Originally Posted by eweiss
Yeah, the kid walking down the aisle made the claim that most of the tricks were recreations of actual illusions (they explain how the orange-tree trick was a combination of a real mechanical trick + CGI for the fruit) a bit farfetched. I don't think there is any way to do an illusion of that kid walking down the theater aisle, even with today's technology. Maybe there is, but 100+ years ago?
I kind of touched upon this in a previous post, but
The other, non-spoiler, perspective is that all of the illusions were upgraded to fit the expectations of today's movie-going public.
Had the film stuck to actual, practical magic tricks, the effects would be totally unspectacular to today's audience. To have today's viewers relate to what is shown, the effects needed to be on par to what today's viewers expect and are used to.
Another opinion would be that the filmmakers cheated. Kind of the same way that the villain in the Scooby Doo stories was always revealed as a living person, even though the effects we saw would not have produced the incredible illusions that had the appearance of supernatural origins.
Either of the first two will work for me, or even a combination of the two. If it were just the filmmaker cheating, I would not have been satisfied with the movie.