Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

It's always great to discover pre-production or production art from Fantasia. This film benefited from a huge crew, terrific artists, who figured out designs, color and story. And in a great variety of styles.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice is arguably the heart of the film. It had been considered as a stand alone short film before the idea came about for a whole musical feature.
The cels below were combined with special non-production airbrush backgrounds and offered for sale through Courvoisier Galleries.
Amazing animation by Les Clark.

I have scene artwork like this watercolor sketch before. It baffles me to realize that the staging of the characters is identical to the scene's final frame. That never happens. The animators always find their own way to interpret visual development art in motion.
This leads me to believe that the color sketch was actually produced after the animation's completion.
The question is why? To quote one of John Canemaker's book titles, all visual development art was done "Before the Animation Begins".


  1. There are two different colors version of The Sorcerer's Apprentices i think some artist's are trying to figure out what the final color is going to be in the movie.

  2. Definitely copied from the actual animation - my guess is it could have been done for a Disney TV segment on the film, to add to the display of original pre-production art. Otherwise it's a forgery!

    1. Indeed. They did lots of re-enactments of Fantasia for the Disneyland TV show, episodes like Tricks of our Trade for example. Some of the stuff in the "morgue" from another Disneyland TV ep were obvious reproductions, not the originals which likely remained in the REAL vault.

      It wouldn't surprise me that they would also do reproductions of "pre-"production artwork for Fantasia for those kinds of shows or promotions, especially with the film being re-released so often.

  3. Great to see such artwork, Andreas. It's a feast for the eyes, and music to the ears when you hear Paul Dukas

  4. I remember seeing all the production cells in a bin for sale at the old Disneyana store on Main Street in Disneyland back in the 80s.
    I'd flip through them like records wishing I could buy most of them.
    Andreas, thanks so much for doing this blog ...