In ancient times, there is a fight between the powers of good represented by Merlin (played by James A. Stephens) and evil represented by his arch enemy Morgana (played by Alice Krige). Merlin has three star pupils, two are good, Balthazar (played by Nicolas Cage) and his girlfriend Veronica (played Monica Bellucci) but the third one, Maxim (played by Alfred Molina) turns against him to side with Morgana. While Merlin fights Morgana, Veronica defeats her by absorbing her and voluntarily allows herself to be trapped in the jar with Morgana absorbed inside of her, so that the evil Morgana may not escape. Balthazar succeeds in also trapping Maxim within a larger nested jar that contains all of them. Before Merlin dies he tells Balthazar, in the future a boy will be able to defeat the evil and restore the freedom of Balthazar's girlfriend. Merlin gives Balthazar a special dragon ring that will respond when it encounters the correct boy. Upon this, Merlin dies. It is now Balthazar's responsibility to find the boy to free his girlfriend and destroy the evil he has captured at the same time.
Fast forward to modern times to see a young boy, Dave (played by Jake Cherry as a youngster) awakened by his pet dog on an ordinary school day. We see that Dave has a crush on Becky (played by Peyton Roi List as a youngster). They exchange love notes on a school field trip. Dave passes a note to Becky asking if she will be his girlfriend. She passes the answer back but the note blows away in the wind. As Dave chases the note, it blows down the street and into an open mailbox slot in the front door of an unusual shop full of arcane items. Chasing the note inside, Dave meets Balthazar. Balthazar recognizes this boy as the one he has been seeking for a very long time. Balthazar confirms this by placing the dragon ring on his index finger. The ring comes magically alive as the small dragon circles the boy's finger. Balthazar tells him that he is to be a powerful wizard but first he must learn as Balthazar's apprentice. While Balthazar is in the basement getting his book of magical spells, Dave releases the evil held captive in nested doll jar by accident. This allows Maxim to escape. Balthazar and Maxim fight. Balthazar wins by taking both himself and Maxim into a magical container trap which is a big urn. Dave runs out of the shop with the rest of the doll jar but loses it in the street while making his escape.
Fast forward again to about a decade later. Dave is now a young man (played by Jay Baruchel) going to NYU. He meets a now grown up Becky in one of his classes. They still like each other. Meanwhile, the fight between Balthazar and Maxim going on inside the urn for a decade, breaks out of the urn. They fight once again in the real world. Both want the nested doll jar that Dave ran away with, so they seek him out to find it. But Dave has no idea where it is.
while they look for it, Dave and Balthazar practice magic to improve Dave's skills. Out of boredom with the task, and preferring to run off to be with Becky, Dave uses magic to clean the house. What we know as the famous scene of the sorcerer's apprentice of Mickey Mouse where all the mops, pails, and water get out of control is what occurs. Balthazar uses magic to clean up the mess. After that they get very serious in Dave improving his magic skills. When Dave is finally ready, there is a showdown with Maxim and the release of Morgana plus Balthazar's girlfriend Veronica, to determine if evil or good will win.
Best part of story, including ending:
The special effects they used to create the magical stuff are quite good.
Best scene in story:
The best scene is when they re-create the famous animation done with Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice with Dave playing the role of Mickey. The live action scene is very funny itself but also reminiscent if one is familiar with the much older animation version.
Opinion about the main character:
Dave is a kind of oddball and clumsy, with little control over his powers, but in the end he finds himself and makes good.