The special effects are amazing in this paint-by-numbers Walt Disney live-action adaptation of the FANTASIA animated short. It begins with an epic battle between ancient sorcerers Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) and Morgana LeFey (Alice Krige of SLEEPWALKERS, GHOST STORY). Balthazar is an apprentice of the legendary Merlin and he manages to imprison Morgana in a weird wooden doll, along with many of her evil minions. However, in order to capture Morgana he also had to imprison sorcerer and love interest Veronica in there with her. Then the movie skips ahead to New York City ten years ago where Balthazar first encounters Dave (Jay Baruchel). Dave is on a field trip and stumbles into an old antique store. It's here that Balthazar discovers this ten year old kid is Merlin's replacement, though he can't do anything about it when his enemy Horvath (Alfred Molina) appears. They fight and Balthazar is imprisoned for ten years.
In the meantime, Dave has grown up into an insecure young adult who is studying physics at college. Balthazar returns and basically tells him he's a sorcerer--and Dave becomes the reluctant apprentice. And there's also a love interest for Dave, the stereotypical beautiful blonde girl he ends up saving later in the movie. Everything in this film unfolds exactly the way you think it will. As I said, the special effects are great but the movie is forgettable.