The Nicolas Cage movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was Disney’s attempt to kickstart their own wizarding franchise, but the title has a complex history.
- Disney’s film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, was inspired by a Nicolas Cage movie called Next, where Cage played a Las Vegas magician.
- The film connects to Disney’s Fantasia, specifically the segment titled “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” where Mickey Mouse plays the apprentice.
- The story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice originated from a 1797 ballad by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the music by Paul Dukas.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Disney found surprising source material for a blockbuster film with 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The film has a strange pedigree, beginning (in a roundabout way) with the Nicolas Cage film Next. Cage explains (via Yahoo!) that the movie, in which he plays a Las Vegas magician, gave him the urge to play a real wizard on screen. Cage took the idea to Next producer Todd Garner, who suggested that the idea could be made with Disney if it adapted one of their older properties.
Disney, who were still looking to recapture the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, ran with Cage and Garner’s idea. The film became The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a fantasy blockbuster in which a college student (Jay Baruchel) is inducted into a world of ancient sorcerers, taught by the thousand-year-old Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage). Unfortunately for the studio, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice became one of Disney’s biggest box office bombs. Nevertheless, it’s worth talking a closer look at the complex heritage of the action blockbuster.
Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Connects To Mickey Mouse’s Role In Fantasia
Fantasia features numerous animated segments set to pieces of classical music. The most well-known segment, which features in most of the film’s publicity, is Fantasia’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. In the short, Mickey Mouse plays the titular apprentice, who steals his master’s magical hat and uses it to animate a broom which he commands to complete his chores. Things go awry when the broom begins overfilling a cauldron, causing the whole room to flood with water. Mickey hacks the broom to pieces with an axe, but this only causes it to multiply, spawning even more chaos until his master returns and dispels the magic. The segment is lovingly recreated in 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
In the film, the titular apprentice once again attempts to have animated cleaning implements fulfill his chores, only for them to begin flooding the room with water. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice even recreates the iconic silhouetted image of the apprentice’s shadow bringing down his axe. Like the Fantasia segment, the havoc ends when the apprentice’s master, Nicolas Cage’s Balthazar Blake, returns. While the film uses an ancient book in place of a magical hat, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice does briefly feature Mickey’s famous hat in a post-credits scene.
Where The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Story Originated From
The 2010 film and its Fantasia precursor originate with the 1797 ballad “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by famed German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The events of the poem are largely the same as in Fantasia’s recreation; a young apprentice loses control of an enchanted broom, and accidentally multiplies it by chopping it up with an axe, only to be saved by his returning master. Since Fantasia is solely interested in animating pieces of classical music, the segment also owes its existence to French composer Paul Dukas’ 1897 work of music titled “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a symphonic adaptation of the poem which can be heard in both Fantasia and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.