Thursday, July 9, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Mickey Mouse as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from "Fantasia," 1940

Original production animation drawing of Mickey Mouse in red, yellow, green, and graphite pencil, production numbers lower left and numbered 22B lower right, and used during the production of the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Mickey Mouse: 6 1/4 x 4 1/2", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

"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 Mickey Mouse drawing.

In 1935 a young animator, born in Los Angeles, named Fred Moore gave Mickey his first makeover. Earlier animators had drawn the mouse as a series of circles, which limited his movement. Moore gave him a pear-shaped body, pupils, white gloves, and a shortened nose; all of which added to make the World's most famous mouse a lot cuter. Moore animated Mickey Mouse for the 1938 short "The Brave Little Tailor," which was to be the last significant appearance of the "pie-eyed" Mickey. For "Fantasia," 1940 the "pie-eyes" were gone and Moore's complete transformation of Mickey Mouse for the film continues to be his official look up to this day.

Close up of the production stamp.

Close up of the production number.

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice," is perhaps Mickey Mouse's most well known role (despite the fact that he never utters a single word), and as such it was the only 1940 segment that was added to the later film "Fantasia, 2000." Original production drawings and cels of the character are extremely rare and highly collected and this drawing is a wonderful eyes and mouth open image of the character. This drawing is from the very opening scene when Yen Sid is shown creating wonderful colorful smoke creatures. The colors are bright and Mickey Mouse, while carrying buckets, is frightened by there appearance and disappearance. In this large drawing rendered in graphite, red, yellow and green pencils, Mickey is seen covering his face as the bright lights appear in front of him! Note the left sheet is shaded with graphite to represent the light show in front of him, and the outline of one of the buckets is to right of his form. This is a very nice image of Mickey Mouse in his most famous role as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

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