A flock of flamingos does about their business until they notice a slapstick member who enjoys playing with a yo-yo going about his own idea of fun. They immediately try to force him to engage in their "dull" routines. The member tries to escape, engaging in a mad chase that includes pecking, dashing, and kicking. Finally, one of the flamingos catches the yo-yo and throws it into a nearby tree. He is congratulated by the others, but then the slapstick member emerges with multiple yo-yos in several colors and swings them verbatim. A question in this segment's host sequence leads into its story, "What would happen if you gave a yo-yo to a flock of flamingos?" as opposed to a duller and more realistic question, "What is man's relationship to nature?"
"Carnival of the Animals" began life as a pitch by Joe Grant in 1991 for a sequence in "Fantasia Continued" that served as a sequel to "Dance of the Hours", focused on Madame Upanova and her ostriches discovering a yo-yo and fighting over it, much like the grapes from their first appearance. During a story meeting, Michael Eisner suggested replacing the ostriches with flamingos. The concept was then brought to Eric Goldberg to direct.
To achieve the look of a moving watercolor painting, each animation drawing of the flamingos was copied onto watercolor paper and hand-painted before being scanned back into the computer, cleaned up to restore the lineart's edges, and placed onto the watercolor backgrounds.
- Culhane, J. (1999). Carnival of the Animals. In Fantasia 2000: Visions of Hope (pp. 101-117). Disney Editions.