Disney’s Magic Camp is now streaming on Disney+ and to celebrate the release, I had the pleasure of interviewing five of the stars of the film. The actors who brought to life the characters of Theo, Nathan, Ruth, Vera and Vic shared fun stories from making the film, some of the magic tricks they really performed, and their excitement that the film is now available for the world to see. You can see the full video above and we’ve included a few highlights below.
The audition process required the kids to learn real magic tricks. Nathaniel Logan McIntyre plays Theo and he looked up card tricks on YouTube to prepare for his audition. Izabella Alvarez, who plays Vera, was the last of the kids to join the cast. She auditioned several times and didn’t hear back. She actually forgot about it until she got a call one day telling her she had the role. She had to start shooting a week before Thanksgiving and the rest of the cast had already been working together. “It was super crazy and I got into it really fast,” she explained.
“We trained for about a month learning magic tricks,” Nathaniel Logan McIntyre explained about the slight-of-hand magic that the actors actually performed on set. “They basically molded us into little magicians.” The cast spent a long time practicing their tricks to make them look as good as possible. Cole Sand, who plays the highly allergic Nathan, showed off some of his magic skills to kids in his taekwondo class. “Everything in the movie that you see is really us doing the tricks,” Cole shared. “When you spend that much time and that much effort on something, you remember it.” Hayden Crawford, who plays the bully Vic, shared that when he went home for Christmas while making the film, he showed off some of his card tricks to his family.
Professional magician Justin Willman was one of the teachers for the cast and Izabella Alvarez shared that she’s still astounded by what he does, even though she knows some of the secrets behind his tricks. “I still watch Justin Willman on stage do magic and I’ll watch every little thing that he’s doing, and still don’t know how he does it, still can’t figure it out. We went through all the training and I still don’t know it… It’s very hard and magic is not easy. It takes a lot of practice.”
Isabella Crovetti, the voice of Disney Junior’s Vampirina who plays the bunny-obsessed character Ruth, mostly worked with animals for her magic, which makes the tricks harder to show off to her friends. While the film takes place in the summer, it was filmed during the winter and the cast shared that it was often very cold. “I remember one specific night shoot, they were throwing water at us and we were in the showers with clothes on,” Isabella shared. “It was so cold that right after we’d cut, we had to run into these warming pens and they had these heaters for us and they’d bring us hot chocolate and we had to put on these giant coats because we were all soaked in water in this freezing weather.” Izabella Alvarez added that they also had black warming suits under their costumes to help keep them warm during that scene. “We were still freezing,” she joked.
At the end of the last day of filming, the cast got to go to Disney’s Jungle Ball, an event for the stars of Disney films and shows. “Disney holds a little dance for all the Disney actors,” Izabella Alvarez explained. “We got ready really fast on set and then we all zoomed over to the party.” Afterwards, the cast had a sleepover to celebrate their time together. At the same time, the end of filming was a sad moment for the cast as Isabella Crovetti shared. “Right after we finished our last scene, the whole cast and crew came together, hugged each other. But then all the kids, we went into our little tent and we did a group huddle and all literally balled our eyes out. We couldn’t stop crying.”
“I feel like it didn’t even matter when it came out, the fact that it did is just super exciting,” Nathaniel Logan McIntyre said about the lengthy gap between the film’s completion and its release. “I’m glad that people can see what we worked so hard on. We put in so much work and effort, everybody did, and I’m just excited for everyone to see it.” Isabella Crovetti thinks it’s actually better that the film waited to be released on Disney+ where more people will get to see it. “It was hard waiting all that time,” Hayden Crawford added. “But I do think it’s better that it did come out on Disney+.”
“There was a point where I just thought this isn’t going to come out,” Cole Sand concluded. “The fact that it’s out now is amazing and when we were filming it, we’re not doing it for ourselves, we’re doing it for the audience. So the fact that the audience can now watch it is awesome. It’s a really good feeling.”
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.