The Sorcerer’s Apprentice—Walt Disney Pictures (Blu-ray)

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 3.5/5

Balthazar Blake is a modern-day sorcerer with his hands full defending Manhattan against dark forces. When a seemingly average kid shows hidden potential, Balthazar takes his reluctant recruit on a crash course in the art and science of magic to become the ultimate sorcerer's apprentice. Experience more extraordinary thrills, heart-stopping action and spectacular special effects than you can imagine as these unlikely partners show us that the real world is far more magical than we ever knew.

Disney serves up a delightful HD presentation for this one. Like all of Bruckheimer’s productions, this is a visual treat with lots of style and lavish visuals. Detail is spot on with exceptional fine object detail and dimension. Contrast levels are also impressive with rich, deep blacks and plenty of shadow detail. The color palette is definitely tinkered with but lends a lot to the overall presentation. The DTS-HD Master Audio mix is rich with surround cues and Disney has definitely delivered one of the most engaging surround mixes I’ve heard this year. Dynamics are outstanding and I loved the panning effects used throughout. Deep bass extension is impressive, especially in the bigger action sequences, but the balance of everything is tightly refined.

For this review I received the two-disc set that includes a DVD copy of the film. The Blu-ray features quite a few behind the scenes features as well as individual features on different aspects of the film’s themes and production. You also get a lot of deleted scenes, alternate takes plus a look at bringing the wonderful short from Fantasia to life once again.

This was far better than I was expecting. Disney serves up a fun family fantasy that is similar in vein to the popular National Treasure series, though not quite as clever. The younger ones will definitely have a lot of fun with this one. Recommended.