Disney is awfully good at depreciating the value of its animated classics. Sometimes it makes useless sequels to films, as in Bambi II and The Lion King 1½. Other times it produces live-action remakes, such as 101 Dalmatians. Now, it is going a little too far. Not only will there be a live-action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but it may well star Nicolas Cage, who is so far only confirmed as a producer.

Of course, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is much older than the segment of Disney's Fantasia. The story goes back 210 years to a poem by Goethe called Der Zauberlehrling. But most people these days are more familiar with the Mickey Mouse version set to Paul Dukas' symphonic poem L'apprenti-sorcier (itself an adaptation of the Goethe). The animated sequence is so popular that it was even reused for the sorta-sequel Fantasia 2000. Obviously most viewers of this new film are going to be thinking about Mickey while watching Cage. That can't be good.

To make matters even worse, it is difficult to imagine the story -- a lazy sorcerer's apprentice misuses his magic by giving life to a broomstick -- being enough to fill a feature-length film. Apparently Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal have completed a script, but none of its details have yet been revealed. Anyway, it must be possible because a straight-to-video version of Goethe's tale was made in 2002 with Kelly LeBrock (interestingly enough, Weird Science has some of the same themes).