SAN FRANCISCO — Whether or not you’ve seen Walt Disney’s 1940 animated classic “Fantasia,” it’s virtually impossible to not have some awareness of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a vignette from the film that combined Mickey Mouse, dancing brooms and magic both real and imagined. If the tender, gorgeous, emotionally nuanced clip had a complete opposite, it would likely be the modern-day action movie — so what is a new “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” doing coming to theaters with Nic Cage and car chases galore?
“All of Walt Disney’s movies have had an enormous impact on me,” Cage said when we caught up with him recently, explaining his involvement in the July 16 blockbuster alongside Jay Baruchel. “The movies that I grew up with like ’Fantasia’ and ’Pinocchio’ [influenced who I am].”
“Knocked Up” star Baruchel, meanwhile, cited his own very different influence: Nic Cage action movies.
“I remember sneaking into ’Con Air,’ ” Baruchel said of the 1997 blockbuster that got an R-rating when he was 15 and was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who is overseeing “Apprentice” as well. “I would have never guessed that this would happen [and I’d someday be starring with Cage]. This is unbelievable.”
“I must have been really, really young — I was probably like 3 or 4, but I remember the iconic music,” Australian beauty Teresa Palmer (“Bedtime Stories”) said of the first time she saw “Fantasia.” “I remember that iconic scene with the pink elephants, and all of a sudden there’s the buckets swinging around and Mickey Mouse and the Sorcerer with the shadow coming up on the wall. I remember that so vividly — and then to be in this film, which is a retelling of the story, is pretty incredible and exciting for me.”
During the course of filming, headlines were made when the “Apprentice” stunt people kept getting into high-profile crashes with very expensive cars, leaving some to wonder what a Mickey Mouse re-interpretation was doing with a Ferrari F430.
“No one expects there to be Ferrari chases or whatever in this movie, but we have the sickest car chase this year, for sure,” Baruchel cryptically explained of the scene, only revealing that “it involves midtown Manhattan and a mirror world.”
“One of Disney’s favorite scenes is a scene with me and Jay Baruchel and we’re on top of the Chrysler building, and we’re overlooking the city and there’s beautiful twinkling lights behind us,” Palmer explained of another added element to the tale: romance. “My character tells his character that he should really believe in himself and that he’s a beautiful person and he’s different from everyone else that she’s met. He uses that information and her advice, and it helps him throughout the rest of the film to really embrace this whole magic side that is happening to him.
“They fall in love at that point and they have their first kiss,” Palmer added, insisting that not all the sorcery in the film involves a wand. “It’s very magical.”
As for Baruchel’s remembrance of sneaking into Nic Cage movies as a teen with his friends, the actor said he hasn’t told his co-star about his transgression yet, but doesn’t feel badly about it. “Listen, we were too young to get into the movie; I think he’d appreciate that we wanted to see the movie that much,” Baruchel explained.
And if anyone out there happens to be “too young” to see this latest Nic Cage action film, Baruchel said he wouldn’t hold a similar move against them. “Just enjoy it, man — I’m not here to pass judgment on anybody,” Baruchel grinned. “As long as you like it and don’t think I suck. That’s all I care about.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
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