Walt Disney Pictures has released a third trailer for their upcoming summer flick The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which reunites the National Treasure team of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub, and star Nicolas Cage in a new effects-heavy, family-friendly adventure.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice revolves around the PG-rated struggle between noble sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) and the devious Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina).  Unable to defeat Horvath and his minions alone, Blake recruits the nerdy Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) to become his new apprentice and trains him in the elaborate art and science of magic.

This trailer contains a fair amount of new footage that showcases the film’s sleek visual effects, a brief glance at the enchantress Veronica (Monica Bellucci), and Baruchel reprising the “geek who finds himself” character that he voiced most recently in How to Train Your Dragon.

Kudos to those that spot the brief homage to the original “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” short from Fantasia as well (hint: using magic to clean never works out the way you plan).

You can check out the new trailer below:

So far The Sorcerer’s Apprentice looks like good (if trite) fun – kind of like the National Treasure films, only with bigger production values and minus the Da Vinci Code plot-related silliness.  Aside from Baruchel inadvertently smacking himself in the crotch with a plasma ball in this most recent trailer, the film’s humor doesn’t seem to be too low brow or kiddie-oriented – which is often a concern with PG-rated fare.

We also have new character posters for two of the film’s villains.  First we have a poster for the yellow-eyed, long-clawed Sun Lok (Gregory Woo), a young Chinese sorcerer who is “unlocked from his Grimhold by Horvath [and] wrecks havok in Chinatown during a lively festival by materializing a fearsome fire-breathing dragon.”

Personally, I like Woo’s take on the character, if only for its succinctness:

“Sun Lok has been in a little container for thousands and thousands of years, and when he’s let out, he’s realy, really angry.”

You can see the infuriated Sun Lok in the poster below:

The big baddie of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is of course Horvath, a former disciple of Merlin (James A. Stephens) who parted ways with Blake over their shared affection for Veronica.  Now – having murdered Merlin – Horvath seeks to conquer the world with the aid of Morgana (Alice Krige) and her evil minions.  Very melodramatic, to say the least.

Here’s Molina’s take on Horvath and his quest to take over the world:

“[Blake] and Horvath have a rivalry that’s gone on for millennia.  [Blake] is maintaining the Merlinean standard of magic as a power that’s used for the benefit of mankind.  Horvath is the leader of the Morganians, who take the very different view that magic should be used to subjugate humans.  That’s the struggle between good as personified by Nic Cage’s character, and evil as personified by mine.  Horvath is a rather smart, debonair, Edwardian villain in the classic tradition of suave bad guys, well dressed and charming, but deadly.”

You can check out the fashion-savvy Horvath in the poster below:

So what do you think?  Does The Sorcerer’s Apprentice look like a fun bit of summer escapism?  Sound off in the comments section below.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice arrives in theaters in the U.S. on July 14th, 2010.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures (via /FilmComing Soon, and Latino Review)