Allegro non troppo is a 1976 mixed-media film, incorporating live-action and animation, produced and directed by Bruno Bozzetto.
Openly inspired by Disney’s classic Fantasia, it consists of six animated episodes (plus a final sequence composed of several short clips), each accompanied by a famous piece of classical music, all presented within a live-action black-and-white framing narrative.
In an empty theater, a pompous presenter introduces an unusual show: while a conductor leads a makeshift orchestra composed of elderly ladies in Belle Époque attire, borrowed from a nursing home, a long-time captive animator creates real-time animated versions of the performances.
However, the relationship between the conductor and the animator gradually deteriorates because the former finds the latter’s creations too sad and depressing. Together with the presenter, they decide to put the animator in the right mood by hiring a “professional.”
Meanwhile, strange entities begin to invade the theater, such as a gorilla appearing after the performance of Ravel’s Bolero, or a snake emerging from the animation of Stravinsky’s The Firebird. While the conductor struggles with the gorilla and the elderly orchestra members flee from the snake, the animator transforms himself and the cleaning lady into animated characters, Prince Charming and Snow White, and flies away with her.
Left alone, the presenter is compelled to find a suitable ending for the film. He calls upon a monstrous being named Franceschini to search the archives, but each candidate presented is worse than the previous one (a cat caught in a massive mouse trap, a runner torn apart by the thread/blade of the finish line, a man forced by a hamster to run on a wheel, a violent escalation leading to the destruction of Earth, and so on). Ultimately, the presenter begins to contemplate a new film, a love story involving a woman and seven little men…
Allegro Non Troppo animated film, Bruno Bozzetto’s Allegro Non Troppo, Classical music in Allegro Non Troppo, Fantasia-inspired animated movie, Visual storytelling in Allegro Non Troppo