Watch Kids' Reviews of
SOURCERER'S APPRENTICE, THE

What to know: Delightful and comical and absurd, all ltied up into one pleasingly short film.
SOURCERER
Recommended age 6-12
11 minutes
VIDEO
PETER SPARLING
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SOURCERER
The comical nature and overall absurdness makes The Sorcerer's Apprentice funny and appealing. The apprentice's facial expressions when he gets caught are overdramatic, but since this film has no dialogue, the acting needs to be over the top. I particularly enjoyed the apprentice's moves. His flailing arms and foolishness are silly and work, because the wizard deems him a fool at the end.

This short film plays homage to Disney's animated classic Fantasia. An apprentice is cleaning up and sees the wizard fly down and put on a hat. The hat has magical powers and can multiply the wizard, making duplicates of himself. After the wizard flies away, the apprentice uses the hat to make multiples of himself to help him clean. Of course, the apprentice has not acquired the skills yet to conduct this smoothly so the multiples go out of control. The wizard returns to the scene, sees the chaos there and helps return it to order. This results in the wizard ridiculing the apprentice.

I like that the story line is easy to follow even without dialogue. The simplicity of the plot allows younger viewers to be able to enjoy this film. The straight on, fixed camera angle is consistent throughout the film. There are no zooms in or out. The apprentice's hat sticks out to me. Having the apprentice sit in the corner of the frame and wear a pointy hat reminds me of the idea of the "dunce" or "dunce hat." What solidifies this interpretation is the little sign the pops up at the end showing a person sitting on a chair, head lowered and wearing a dunce hat. The apprentice's attire is more tattered, while the wizard is dressed quite elegantly. This exemplifies how the audience perceives each character. The set and camera angle remains the same throughout, which gives it an appearance of shooting a stage production. There is not variety of camera angles, or distance. It is all the same medium shot most of the time. Since this film has no dialogue, the music is critical to the story. The score is a wonderful piano two-part piano arrangement by Paul Dukas, the same song used in Disney's Fantasia. The most striking part is when the music matches the action and swells and crescendos to compliment the film's actions. This is quite notable when the apprentice creates multiples of himself and loses complete control. The visual effects used to clone the apprentice and his brooms are quite well done, with a few hiccups. Peter Sparling plays the role of both characters as well as that of director, production designer, editor and more. He is definitely the key influencer of this film and I have to give him props for his exquisite work. Although it might be helpful to have two different actors play the two characters since there is little done to make them look different from one another. My favorite part is when the apprentice cannot control the magic and there are multiples of him doing absurd dances and movements. I really think children will enjoy that scene as well.

The message of the film is that we all have to start somewhere. As an apprentice, you have to tackle the mostly lowly tasks and as you learn from them, you will move on to more complicated tasks. Cheating and trying to skip around the learning curve might have its own repercussions.

I give The Sorcerer's Apprentice 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. It's charming and fun. I think it would make a good addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Tor F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors

The comical nature and overall absurdness makes The Sorcerer's Apprentice funny and appealing. The apprentice's facial expressions when he gets caught are overdramatic, but since this film has no dialogue, the acting needs to be over the top. I particularly enjoyed the apprentice's moves. His flailing arms and foolishness are silly and work, because the wizard deems him a fool at the end.

This short film plays homage to Disney's animated classic Fantasia. An apprentice is cleaning up and sees the wizard fly down and put on a hat. The hat has magical powers and can multiply the wizard, making duplicates of himself. After the wizard flies away, the apprentice uses the hat to make multiples of himself to help him clean. Of course, the apprentice has not acquired the skills yet to conduct this smoothly so the multiples go out of control. The wizard returns to the scene, sees the chaos there and helps return it to order. This results in the wizard ridiculing the apprentice.

I like that the story line is easy to follow even without dialogue. The simplicity of the plot allows younger viewers to be able to enjoy this film. The straight on, fixed camera angle is consistent throughout the film. There are no zooms in or out. The apprentice's hat sticks out to me. Having the apprentice sit in the corner of the frame and wear a pointy hat reminds me of the idea of the "dunce" or "dunce hat." What solidifies this interpretation is the little sign the pops up at the end showing a person sitting on a chair, head lowered and wearing a dunce hat. The apprentice's attire is more tattered, while the wizard is dressed quite elegantly. This exemplifies how the audience perceives each character. The set and camera angle remains the same throughout, which gives it an appearance of shooting a stage production. There is not variety of camera angles, or distance. It is all the same medium shot most of the time. Since this film has no dialogue, the music is critical to the story. The score is a wonderful piano two-part piano arrangement by Paul Dukas, the same song used in Disney's Fantasia. The most striking part is when the music matches the action and swells and crescendos to compliment the film's actions. This is quite notable when the apprentice creates multiples of himself and loses complete control. The visual effects used to clone the apprentice and his brooms are quite well done, with a few hiccups. Peter Sparling plays the role of both characters as well as that of director, production designer, editor and more. He is definitely the key influencer of this film and I have to give him props for his exquisite work. Although it might be helpful to have two different actors play the two characters since there is little done to make them look different from one another. My favorite part is when the apprentice cannot control the magic and there are multiples of him doing absurd dances and movements. I really think children will enjoy that scene as well.

The message of the film is that we all have to start somewhere. As an apprentice, you have to tackle the mostly lowly tasks and as you learn from them, you will move on to more complicated tasks. Cheating and trying to skip around the learning curve might have its own repercussions.

I give The Sorcerer's Apprentice 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. It's charming and fun. I think it would make a good addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Tor F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors

Calling all kids, parents of kids, or those who are kids in spirit! I am test-screening a new video, my first ever for kids. A retelling of the classic cautionary tale by Goethe, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", my version exploits digital editing effects to clone more than just the apprentice's broom, as in Disney's 'Fantasia". No water effects, however. I'll leave that to Hollywood. I also discovered a two-piano arrangement of the score by Paul Dukas and I think it's really delightful... a bit like the piano arrangement of Stravinsky's 'Petrushka".
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