It would be hard to find a more compelling Disney villain than Chernabog, the devilish figure who presides over hordes of ghastly spirits as they fly around a mountain top.

This sequence in Fantasia portrays the Eastern European tradition of Walpurgisnacht, or St. Walpurga's Eve, when all the evil undead are let loose on the world. With his dark bulk, glowing eyes, and batlike wings, Chernabog represents the god of night in Slavic myth. He is both malevolent and terrifying, towering over the mountain and throwing his ghostly minions into a fiery pit.

The music in the sequence is by Russian composer Modest Moussorgsky, and is called Night on Bald Mountain. Moussorgsky wanted to present the fearful specter of St. Walpurga's Eve, which was a part of his culture. The animation is considered a triumph for Disney animator Vladimir Tytla. The top of the mountain unfolds as bat wings, revealing Chernabog. Casting a dark shadow, he summons the spirits of the wicked, who rise from their graves and join in a swirling dance.

Then, laughing fiendishly, Chernabog calls on his demons, transforming some into fire and some into animals. All the spirits dance frantically, joined by harpies from the mountain, as Chernabog's dark mass hovers over it all. Tytla may have drawn some inspiration from F.W. Murnau's 1926 Faust, which shows a similar monstrous figure shadowing a city, spreading plague.

At last the dawn begins to break, and the sound of church bells is heard. The bad spirits return to their uneasy resting places, and Chernabog is driven back into the mountain. Peace is restored, and good has triumphed over evil.

But not until children have had the bloodcurdling fun of being terrified by Disney's most evil villain.