The Sword in the Stone

Film

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Time Out says

A beautifully animated Disney feature, adapted from TH White’s tale of the young (soon to be King) Arthur and his mad adventures with Merlin the Magician. Together with snooty sidekick Archimedes the owl, Merlin educates the boy in some of the basic facts of life. With his magic wand, he can change both himself and his pupil into anything he wishes, which results in one of the best episodes: a duel between Merlin and the evil witch Madam Mim, where they both try to gain the upper hand by transforming themselves into some of the nastiest creatures possible. It was produced by Walt himself, with tuneful music supplied by the Sherman brothers.
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Release details

UK release:

1963

Duration:

80 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Wolfgang Reitherman

Cast:

Karl Swenson, Sebastian Cabot, Ricky Sorenson, Junius Matthews

Music:

George Bruns

Art Director:

Ken Anderson

Editor:

Donald Halliday

Screenwriter:

Bill Peet

Producer:

Walt Disney

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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Dom

One of Disney's greatest embarrassments, 'The Sword in the Stone' is the studio's dullest and most unimaginative feature before the seventies. Even the Sherman Brothers - the excellent studio composers, do not manage to make it salveageable with their songs which are rarely more than mildly entertaining. The script is the real culprit, having the predictability and emptiness of something a young adolescent could have penned. None of the characters exactly jump off the screen with excess vibrancy; Merlin the Magician falls between the stools of commanding authority and lovable but effectual bumbling - he is merely silly; The young Arthur, in some ways a blueprint for Mowgli, has a mere trace of that later character's fire and winning naivety. The story ambles, almost aimlessly, from episode to episode, each new scene being memorable only for its vacuity by comparison with those from the great Disney movies before and after. The Wizard's duel is at least engaging. Also, Disney rarely fails on imagery and colur and here the visuals are indeed lovely. An effective balance is found, here, between the over fussy detail of the 1959 'Sleeping Beauty' backgrounds and the richly coloured Xerox images of the 1961 top grosser 'One hundred and One Dalmatians.

Dom

One of Disney's greatest embarrassments, 'The Sword in the Stone' is the studio's dullest and most unimaginative feature before the seventies. Even the Sherman Brothers - the excellent studio composers, do not manage to make it salveageable with their songs which are rarely more than mildly entertaining. The script is the real culprit, having the predictability and emptiness of something a young adolescent could have penned. None of the characters exactly jump off the screen with excess vibrancy; Merlin the Magician falls between the stools of commanding authority and lovable but effectual bumbling - he is merely silly; The young Arthur, in some ways a blueprint for Mowgli, has a mere trace of that later character's fire and winning naivety. The story ambles, almost aimlessly, from episode to episode, each new scene being memorable only for its vacuity by comparison with those from the great Disney movies before and after. The Wizard's duel is at least engaging. Also, Disney rarely fails on imagery and colur and here the visuals are indeed lovely. An effective balance is found, here, between the over fussy detail of the 1959 'Sleeping Beauty' backgrounds and the richly coloured Xerox images of the 1961 top grosser 'One hundred and One Dalmatians.