Yen Sid is a powerful sorcerer and teacher of Mickey Mouse, who first appeared in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a segment of the 1940 hybrid film Fantasia. In both the Kingdom Hearts series and Epic Mickey, his voice is provided by Corey Burton.
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 after Walt 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.
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.
His past is never looked upon with the exception of the Kingdom Hearts continuity. Years before Sora, the sorcerer was a Keyblade wielder but eventually retired or as he puts it "doffed that mantle."
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. Most other abilities to this day are unknown.
Yen Sid stops Mickey's chaos.
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.
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.
Yen Sid in House of Mouse
In the animated television series House of Mouse, Yen Sid makes a few cameos, usually alongside the magic brooms from the Fantasia short. In the episode "Rent Day", Mickey needs to find a book for Belle and asks Yen Sid for it until he reveals his strict face and Mickey quotes "Never mind." In "Pete's Christmas Caper", Pete steals the hat from Yen Sid and uses it to control the brooms as they steal everyone's Christmas gifts. Yen Sid was seen staring harshly at Mickey with his hat in "House of Magic". Yen Sid also made a cameo appearance in Mickey's Magical Christmas where his hat was turned into that of Santa Claus' as the club undergoes a Christmas makeover. For some reason, Yen Sid's beard is much shorter than usual.
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.
Yen Sid resides on the Isle of the Lost as the science professor of Dragon Hall. He was sent on behalf of King Beast 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 beat Magica de Spell and Mad Madam Mim.
- 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.
Video Game Appearances
"I am no longer a Master. I doffed that mantle."
Yen Sid appears in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (info needed) as a retired Keyblade Master, renowned for his wisdom and command over the arts of magic; though no longer an active Keyblade Master, he still keeps a close watch on the balance between Light and Darkness. He was once Mickey Mouse's master, and taught him everything he knows of magic and the Keyblade.
"Mickey, I cannot shake the feeling that something terrible is about to transpire."
—Yen Sid to Mickey
Yen Sid converses with Terra about the whereabouts of Xehanort.
After training Mickey on the night before Terra and Aqua's Mark of Mastery exam, Yen Sid relays to him a, "feeling that something terrible is about to transpire". The next morning, following the completion of the exam, Yen Sid contacts Eraqus via the crystal in the Land of Departure's throne room about the threat of the Unversed.
When Terra visits Yen Sid's tower, he asks him for guidance about Master Xehanort, Vanitas, and the Unversed. After Terra leaves, Yen Sid comments "I had hoped, Xehanort, that your heart would no longer lead you astray." Later, Ventus shows up at his tower with a Star Shard, and Master Yen Sid uses divination magic to locate Mickey. Aqua later returns Mickey to his tower, and Master Yen Sid tells her of Master Eraqus's destruction and that the murder was committed by Terra and Master Xehanort. Sometime after Aqua leaves for the Keyblade Graveyard, Mickey departs to assist her and her friends.
Following Vanitas's defeat, Mickey returns with Aqua and a comatose Ventus. Master Yen Sid finds himself unable to sense Ven's heart and encourages Aqua to believe in their friendship—which serves as the key to bring him home one day. Some time later, Mickey sorrowfully hands in the Star Shard and his Keyblade, thinking he has failed his Mark of Mastery Exam and disgraced his master, and prepares to depart. However, Master Yen Sid gives him back the Keyblade, showing that Mickey, in fact, passed and became a Master.
Yen Sid prepares Sora for his next adventure.
"Chosen wielder of the Keyblade. You are the key that will open the door to light."
—Yen Sid to Sora.
Yen Sid serves as Sora's tutor to what lies ahead of him in his journey. When Sora and company (Donald Duck and Goofy) arrive, he tells them of the enemies that they will face in the near future (Heartless, Nobodies, and Organization XIII). He also returns their Gummi Ship to them, which he had been safekeeping, and sends them to Hollow Bastion.
When Diablo brings Maleficent's cloak to Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, causing her to be revived, the fairies rush off to tell Yen Sid. However, by the time Sora and his friends can return to the tower, Yen Sid and the fairies are nowhere to be found.
Yen Sid warns Mickey of Master Xehanort's impending revival.
"The question is, what does Xehanort intend to do next?"
—Yen Sid to Mickey.
