The Sorcerer's Apprentice (music written by Paul Dukas) is the third and most famous segment in Disney's Fantasia and went on to be the only returning segment in its sequel, Fantasia 2000. Based on the poem of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the musical piece, it stars Mickey Mouse as the titular apprentice.
Unlike most of the tracks in the film, which were recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra, this composition was the first to be recorded for the film by an ad-hoc 100-piece handpicked orchestra of Los Angeles-based session musicians, which Stokowski conducted. The recording was done in January 1938 at the Pathe Studios in Culver City.
The scene starts with Sorcerer Yen Sid working on his magic and his apprentice Mickey doing the chores. After some magic, Yen Sid put his hat down and retired to his chambers.
When he was out of sight, Mickey puts the hat on and tries the magic on a broom. He commanded the broom to carry buckets of water to fill a cauldron. Mickey is satisfied, he sat on the chair and fell asleep.
He dreamed he was a powerful sorcerer high on top of a penicle commanding the stars, planets, and water. Mickey wakes up to find the room was filled with water, the cauldron was overflowing, and the broom is not stopping. Mickey tries to stop the broom but with no success. He grabs an axe and chops the broom into pieces. Just when it's all over, the pieces began to grow into more brooms with buckets of water. They keep going to the vat and fill it up. Mickey tries to get the water out but there were too many brooms. Mickey goes to a book and looks for a spell to stop the brooms. Mickey finds himself in a whirlpool. Just then, Yen Sid comes in and sees this and with a wave of his hands, the water descends and the army of brooms decreased to one broom.
Yen Sid glares at Mickey, who gives him back his hat and the broom. He picks up the buckets and started back slowly to finish his chores. At the end, Yen Sid whacks Mickey from behind with the broom and Mickey runs out.
After the piece is over, Mickey runs to Leopold Stokowski and congratulate each other and Mickey exits and Leopold waves goodbye.
Originally, at the part when Mickey uses an axe to chop the broom into pieces, instead of just showing their shadows, they were going to show all of Mickey chopping the broom. After chopping the broom to smithereens, the axe had appeared to have its blade broken. Mickey pouted in disgust, threw the axe away, then sighed in exhaust. This was considered to have too much grim drama, so, in the end, they only showed their shadows. Also, in comparison, the axe had a much rougher edge than in the final animation. The deleted animation was included as a bonus feature on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the two Fantasia films, as well as the Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume 2 DVD set.