Friday, April 3, 2009

Wait…Disney Stole from the Ancients?

Okay, maybe not stole. How ‘bout “borrowed.” Eons before Walt Disney discovered he had a thing for mice, a popular ancient story went like this:

A guy named Eucrates traveled to Egypt to learn from a famous magician. Eucrates spied the old Egyptian using a spell to make inanimate objects come alive and do his chores for him. But the magician refused to share the magic word.

One day, Eucrates snuck up on the old man and overheard it. He waited for the magician to leave, then spoke the magic word over a pestle (a rod-shaped doohickey) and commanded it to bring him water.

Eucrates was delighted to see the pestle come to life and obey, bringing vase after vase of water. Eucrates told it to stop. But it didn’t. It kept bringing more and more water. Poor Eucrates hadn’t realized there was a different word for making it revert to its inanimate form. Uh, oh.

In desperation, Eucrates cut the pestle in two. But now both halves brought water. Just as poor Eucrates faced drowning by pestle, the magician returned and restored order.

Set that to music, use brooms rather than pestles, throw in a Technicolor mouse in Dumbledore’s robes, and you’ve got The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Disney’s Fantasia.

So, if you’ve ever wondered where Walt Disney found the inspiration for his cheesy classic, rest assured. It’s no longer a moustery. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)


SM Blooding said...

LOL! I love learning this kind of stuff! Thanks for sharing!


Narukami said...

Good ol' Walt -- if you are going to 'steal' then steal from the best, for sometimes old tricks are the best tricks.