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The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1978)

Carodejuv ucen (original title)
A young boy becomes an apprentice for a mysterious sorcerer, working at the sorcerer's strange and sinister mill where secretive black magic is being taught and performed at a very heavy price.

Director:

Karel Zeman

Writers:

Otfried Preußler (novel) (as Otfrieda Preusslera), Jirí Gold (screen story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ludek Munzar ... Narrator (voice)
Jaroslav Moucka ... Raven / Sorcerer (voice)
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Storyline

Krabat, a beggar boy, is lured to become an apprentice to an evil, one-eyed sorcerer. With a number of other boys, he works at the sorcerer's mill while learning black magic. Every Christmas one of the boys has to face the master in a magical duel, where the boy never stands a chance because the master is the only person who is allowed to use a secret spell: The Koraktor. Written by Slash V

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Connections

Version of Die schwarze Mühle (1975) See more »

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My first glimpse at animation from Czechoslovakia
20 June 2009 | by ja_kitty_71See all my reviews

At first, when I watch this film online (subtitled), I had confuse the title for the poem version by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that inspired French composer Paul Dukas for his famous musical piece with the same title. But really, the film is based on a book called "The Satanic Mill" by a Otfried Preußler and the Sorbian folk tale upon which the book is based. I thought the cutout animation is really good, it's like the illustrations of some ancient book come to life. Why, The National Film Board of Canada used that technique for their 1991 animated short, inspired by the legends of the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest - "Lord of the Sky".

Well anyway, the film is about Krabat, a beggar boy in early 18th century Lusatia, is lured to become an apprentice to an evil, one-eyed sorcerer. Together with a number of other boys, he works at the sorcerer's mill under slave-like conditions while learning black magic, such as guising himself as a raven and other animals. Every Christmas one of the boys has to face the master in a magical duel of life and death, where the boy never stands a chance because the master is the only person who is allowed to use his secret grimoire: "The Koraktor", or the "Force of Hell".

One Easter while performing an annual ritual near a small village, Krabat meets a girl (whom he dubbed the "Kantorka" or "The girl who sings") and falls in love with her. But Krabat has to keep his romance secret in order to protect her. After witnessing his friends one after one being helplessly slaughtered by the master every Christmas, Krabat starts to sneak up at night to study the forbidden book. On the last page of the book, Krabat finds a phrase saying: "Love is stronger than any spell."

That's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends. Overall, I enjoy this dark-fantasy film. And one thing I should tell you folks is that watching this film is my first glimpse at animation from Czechoslovakia.


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Details

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

1 March 1978 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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