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THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

The "Fantasia" Scene
In his underground lab, trying to hurry for a date with Becky for which he's waited a decade, Dave breaks the first rule of sorcery: "Magic is not to be used for personal gain or shortcuts.” In an effort to quickly tidy up the lab, Dave begins to manipulate mops, brooms, buckets and even sponges to perform his chores for him…with disastrous results!

"‘Fantasia's' ‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is one of the greatest works of Disney animation, so we had to be very careful with how we adapted it,” says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "We didn't want to ruin the magic, but create new magic as a loving homage to the original.”

Says director Jon Turteltaub, "One of the biggest mistakes a director can make is to take on a piece in which every critic in the world will be judging you against one of the greatest things ever made. We're taking eight of the most famous minutes in movie history, and what are our choices? We could either wisely just make a little wink towards it and then move on and try not to compete. Or we can really go for it. Let's update, let's do our version relative to this movie, with the technology that we now have—and for me, this is the key element—keeping the moral the same.

"Paul Dukas' music was the inspiration for the episode in ‘Fantasia,' while the original story from the Goethe poem was the inspiration to the music,” Turteltaub continues. "So with an enormous number of people and resources, we put together what we hope is a really entertaining, fun experience which really takes the essence of Walt Disney's ‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice' and gives you our version, which is the essence of the fable, the Goethe poem, the Dukas music and the Disney animation.”

Jay Baruchel was challenged and honored by the task at hand, but never intimidated. "It's a huge honor and a tremendous responsibility to walk in Mickey Mouse's shoes. Those are pretty big shoes to fill, and I wondered how to do my own thing and make it funny without stepping on or moving away from what made that sequence so iconic in the first place. For me to be in this movie, and be allowed to put my stamp on and at the same time pay homage to one of the most beloved sequences in film history, wasn't lost on me. It was an absolute treat, incredibly fun, and I loved having all those mops and brooms kick my butt. It was just magical. It was hard not to be a kid in that situation, man. I grew up watching that scene in ‘Fantasia,' so after getting to do my own version of it, I could retire right now.”

Part of what gave Baruchel so much impetus and creativity in his own interpretation of the scene was his intrinsic and thoughtful understanding of the tale's essence. "Adam and Eve couldn't help but eat the apple, right? It's the old ‘curiosity- killed-the-cat' thing. Trying to find the quickest, easiest way of getting something done is an ambition that we all share, and we've all had that come back to bite us in the butt cheeks, right? The sequence is about somebody trying to cut out the middleman, and paying a huge price for it.” Although the final version of Paul Dukas' timeless music was freshly adapted by composer Trevor Rabin, a traditional version of the piece was played on set during the sequence's filming, not only for atmosphere, but also for specific timing purposes. And although the live-action feature version doesn't mimic the animated original, there are a few direct references—the shadow cast on the lab wall by Dave wearing his hoodie looks curiously like the one cast by Mickey Mouse in his peaked sorcerer's cap.

When conceiving the huge underground lab set in which the sequence takes place, production designer Naomi Shohan made sure to pay her own homage to the original animated short. "The shape of the lab is reminiscent of a castle keep, which was the setting of the Disney cartoon,” she notes. "The very large stones at<

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