Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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

Original production animation drawing of Mickey Mouse in green and graphite pencil, production stamp lower left and numbered C59 lower right, and used during the production of the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Mickey Mouse: 4 1/4 x 3 1/4", 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 production animation 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 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 had 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. Mickey, worried about the Sorcerer's reaction to his almost disaster, timidly returns the hat, the broom, and picks up two buckets to begin again to carry water. This drawing was used just has Yen Sid takes the broom from Mickey.

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