Suspend your disbelief, if you will, and imagine Hollywood's resident odd-character actor, Nicolas Cage, as a 1,500-year-old sorcerer.
Now strip away all the whimsy and classical music background of the beloved Disney classic, throw in a lot of action and high-tech special effects, courtesy of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, move the story to modern day New York City and you've got the live action version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," which opened in theaters Wednesday.
Cage stars with Jay Baruchel as "Dave Stutler," the sorcerer's reluctant protege who, unbeknownst to him, possesses magical powers.
Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina are shown in a scene from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which opened Wednesday.
The two protagonists set out to save the city from arch-nemesis, "Maxim Horvath," played by veteran actor Alfred Molina.
This release is just the latest in a string of live action movies based on animated classics - and is certainly not the last.
"Scooby Doo," "Garfield," and recent productions of "Alice in Wonderland," "Marmaduke" and "The Last Airbender" are just a few of the live action films based on well-known animated versions.
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Top 10 box office
RANKTITLETOTAL GROSS# WEEKS
1The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$235.37M2
2Toy Story 3 $339.24M4
5The Last Airbender$99.71M2
7Knight and Day$61.81M3
8The Karate Kid (2010) $164.30M5
9The A-Team $73.92M5
10Shrek Forever After $233.78M8
A live action version of "The Smurfs" is due out next summer and a remake of Disney's hit "The Little Mermaid" is also in the works.
But do these live action treatments, complete with all the CGI (computer-generated imagery) bells and whistles, leave something to be desired?
Mike Bigger, 39, of Marietta, believes that these new adaptations actually help bring attention to the animated versions.
"I think it can be a positive thing for kids these days who are used to all the action and special effects," he said. "It might get them interested in wanting to see the original."
Bigger plans to take his godson, who is visiting from out of town, to see the movie this weekend. Bigger said he doesn't get to the movies more often than about once a month but did see the live action version of "Alice in Wonderland."
He wasn't impressed.
"I was expecting it to be dark - it's Tim Burton - but I think they should have called it something else. It wasn't the same," he said.
The story of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," developed by a team of five writers from the Mickey Mouse short - part of Walt Disney's 1940 collection "Fantasia" and itself inspired by a Goethe poem - essentially is a variation of the King Arthur Chosen One tale told with wizards.
The film also proves to be a timely film, joining the supernatural ranks of the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" films.
"I think these things go in cycles," Bigger said. "That just happens to be what's popular now."
Brian Bronski, 38, of Marietta, saw the film when it opened Wednesday and enjoyed it ... a lot.
"It was one of the best movies I've seen for kids in a while," he said, and that's saying a lot, considering Bronski takes in a film a couple times a week.
"I've seen everything," he said, noting he has 18,000 Regal Club points and the staff knows him by name.
Bronksi hasn't, however, seen the original Disney version but plans to own the Bruckheimer version when it comes out on DVD.
"It was just a lot of fun," he said.
The Associated Press contributed.