After discovering that Sora has the power to save all the lost hearts connected to him, Mickey meets with Yen Sid to discuss their ongoing search for Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. However, Yen Sid shocks Mickey by revealing that the destruction of Ansem and Xemnas has led to the return of Xehanort, and not just a "single one" of him, and which will eventually lead to the return of Master Xehanort. Yen Sid had known that this disaster might come about while he was mentoring Sora, but chose not to disclose it to anyone because leaving Xemnas alive was not an option. As Mickey, the sole surviving Keyblade Master, will not be enough to counter Xehanort's new threat, Yen Sid orders Mickey to summon Sora and Riku to him to undertake the Mark of Mastery Exam.
Yen Sid explains the full history of Master Xehanort to Sora and Riku and puts them through the Mark of Mastery exam by assigning them to awaken several worlds which remained in a state of "deep sleep" following Ansem's destruction, and explains numerous facts such as the nature of the Dream Eaters and residents of the sleeping worlds. However, soon after the exam begins, Yen Sid starts to feel that something is going awry.
Later on, when Mickey, Donald and Goofy depart for Disney Castle to confront Maleficent, Yen Sid surmises that the growing darkness in the worlds due to Master Xehanort's coming return may be the reason Maleficent has become strong enough to resist the Cornerstone of Light. The trio soon return with the revived Lea, who requests to become a Keyblade wielder. Yen Sid, taken aback, warns Lea of the dangerous path ahead, and has him undergo a magically compressed training session under Merlin and the three fairies. Eventually, when Sora and Riku do not return from the Sleeping Worlds as planned, Yen Sid realizes that Xehanort devised a means to confront the two in the Sleeping Worlds and sprung a trap on them. He allows Mickey to make his way to The World That Never Was to save their friends, sending Lea, Donald and Goofy after Mickey as back-up.
Mickey and the others eventually bring Sora's comatose body back to the study, where Yen Sid realizes that Master Xehanort was on to them the entire time. When Riku awakens Sora from his slumber, Yen Sid delivers a sincere apology to the both of them for failing to realize the magnitude of Master Xehanort's plans. Though he commends them both for performing admirably, Yen Sid only declares Riku as a Keyblade Master, since he managed to unlock two keyholes of sleep, while Sora failed to resist the darkness and ended up in a magical sleep induced by Young Xehanort. Yen Sid, however, is visibly stunned when Lea finally manages to summon his own Keyblade.
Having realized Master Xehanort's plan to recreate the χ-blade by pitting his new Organization XIII against the seven Princesses of Heart, Yen Sid devises a plan to counter Xehanort by gathering seven Keyblade wielders of Light to protect the Princesses, and orders Riku to bring Kairi to him to undergo training with the Keyblade she received from Aqua.
“The world I had created was ravaged, a wasteland...”
Yen Sid in the opening cutscene of Epic Mickey
Years ago, Yen Sid created a home for the forgotten and retired aspects of Disney, serving as a benevolent, albeit unseen creator, watching from "on high" and enjoying their antics. But one day, his magic mirror opened into the home of Mickey Mouse. When he entered Yen Sid's workshop after he was resting from that evening's work, Mickey played with the magic paintbrush and created a monster, ruining Yen Sid's creation in the process, now dubbed the Wasteland.
In the end, Mickey returns home and is apparently locked out of Yen Sid's studies. Although it seems to be impossible to return, Yen Sid remembers he is Mickey Mouse and with that personality will eventually find a way to return.
Yen Sid also serves as the narrator of the game, looking back at what events followed.
Yen Sid concept art in Fantasia: Music Evolved
Yen Sid tasks the player as the sorcerer that the worlds that he had created.
Yen Sid appears in the game as the creator of the primary world known as Castleton, which is the peaceful home of dozens of citizens and Disney characters. Aside from appearing in the opening cinematic for the game, Yen Sid also summons the player to seek help in defeating an army of ghosts that have been invading the tranquil realm.
Yen Sid can be easily spotted as a statue at the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf at Walt Disney World Resort. He is featured in Hole 6, which is known as The Legend of Yen Sid and showcases him controlling water as he did in the film. He has his own spell card known as "Yen Sid's Sorcerer Hat" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. He is also mentioned during the Fantasia segment of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
In summer 2013, an all-new live show starring Mickey Mouse debuted in Disneyland known as Mickey and the Magical Map. It features Yen Sid as its primary host.
- The first time that Yen Sid had spoken was in a 1971 episode of the Wonderful World of Disney called Disney 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.