I get excited to see many Disney movies. I went to see, on the opening weekend, "Enchanted", "Toy Story 3", "Alice", "Up", "Princess and the Frog", etc.. etc. I will do so again when Tron Legacy opens. But will I go see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"??
First of all, I tend to not like movies produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Other than the first Pirates, which was a lot of fun and came out of nowhere to be a surprise due mainly to Johnny Depp's performance, none of Bruckheimer's pictures have been strong on clever plot, intriguing characters, and plain good old story. It appears that his movie usually have one major star - the special effects. Often, the special effect is so distracting, it becomes annoying rather than enhancing the story. The clever "adult" component of the movie is often missing, and there's no emotional attachment one can give to the movie.
Disney's live-action films have had this doldrums for a long time. Till "Alice", which luckily Bruckheimer had no part in, this section of Disney have had one disappointment after another. With them selling off Miramax and practically signaling that they will not make any more adult-themed movies, the live-action branch, I'm afraid, might simply produced these canned, high-energy action movies aimed at tweens, teenagers, and 20-something. It is ironic that if a Disney fan wants to go see a Disney movie with truly adult emotions and clever story line, they have to go see an animation movie out of Pixar, a medium a few years ago was thought to be populated by kiddie movies! Toy Story 3 packs enough of an emotional wallop that many adults shed tears at the end of the movie.
John Lasseter has always said that it isn't the medium, it is the story. So it should not matter if it is live-action, or animation. The story is what gets you and elevates a movie above the usually canned production. So the only way I can see Disney improving its live-action movies is to have the Pixar folks overseeing this part of the movie production as well. It's about time people like Jerry being given the same credo as Pixar's. You can't spend that much money and produce mediocre movie. It is one thing to spend money, produced a wonderful movie, and it bombed at the box-office. The public's reaction can never be predicted. However, "Sorcerer's Apprentice" got awful to lukewarm reviews. So was "Prince of Persia" and the sequel to National Treasure. Other non-Bruckheimer live action Disney movies were also terrible. "Escape to Witch Mountain" was awful and a waste of my time and money.
What it boils down to is that they need quality control. The new management at the movie division obviously have decided on how things should run. Many of these movies were already in production or ready to be produced when the management shift occurred. So we'll see in a year or two how this affects the quality of the movies being produced. So far, the only Disney live-action movie that I am looking forward to is Tron Legacy, and even they are seeking advice from John Lasseter and Pixar, which I think is a very smart move. I can only wish that other movies produced by Disney go through the same evaluation, not just the animated movies. It would probably stop them from releasing some of the embarrassing failures.