Dis­ney’s ‘Fan­ta­sia’ still has Cage un­der its spell

Austin American-Statesman - - MOVIES & LIFE - By rick Bent­ley

SAN FRAN­CISCO — It might seem odd to make a live-ac­tion fea­ture film based on a Mickey Mouse char­ac­ter from the 1940s. But that’s what ac­tor Nicolas Cage and di­rec­tor Jon Turteltaub have done with “The Sor­cerer’s Ap­pren­tice.”

The film is based on the an­i­mated seg­ment of the same name from the Dis­ney clas­sic “Fan­ta­sia.” In the seg­ment, one of eight shorts set to clas­si­cal mu­sic, Mickey Mouse is the ea­ger as­sis­tant to ma­gi­cian Yen Sid. Af­ter be­ing as­signed house­work, Mickey tries us­ing magic to take care of the tasks. That leads to a near dis­as­ter with an army of brooms.

The idea started when Cage told pro­ducer Todd Garner, while shoot­ing the 2007 movie “Next,” that he wanted to play a ma­gi­cian in a fu­ture film.

“He came in the next day and said we To read our re­view of ‘The Sor­cerer’s Ap­pren­tice,’ which opened Wed­nes­day, visit austin360.com/movies. should do ‘Sor­cerer’s Ap­pren­tice,’” Cage said dur­ing an in­ter­view ear­lier this year at Won­derCon.

Cage and his busi­ness part­ner at the time, Norm Go­lightly, came up with a script. It cast Cage as the sor­cerer who must teach an ea­ger young ap­pren­tice. Jay Baruchel landed the role of the ap­pren­tice.

“Mickey Mouse wasn’t avail­able,” joked Turteltaub.

Baruchel was ea­ger to step into the part.

“I will fuse any part I’m play­ing with phys­i­cal com­edy. So when I get to do some­thing like pay homage to one of the great funny se­quences in film his­tory, I was kind of chomp­ing at the bit,” Baruchel said. “I tried my best to give my re­spect to what Mickey did while do­ing my own thing as well.”

Cage picked Turteltaub as the di­rec­tor. The pair had worked on “Na­tional Trea­sure 2: Book of Se­crets,” and Cage was con­vinced Turteltaub could mix spe­cial ef­fects, ac­tion scenes and hu­mor into the script.

To turn the an­i­mated se­quence of less than 15 min­utes into a fea­ture-length film, they de­cided to tell the back story of the sor­cerer, which in­cludes a cen­turies-long bat­tle with an evil ma­gi­cian. There’s also a sec­ondary love story for the ap­pren­tice.

Turteltaub was in­spired by the orig­i­nal cin­e­matog­ra­phy, which heav­ily used light and dark to re­flect the emo­tions of a scene. There are a few other small nods, in­clud­ing a 21st-cen­tury ver­sion of the clas­sic an­i­mated scene fea­tur­ing danc­ing mops and brooms.

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