Before I discuss my feeling on this upcoming Disney movie, let’s look at the trailer, shall we?
First, the good:
It might not be a bad movie in itself. Jay Baruchel was great in Tropic Thunder and I’ve heard very good things about How to Train your Dragon (and I have to wonder if the dragon in the trailer is a subtle tip-of-the-hat to the film or if it is just a kooky coincidence). And as I’ve said before, Nicholas Cage redeemed himself for me with Kick-Ass earlier last month. I liked the attitude of his character in the trailer. The energy of the trailer overall was fun.
Now, the not so good:
My biggest opposition to the movie is it’s relation to the source material. Disney has been promoting the film by saying numerous times that it is based on the iconic Fantasia scene known for Mickey Mouse trying to stop spellbound dancing brooms. Wikipedia describes Baruchel’s character as “based on the character played by Mickey Mouse in Fantasia”. One is a geeky, human college student in modern day New York and the other one is an anthropomorphic animated mouse. The fact that both are assisting magicians doesn’t seem like enough of a connection. The same goes for the story at large. It’s a huge stretch to say this is the same story by any means.
One can argue, “Isn’t this just like Pirates of the Carribean?”, but I disagree. The Pirates series is based on a ride (many if you count the different versions in Disney parks around the world), but because the ride didn’t have a storyline and was more about the setting of the Caribbean in the time of pirates and the high seas, the filmmakers could be more liberal with their storytelling without betraying the source. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice had a story: Mickey Mouse doesn’t want to do his chores, so he borrows his master’s magic to do the work for him, which ultimately blows up in his face when the magicked broom goes haywire. That is very different from a college student being trained in sorcery to stop an evil Alfred Molina from destroying New York. If the movie was titled differently (or if they had simply not claimed it was directly based on the Fantasia piece), then I would have no problem with the film’s plot. But I’m tired of seeing Hollywood taking childhood movies and television shows and eschewing them so badly we can only recognize them from the titles (I’m still not looking forward to The Smurfs).
I might still go see this movie because the movie itself looks promising. It’s that darn title that’s holding me back.