Maybe Mickey won’t need to send the dancing mops into the theaters afterwards for cleaning puddles, but that’s not to say there are not abundant allotments of enjoyment to be had in Disney’s live-action ”Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.
Yes, you heard right – ”the Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, that short, essentially plot-less musical sequence with maestro Mickey and his magical mops that featured in Disney’s classic ”Fantasia”, is now a flesh-headlined live-action family blockbuster…. And by uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, no less! (though should we be surprised? this is the guy that took an all-too-quick Disneyland theme park ride, with ”Pirates of the Caribbean”, and turned it into a 2-hour plus epic pirate adventure).
So who plays Mickey and which Fanning plays head mop, you ask?
Well, that’s just the thing… the film may share the same title as the beloved 1940’s piece but it’s definitely not a full-length film based on the ideas within it.
Reuniting the star (Nicolas Cage), director (Jon Turtletaub) and Producer (Bruckheimer) of the ”National Treasure” movies, ”Apprentice” is a flashy kid-friendly adventure flick pitting a modern-day magician-in-training against the forces of evil.
Dave, a 10-year-old Manhattanite, stumbles upon an occult shop ran by a legendary magician, Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage, in one of his more bearable performances of late). Unsure of the long-haired magic man, Dave attempts a quick exit. Before he reaches the door, Dave is stopped by the strange magician who asks him to first try on a ring – a ring that has a dragon on it. If the dragon ‘likes him’, Balthazar promises Dave he can keep it. As luck would have it, the dragon does like Dave – it comes alive, wraps itself around Dave’s finger, and settles in for good.
Seems Balthazar has been looking for Dave – somewhat of a ‘chosen one’ – for quite some time. With his ring, Dave makes for the door….but not before knocking over an urn that contains Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), an evil magician and Balthazar’s long-time arch-enemy. Balthazar saves Dave’s life by sealing himself and Horvath inside the urn, promising him one day he’ll return.
Ten Years Later. Dave (Jay Baruchel) is still as skittish as ever, though now complete with all new anxieties and hang-ups. He’s head over heels for fellow NYU student Becky (Teresa Palmer), but just has to find the courage to ask her out. Before he can make his move on his dream girl, Balthazar reappears, informing the young man that Hovath is again on the loose, and requests his help in stopping him.
Halfhearted, Dave agrees to be Balthazar’s apprentice.
A family film riddled with special effects (very impressive special effects, actually), snappy pop tunes, and larger-than-life heroes and villains, ”Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is a fun-enough time-passer that, though no match for any of producer Bruckheimer’s earlier work (particularly Pirates), has enough energy and behind it to keep youngsters amused. Pity though that Spielberg still isn’t in the business of making effectsy summer blockbusters – his just seemed to possess something a little extra.
The weight of the extras can be found on the Blu-ray release. On the DVD there’s merely a making-of and a deleted scene.