Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2009

Mickey Mouse

It may have been Walt Disney's first critical and commercial flop, but the 1940 film Fantasia — two hours of animation set to classical music, sans dialogue — is recognized today as a cinematic tour de force. Credit for that feat goes, in large part, to an anthropomorphic rodent wielding an unruly wand. Based on Goethe's famous poem Der Zauberlehrling and set to Paul Dukas' symphonic piece "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," Mickey's scene-stealing performance begins when he swipes his mentor's magic accessories — namely a bedazzled cap and wand — so he can beckon a broom to fetch his water for him. The accidental flood that follows is a good warning for wizards-in-training everywhere.