digital deluxe bundle on Xbox One included immediate access to all DLC for the game, which included all 18 songs and three remix packs.[11] Those who purchase the standard digital bundle or the retail disc do not have early access to the DLC and have to wait for each track to become available before purchasing.[13] Purchasing all of the DLC individually will cost approximately $48 in total.[14]

Song title Artist Realm Pink mix Green mix Release date
"As Long as You Love Me" Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean The Cosmos TBA TBA TBA
"Burn" Ellie Goulding The Nation TBA TBA TBA
"Burning Down the House" Talking Heads The Neighborhood TBA TBA TBA
"Closer" Ne-Yo The Shadows TBA TBA TBA
"DONE." The Band Perry The Shoal TBA TBA TBA
"The Edge of Glory" Lady Gaga No Venue TBA TBA TBA
"I Cry" Flo Rida The Shadows TBA TBA TBA
"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" R.E.M. The Neighborhood XPUNK MTM Nov ?th 2014
"Just Like Heaven" The Cure The Shoal TBA TBA TBA
"Lucky Strike" Maroon 5 The Hollow TBA TBA TBA
"Paradise" Coldplay The Hollow TBA TBA TBA
"Spoonman" Soundgarden The Press Black Wave Paranoia Danny Saber Nov 4th 2014
"Stay the Night" Zedd ft. Hayley Williams The Capsule TBA TBA TBA
"Try It Out" Skrillex and Alvin Risk The Plant TBA TBA TBA
"You Make Me" Avicii The Press TBA TBA TBA
"Counting Stars" OneRepublic The Cosmos TBA TBA TBA [1]
"Lay Me Down" Avicii The Plant TBA TBA TBA [1]
"Let It Go" Demi Lovato The Haven TBA TBA TBA [1]
  1. ^ a b c Song is also available through a special promotion.

Remix Expansion Packs

The remix expansion packs are included with both digital versions of the game on Xbox One and Xbox 360.[11] These expansion packs do not provide new songs, instead they provide additional remixes for the on-disc songs.

Dance Expansion Pack

  • "Get Ur Freak On" - Missy Elliott
  • "In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel
  • "Rocket Man" - Elton John
  • "Some Nights" - Fun
  • "Take Care" - Drake (feat. Rhianna)
  • "The Real Me" - The Who

Pop Expansion Pack

  • "Blue Monday" - New Order
  • "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen
  • "Forget You" - Cee Lo Green
  • "Levels" - AVICII
  • "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
  • "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj

Rock Expansion Pack

  • "Artpop" - Lady Gaga
  • "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz
  • "Galang" - M.I.A.
  • "Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
  • "Message in a Bottle" - The Police
  • "Royals" - Lorde


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 79.50%[15]
Metacritic 77/100[16]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 8/10[17]
Game Informer 8.25/10[18]
Game Revolution [19]
GamesRadar [20]
GameSpot 8/10[21]
IGN 8.6/10[4]
Joystiq [22]
Polygon 7/10[23]
Hardcore Gamer 4/5[24]

Fantasia: Music Evolved received positive reviews. It received an aggregated score of 79.50% on GameRankings based on 33 reviews[15] and 77/100 on Metacritic based on 43 reviews.[16]

Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot described the game as "overflowing with charm" and that it "makes me feel like a graceful performance artist, a skillful sorcerer, and a master musician all at once".[21]

Miranda Sanchez, writing for IGN, said the game "provides a surprising amount of control and personalization options over each song, which is paired with fun gameplay to bring a fresh new style to the music game genre".[4]

Susan Arendt from Joystiq gave the game a 8/10, praising its animation, distant personality between different locale, remix songs which has extended the lifespan of each song, as well as the Kinect control. However, he criticized the composition spells, as he stated that the feature has needlessly interrupt the core rhythm game.[22]

Ashley Reed from GamesRadar gave the game a 8/10, praising the wide range of songs and remixes, but criticizing the forgettable levels, weak story, as well as persistent issues detecting certain movements.[20]

Steve Hannley from Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4/5, commending the visuals, remix quality and Kinect interaction.[24]

Chris Carter from Destructoid praised the rewarding and solid gameplay, flexible, intuitive control, as well as an in-game mechanic which allow players to change up the theme dynamically.[17]

Griffin McElroy from Polygon gave the game a 7/10, praising its core mechanics as well as the sense of ownership over music delivered, but criticizing the unnecessary unlock system, lack of difficulty setting and exhausting gameplay.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Takahashi, Dean (June 4, 2013). "Harmonix’s Alex Rigopulos on reinventing music games with Disney’s Fantasia (exclusive interview)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.  Pg. 2 archive.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Lien, Tracey (June 4, 2013). "Harmonix makes players musical magicians in Fantasia: Music Evolved". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Snider, Mike (June 4, 2013). "'"Music, movement are new realms for classic 'Fantasia. USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Sanchez, Miranda (October 21, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved Review". IGN. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kato, Matthew (2014-06-06). "Fantasia Gets Release Date, New Songs & Area". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  6. ^ Kohler, Chris (2013-06-10). "Kinect and Classical Music: A Match Made in Disney Heaven?". Wired. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  7. ^ "New Artists confirmed for Fantasia: Music Evolved! (UPDATE)". RockBandAide. RockBandAide. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Gonzalez, Annette. "Full Fantasia Song Lust Unveiled at PAX Prime 2014". Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Zur, Inon. "Disney announces Inon Zur as Composer and Music Producer for DISNEY FANTASIA: MUSIC EVOLVED". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fantasia: Music Evolved Original Soundtrack". VGMdb. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Pavlacka, Adam (October 10, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved DLC List Revealed". WorthPlaying. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Pre-Order Bonuses Revealed". Harmonix. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Chester, Nick (October 17, 2014). "Fantasia DLC Release Schedule Information". Harmonix Publicist. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ Chester, Nick (October 17, 2014). "Fantasia DLC Cost Information". Harmonix Publicist. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One". GameRankings. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Carter, Chris (October 21, 2014). "Review: Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved". Destructoid. Retrieved October 22, 2014. 
  18. ^ Miller, Matt (October 21, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved: Harmonix’s Concept Album". Game Informer. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ Peterson, Blake (October 21, 2014). "Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Reed, Ashley (October 21, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved review". GamesRadar. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b VanOrd, Kevin (October 21, 2014). "Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Arendt, Susan (October 21, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved review: The rhythm is gonna get you". Joystiq. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b McElroy, Griffin (October 21, 2014). "Fantasia: Music Evolved review: note to note". Polygon. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Hannley, Steve (October 21, 2014). "Review: Fantasia: Music Evolved". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 

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