The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1955 film)

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Directed by Michael Powell
Produced by Harold Voller
Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (story)
Dennis Arundell (English text)
Based on The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Starring Sonia Arova
Music by Walter Braunfels
Cinematography Christopher Challis
Edited by Reginald Mills
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • May 1955 (1955-05) (U.S.)
  • 14 July 1955 (1955-07-14) (UK)
Running time
13 minutes
Country West Germany
Language English

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1955) is a short film made by Michael Powell for Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) West German television.

It is the Goethe story made famous by Walt Disney's animated film Fantasia where Mickey Mouse runs amok as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. But here it is presented as a ballet performed by the Frankfurt Opera with Sonia Arova as the solo dancer. There are other character dancers appearing as various items and creatures and of course the Sorcerer himself. But none of these are named on the credits and nobody has managed to find out who they were, as yet. The English-language narrator is also uncredited.


The original apparently ran for about 30 minutes. But the only version that seems to exist is this 13 minute version. There are probably lots of small cuts rather than any big ones because the bulk of the story appears to be there although some of the cutting seems a bit choppy.

Michael Powell was brought in to direct it for his old friend Hein Heckroth. Heckroth had already done the design and set everything up so Powell doesn't appear to have had much input.


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