Monday, June 15, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Yen Sid (The Sorcerer) from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940

Original production animation drawing of Yen Sid (The Sorcerer) in graphite pencil, numbered 21 lower right, and used during the production of the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Yen Sid: 5 1/2 x 5 3/4", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

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"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was initially going to be a "Silly Symphonies" short and be a venue for a comeback role for Mickey Mouse, who had declined in popularity. However, it was eventually included in the full length feature film "Fantasia," in 1940. The Disney version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is based on the 1797 poem by Goethe of the same name. Mickey Mouse takes the role of the apprentice and the only real change from the original poem occurs when the Sorcerer is stern and angry with the apprentice after he saves him from a spell gone horribly wrong.

Close up of the Yen Sid drawing.

According to the Disney filmmakers, Yen Sid was modeled after Walt Disney right down to his signature facial features recognizable by the animators. Yen Sid's name, which is not given in the film itself, was given to him by the animators; and is "Disney" spelled backwards. Yen Sid was animated by Fred Moore and Vladimir Tytla with the initial design work done by Joe Grant. There is no dialogue in the entire segment, but together the animators created a powerful character whose movements and facial expressions conveyed a sense of great magical power. The animators even used Disney's "dirty look" (which was the look that Walt gave his animators when he disapproved of their work) for the Sorcerer by having him lift his eyebrow while looking down at Mickey.

Photograph showing a close up of the drawing number, 21.

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice," is perhaps Mickey Mouse's most well known role, and as such it was the only 1940 segment that was added to the later film "Fantasia, 2000." However, Yen Sid is possibly the rarest of all the characters in the Disney pantheon, he never says a single word, and is on the screen for only a few minutes. Original production drawings and cels of the character are extremely rare and highly collected and this drawing is a wonderful eyes open image of the character. This drawing is from the scene when Yen Sid comes down the stairs and sees that the room below is filled with water. Mickey had created a spell, using Yen Sid's magical hat, that has caused the brooms to animate, filling pails with water, and quickly flooding the room. Yen Sid waves his hands, breaks the spell, and causes the water to vanish.

To view the scene which this cel was used to create, click on the short video below: