The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the English name of a poem by Goethe - Der Zauberlehrling, written in 1797. The poem is a ballad in fourteen stanzas. Der Zauberlehrling is extremely well-known in the German-speaking world.
The poem begins as an sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broom to do the work for him — using magic he is not yet fully trained in. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how.
Not knowing how to control the enchanted broom, the apprentice splits it in two with an axe, but each of the pieces becomes a new broom and takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. When all seems lost, the old sorcerer returns, quickly breaks the spell and saves the day. The poem finishes with the old sorcerer's statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself.
The acclaimed animated dialogue-free 1940 Disney film Fantasia popularized the story from Goethe's poem, and the Paul Dukas symphonic poem based on it, in one of eight animated shorts based on classical music. In the piece, which retains the title "The Sorcerer's Apprentice”. Mickey Mouse plays the apprentice, and the story follows Goethe's original closely, except that the sorcerer is angry with the apprentice when he finally returns and saves him. Fantasia popularized Goethe's story to a worldwide audience.