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The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a 2010 fantasy adventure film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the team behind the National Treasure franchise. The film is named after The Sorcerer's Apprentice segment in Disney's Fantasia (with one scene being an extensive reference to it), which in turn is based on the late 1890s symphonic poem of the same name by Paul Dukas and the 1797 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ballad of the same name.
Balthazar Blake is a sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan, fighting against the forces of evil, in particular his spiteful arch-nemesis Maxim Horvath, while searching for the person who will inherit the powers of the legendary wizard Merlin. This turns out to be Dave Stutler, a physics student, whom Balthazar takes as a reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling apprentice a crash course in the art of science, magic, and sorcery, in order to stop Horvath and his mistress, the legendary witch Morgana le Fay from raising the souls of evil dead sorcerers and destroying the world.
- Nicolas Cage as Balthazar Blake, a one-thousand-plus-year old sorcerer of the "777th degree". Based on the magician Yen Sid in Disney's Fantasia.
- Jay Baruchel as David "Dave" Stutler, a highly intelligent college student who becomes Blake's apprentice.
- Jake Cherry as Young David "Dave" Stutler.
- Alfred Molina as Maxim Horvath, an evil sorcerer, and Balthazar's rival and former friend, Veronica's former love interest.
- Teresa Palmer as Rebecca "Becky" Barnes, the love interest of Dave.
- Peyton Roi List as Young Becky Barnes.
- Toby Kebbell as Drake Stone, an apprentice-Morganian and celebrity illusionist, who joins forces with Horvath.
- Omar Benson Miller as Bennet Zurrow, Dave's roommate.
- Monica Bellucci as Veronica Gorloisen, a sorceress, and the love interest of Balthazar Blake.
- Alice Krige as Morgana le Fay, the legendary sorceress with frightening dark powers who killed Merlin in AD 740.
- James A. Stephens as Merlin, the legendary wizard with amazing magical might killed in AD 740 by Horvath and Morgana.
- Gregory Woo as Sun Lok, a Chinese wizard.
- Nicole Ehinger as Abigail Williams, a witch in the second-to-last layer around the Grimhold, who was accredited for starting the Salem witch trials.
- Robert Capron as Oliver Twistmeyer, Dave Stutler's best friend as a child.
- Ethan Peck as Andre Dunlap
- Sierra, Takoda, Samson, and Bandit from the Howling Woods Farm animal shelter as the wolves.
- Ian McShane as the Narrator.
Awards and Receptions
- Though being nominated in Teen Choice Wards in 2010 as Choice Summer Movies, and a year later, won ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards as Top Box Office Films by Trevor Rabin, the movie itself gained mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 42% based on 163 reviews, with an average score of 5.2/10. The critical consensus is: "It has a likeable cast and loads of CGI spectacle, but for all but the least demanding viewers, The Sorcerer's Apprentice will be less than spellbinding." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating from 0-100 of top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 46.
- Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter has said that "The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a tired relic of summer-movie cliches, clearly beaten to death by far too many credited writers." Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four and wrote "This is a much better film than The Last Airbender, which is faint praise, but it is becoming clear that every weekend brings another heavily marketed action 'comedy' that pounds tens of millions out of consumers before evaporating".