Krabat – The Sorcerer's Apprentice

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Krabat dvd.jpg
Czech DVD cover
Directed byKarel Zeman
Screenplay byKarel Zeman
Based onKrabat
by Otfried Preußler
Produced byKarel Hutěčka
StarringJaroslav Moučka
Narrated byLuděk Munzar
CinematographyBohuslav Pikhart
Zdeněk Krupa
Edited byIvan Matouš
Music byFrantíšek Belfin
Distributed byÚstřední půjčovna filmů[1]
Release dates
  • 1 March 1978 (1978-03-01) (Czechoslovakia)
  • 24 March 1978 (1978-03-24) (West Germany)
  • 7 September 1979 (1979-09-07) (East Germany)
Running time
73 minutes
West Germany
East Germany

Krabat – The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Czech: Čarodějův učeň) is a 1978 Czechoslovak cutout animated dark fantasy film directed by Karel Zeman, based on the 1971 book Krabat by Otfried Preußler, and the Sorbian folk tale upon which the book is based.[2] The name Krabat is derived from the word Croat.[3]


Krabat, a beggar boy in early 18th century Lusatia, is lured to become an apprentice to an evil, one-eyed sorcerer. Together with a number of other boys, he works at the sorcerer's mill under slave-like conditions while learning black magic, such as guising himself as a raven and other animals. Every Christmas one of the boys has to face the master in a magical duel of life and death, where the boy never stands a chance because the master is the only person who is allowed to use his secret grimoire: The Koraktor, or the Force of Hell.

One Easter while performing an annual ritual near a small village, Krabat meets a girl and falls in love, but has to keep the romance secret in order to protect her. After witnessing his friends one after one being helplessly slaughtered by the master every Christmas, Krabat starts to sneak up at night to study the forbidden book. On the last page of the book, Krabat finds a phrase saying: "Love is stronger than any spell." This is used when he ultimately has to defeat his master for the sake of love.

Voice cast[edit]

Role Czech version West German version East German version
Krabat / Narrator Luděk Munzar Christian Brückner Joachim Siebenschuh
Master Jaroslav Moučka Friedrich Schütter Horst Kempe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Opening credits of the original Czech version of the film in question.
  2. ^ Zipes, Jack (2011). The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781135853945.
  3. ^ Entry on Česko-Slovenská filmová databáze (in Czech)

External links[edit]