Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The etymology of "Fantasmic."

Fantasmic is a show at Disneyland where Mickey Mouse battles a bunch of villains, and there's fireworks and lasers and mist screen projections and things. It's basically a live, opulent DVD commercial.
This is ALMOST as exciting as experiencing a whole
new way of watching movies--on Disney Blu-ray™!!

But what's the derivation of the word "Fantasmic?" Clearly it's a portmanteau, and the first half is "fantasy," but what's the second half?


...surely it's not "orgasmic?"

I mean, "orgasmic" is appropriate, since the show is a rush of sensation and pleasure. But it's inappropriate, since--as far as I know--it's never made its young audience ejaculate. So if "Fantasmic" is a portmanteau of "fantasy" and "orgasmic," it's false advertising.

Fortunately, "orgasmic" isn't the only option. The internet was kind enough to compile a list of words that end with "-asmic." Here are the most compelling.


A rift, where a world's crust has been pulled apart.

Maybe Fantasmic represents tectonic movement in Disney World's crust. It sounds destructive, but it could be a good thing. Admit it: if the ground opened and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show fell back into Hell, you'd cheer.

The kids LOVE lava conduits!


Goo left by the physical manifestation of ghosts.

I think it's fair to say that Fantasmic combines "fantasy" and "ghost spooge."

After all, Fantasmic exports more ghosts than it imports. At the end of the show, Mickey Mouse murders a bunch of villains who survived their films (like Cruella de Vil, Governor Ratcliffe, and Jafar). Then Mickey re-murders a bunch of villains who were resurrected for the show (like Hades, Ursula, and Scar)!

...I wonder how much ectoplasm a twice-murdered ghost leaves.

We ain't afraid of no vengeful, re-murdered villains!


Fortunately, this word has all the positives of "orgasmic," without the messy sexual component. It is indisputably the best choice on this list.

Unfortunately, it's not a word.

Made-up words make me apatheticize.


Influenced by Don Coscarelli's Phantasm, a film about a murderous funeral parlor.

Which Fantasmic clearly was.

Anyone can see that Malifecent (the main villain in Fantasmic) is a poor man's Tall Man. She murders suburban innocents...reconstructs their corpses into an army of zombie dwarfs...and banishes their souls to a desert dimension where they...just...walk in a straight line for a while. Fess up. Coscarelli deserves royalties.

Fun fact: Fantasmic was originally called "Fantasmabeastmaster."

"The Princess shall prick her finger on a floating spiked ball...and die!"


The living content of a cell.

And there's a lot of this in Fantasmic. The cast features a riverboat full of characters and, like, a dozen giants. Kaa the python, Jafar the cobra, Malifecent the dragon, Monstro the whale...I'd wager this show has a veritable baker's dozen of protoplasmic cells!

Of course, "protoplasm" isn't the only thing that unites the characters. For example, they all have urethras. And yet the show isn't called "Fantasmurethra." So there must be something special about protoplasm.

Hrm. Let me think.

Well, in the show, Mickey Mouse learns to overcome all obstacles with the power of imagination (as well as a sword, and homicidal intent)...

...so maybe Fantasmic is saying that we have magic in our protoplasm! It's saying that every cell carries the power to perform miracles!

...what does that remind me of...?

"They live in you
They live in me
They're watching over
everything we see..."

Holy shit! Fantasmic subliminally advertises midi-chlorians!

Damn your mind tricks, George Lucas!!

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