Yen Sid is a powerful sorcerer and teacher of Mickey Mouse, who first appeared in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a segment of the 1940hybrid film Fantasia.
Though he was amongst the most obscure Disney characters of all time for over 65 years, Yen Sid has recently become a recurring character, making quite a few appearances in media raging from video games to the Disney theme parks, most notably after his introduction into the Kingdom Hearts series.
According to the filmmakers, Yen Sid was apparently modeled afterWalt Disney right down to signature facial features recognizable by the animators. Yen Sid's name, which is not given in the film itself, was given to him by the animators. It is "Disney" spelled backwards which pays tribute to Walt Disney, himself.
Yen Sid is a stern-looking elderly gentleman with his signature sorcerer hat atop his head. He has a long gray beard reaching down underneath his chest. He has small eyes with tiny pupils as well as a long aqua-colored vestment which he wears in all appearances.
Being rather mysterious, not too much is known about the sorcerer. He is wise, practical and most often seen with a serious tone in such a way that it often quashes Mickey's playful nature into obedience. Most who encounter Yen Sid often can be bound to be intimidated by his appearance but underneath his fierce look, lies a heart of gold. Surprisingly, he is very forgiving and actually has a sense of humor. He is more than aware of Mickey's mischief and willing to deal with this; putting it aside to teach his apprentice. Underneath his harsh exterior is a man who strongly believes in his apprentices, no matter what mischief they may get into.
Powers and Abilities
Most of Yen Sid's magic is obtained through his sorcerer hat. With the hat, he is known to conjure up mystic clouds and bring to life inanimate objects. Despite this, he has abilities without the hat, presumably through years of study and discipline in practicing the arts of sorcery. When Mickey accidentally flooded the tower with the hat, Yen Sid stormed in and forced the water to dissolve and while so, he created large waves—all without the hat.
In the Kingdom Hearts series, Yen Sid was able to disappear in a beam of light.
Yen Sid first appeared in the Fantasia short,The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as Mickey Mouse's master. He was the owner of a magical hat, which is apparently the source of his power. In the short, he is performing magic while Mickey completes his chores. Satisfied with his work, Yen Sid yawns and puts down his hat retiring for the night. During his absence, Mickey takes the hat and begins to play with the magic. He creates a living broom and orders it to take water and place it in a vat (which is his chore). After falling asleep, he awakens to see the broom flooding the tower. He chops it up but this only creates several more. The tower is nearly flooded completely until Yen Sid returns from his chambers and stops the chaos. He is furious that Mickey had disobeyed him. Mickey returns his hat to him as he slowly goes to finish his chores. Yen Sid shows a small mischievous smirk at Mickey, who gives a weak smile and to make sure he has learned his lesson, Yen Sid smacks him once in the buttocks with the now inanimate broom making Mickey get his chores done a lot faster.
Disney on Parade
In this episode of the Disneyland TV show broadcast in 1971, Yen Sid (incorrectly referred to as "Merlin the Magnificent") interrupts the Disney characters' dancing show by making them all disappear except Mickey. In a booming voice, Yen Sid questions if Mickey really plans on making a good show without any magic, an idea he finds nonsensical. A lightning strikes the stage and when the lights come back, Mickey finds himself in his "Sorcerer's Apprentice" costume; Yen Sid advises him to look in his pockets, and the mouse finds pixie dust in it, which he then uses to put together a magic act with help from Yen Sid's disembodied voice.
Yen Sid reappears in the sequel and lives out the same role in the original, his sequence being the only one from the original film to appear in the new one.
In the comics inspired by the video game, Yen Sid has exactly the same role.
In the Japanese manga inspired by the video game, Yen Sid has exactly the same role.
Descendants: Isle of the Lost
Yen Sid resides on the Isle of the Lost as the science professor of Dragon Hall. He was sent on behalf of KingBeast to teach the next generation of villains how to live without magic and using science instead. Despite leaving Auradon, Yen Sid takes the obligation in stride and eagerly teaches the students, good or bad.
He rarely appears in the Mickey Mouse stories, but there are some cases:
- In the story Case of the Hovering Wolf (INDUCKS W WDC 133-03), he gives magic powers to the Li'l Bad Wolf.
- In the Brazilian story O Novo Aprendiz De Feiticeiro (INDUCKS B 74024), he takes Fethry Duck as a new apprentice.
- In the other Brazilian story De Volta À Fantasia (INDUCKS B 910276), Mickey and Goofy help him to beatMagica de Spell and Mad Madam Mim.
- In the story Consider the Sorcery, in which Sorcerer Mickey is depicted as an ancestor of the current Mickey Mouse that's actually named Moustradamus, Yen Sid is gone and has left the position of village's sorcerer to Mickey/Moustradamus. However, when he's in trouble, Mickey seems able to contact Yen Sid thanks to a magic potion that makes Yen Sid's face appears in its fumes; whether it's a mean of communication while Yen Sid is alive and retired, or if Yen Sid is dead and Mickey is invoking his ghost, is not clarified.
- Of course, he also appears in the all comics-adaptations of the short The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which Inducks codes are W SS 2-02 and Kus/MMA 9B.
- The first time that Yen Sid had spoken was in a 1971 episode of the Wonderful World of Disney calledDisney On Parade, where he was voiced by the late Michael Rye. As his name was not common knowledge at the time, he was mistakenly called "Merlin". It wasn't until Kingdom Hearts II, nearly 35 years later, that Corey Burton took the role of Yen Sid and has since been voicing him.
- The Disney animators used Disney's "dirty look" (which was the look that Walt gave his animators when he disapproved of their work) for the sorcerer by lifting his eyebrow.
- Yen Sid's appearance inspired the appearance of King Kashekim Nedakh, Kida's father from Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
- Yen Sid himself did not appear in the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but his hat did at the end of the end credits for the film, although he was the inspiration for the wise sorcerer character Balthazar Blake.
- "Yen Sid" backwards is "Dis Ney", which without the space makes "Disney". Due to this, he is probably meant to represent Walt Disney himself.