The story of Fantasia is directly inspired by The Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment of the 1940 animated film of the same name. Some interminable amount of time has passed since everyone’s favorite mouse brought his first broom to life, and now the sorcerer Yen Sid is training his newest apprentice, you. As his apprentice, you are tasked with bringing color and life to the various regions of the world using the magical power of music. Your training goes well until you encounter Scout; a failed student of Yen Sid’s who left his apprenticeship in search of fame. Shortly after meeting her, a darkness known only as the Noise begins to engulf the world and drown out its musical harmony. What follows is your quest to help Scout fight back this darkness and restore balance to the world.
All told, the story in Fantasia is entirely serviceable, if a bit short. It’s unobtrusive and serves as a good introduction to the game’s mechanics. I do have a word of warning to players who want to jump right into song quick play: certain tracks are locked behind story progression. I understand some gamers aren’t fond of this practice, but “suffering” through the campaign – if it can even be called that – is entirely painless. Those gamers can also enable Party Mode to make all tracks available right from the start, although I believe this disables some achievements.
Fantasia’s story mode is divided up into various realms/stages that have their own unique theme (underwater, forest, city, space, etc.). They’re all colorfully lit and have various elements that will behave like musical instruments when hovered over, and many of them can be interacted with to reveal hidden secrets. These locales serve as interesting backdrops for their respective songs – there are typically 3 to a realm – but some odd performance issues drag them down. Namely, there appears to be some slight slow-down in areas such as the undersea coral reef Shoal. It isn’t exactly game breaking, but an issue like that is disappointing to see all the same.