Disney is now revisiting itself to make films. Sorta like referencing yourself in order to produce your latest project at work. That's not too bad when the source material is the animation classic "Fantasia".
Merlin (James A. Stephens – Sherlock Holmes) has three apprentices – Balthazar (Nicolas Cage – National Treasure, Gone in 60 Seconds), Horvath (Alfred Molina – Chocolat, Spider-Man 2) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci – Matrix Revolutions, Malena). He teaches them everything about being wizards. Due to jealousy, Horvath betrays him and sides with the evil Morgana (Alice Krige – Chariots of Fire, Star Trek: First Contact). Morgana is working on a spell that will wake the dead to destroy the living.
Merlin, Veronica and Balthazar wage battle against Morgana in an effort to stop her. Morgana with the help of Horvath stabs Merlin. Horvath escapes and Veronica absorbs Morgana into herself. Morgana starts to kill Veronica from the inside. In order to save Veronica, Balthazar traps Veronica and Morgana in a Grimhold, a nesting doll.
Before he dies, Merlin gives Balthazar a metal dragon ring and tells him that the ring will find the Prime Merlinian, the only wizard strong enough to defeat Morgana and Merlin's successor.
Balthazar searches for centuries for the Prime Merlinian and he finally finds him in the year 2000 in New York City. He is a young boy, a nervous young boy named David Stutler (Jake Cherry – Night at the Museum, Friends With Money). It does not go well and to try to save things Balthazar imprisons himself and Horvath in a vase for ten years.
Dial forward to 2010 and David (Jay Baruchel – How to Train Your Dragon, She's Out of My League) is a NYU student and a physics genius. Balthazar and Horvath have been released from the vase. Balthazar has to take on David as his apprentice in order to train him to become the Prime Merlinian and save mankind.
As an aside it is really quite amusing for me to watch in wonder at the multitude of hair plugs and wigs that the very odd Nicolas Cage wears in his films. In this one he sports a longer, stringy and greasy affair. Very "I'm a wizard trying to save mankind and I don't have time to think about my hair" look.
Some movies are simply about escaping. Just leaving the real world behind for a couple of hours and watching something fun. Yes, you could probably take a little time and pick this film to shreds. But what would that accomplish? It would just ruin what is a fun and yes, fairly mindless 109 minutes.
Done along the same vein as films like National Treasure (not surprising as the same makers of this film made that one) and The Mummy. The film moves along at a good clip never really bogging down and has some funny parts. Plus there is a mop and pail scene that is an homage to Disney's…you guessed it…Fantasia.
Nothing complex about this one. It has a kind of old fashioned feel to it. Very Disney. Magic. Humour. Evil villains. Chases. And the good guys win in the end.
-Magic In The City
-The Science Of Sorcery
-Making Magic Real
-Fantasia: Reinventing A Classic
-The Fashionable Drake Stone
-The Grimhold: An Evil Work Of Art
-Wolves & Puppies
-The World's Coolest Car
-3D Visual Effects Demos
-Sneak Peeks of Disney Movie Rewards.com, A Christmas Carol, Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, African Cats, Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, Alice in Wonderland: Special 60th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray Edition, The Incredible – Blu-Ray Edition, and The Lion King: Diamond Edition – Blu-ray Edition