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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:54 am 
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Sadly, The Sword In The Stone is right up there with Alice In Wonderland and Treasure Planet in being vastly underrated. It's by no means one of Disney's best movies, but it's not one of their weakest, either. As a child, it was always one of my favorites, and remains a favorite to this day- not only for the nostalgia factor (which is large here), but for the film itself.

(Hmm... have we ever ranked animated classics before? I know we've rated and had contests, but I can't remember if we did the ranking thing or not).

The animation isn't Disney's best- but it's by no means its worst. At times, it gets awkward (like Arthur's face in many scenes), and on the whole, I'd say it's under-done. The imagery is good, though, and is reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty (only not presented with the beauty and perfection that SB boasts).

There's a lot of Walt in this film (though many of its critics are probably reluctant to admit that). There are also many similarities with other Disney films that came both before and after it. In particular, I see a lot of Bedknobs & Broomsticks in it. There are also a few reminders of Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, even if they are only small reminders here and there. I'll address a few of those that stuck out for me a little further down.

Maybe the story is what makes me like it so much. I've always been fascinated by the stories of King Arthur (but then, I think that fascination actually began with this movie). This movie really focuses on Arthur the boy- after the opening sequence (one that really reminded me of SB), we don't really hear much of the legend that is the source of the film's title until the end. I think a little more build up to that would have been nice, but it still works as it is. The Sword in the Stone is part history & legend, part fantasy, and part coming-of-age. It's also very funny. Throw in the occasional (though not abundant) emotional element, and you've got a fairly well-rounded and enchanting story.

It's disappointing that of the 3 '60s Disney movies, TSITS is the only one to not receive an animated sequel, but the only one that really begs for one at the film's close. I'd love to see a theatrically released follow-up to the adventures of Arthur, Merlin, and Excalibur. 8)

The characters are wonderful. My favorite is either Merlin or Achimedes (tough call). I think Christopher Lloyd would be great as Merlin if they ever adapted this into a live-action flick (which they should, recent efforts notwithstanding :P). Arcihimedes is a hoot (pun unintended), and really reminds me of Merryweather, where as Merlin sort of reminds me of Flora and the genie from Aladdin at the same time. Arthur is part Penny (The Rescuers) and part Christopher Robbins (Pooh). He isn't quite as endearing as the first two I mentioned, but he successfully brings a little sympathy to the table. Madam Mim is great. The wizard's duel scene is really pure genius. She's evil but lovable, and earns her spot on the display shelf in Disney's library of villains.

None of the film's songs are among my all-time favorite Disney songs, but I still really enjoy all of them. I'm not sure which I'd finger as my favorite- that'll take a little thought. I love that you can really see the handiwork of the Sherman Brothers in the lyrics and score. I wish they would work with Disney again.

Finally, I've gotta point out that the film really captures the spirit of the legend in the key parts of the story, and relies on the spirit of fun for the rest.

As for the DVD, it's a surprisingly good one, though I haven't yet tackled all the features. I wonder why Disney went with 1.33:1 for this in the '60s?

-Aaron

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:56 am 
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I'm not a really big fan of this movie. I remember when I was little that I would start watching it and get bored after the squirrel part. I should probably watch it now the whole way through...Well, anyway, I think that the animation wasn't that great and that it was kind of, well, boring.

Well, that's all I have to say about this film. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:20 am 
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this used to be one of my favorites as a kid also. i dig the song "that's what makes the world go round". what i want to know is, how come none of the songs are commercially available on cd? the only one that i've seen is "higitus figitus" on a couple of compilations. granted, there aren't all that many songs in the film, but maybe disney could combine some film soundtracks onto single discs. for example:

"saludos amigos/the three caballeros"
"make mine music/fun and fancy free"
"melody time/the adventures of ichabod and mr toad"
"the sword in the stone/robin hood"

none of these soundtracks are available now. i would buy them!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:50 am 
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The Sword in the Stone isn't one of my favorite Disney film but I watch it once in a while since it's traditional at home.
Many would say it underrated and I believe them because it's not that bad I like it very much. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:13 pm 
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This film was one of the few Walt-movies I could watch anytime as a kid. I can see why some people consider it weaker than other movies from the sixties like 101 Dalmatians, Jungle Book or Mary Poppins, but I just love the characters, songs and the artwork in particular. My favourite part of the movie is when Merlin tries to prove man will fly one day, and when the little plain he tries to send into the air crashes like a rock, Archimedes cracks up and laughs for like 3 minutes. That part is so contagiously funny. "That's What Makes the World go Round" is in my opinion one of the most underrated Disney songs.... heck, the entire movie is underrated! A great Disney classic, of wich I hope a 2-disc dvd will one day be available :)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:57 pm 
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This movie was just okay for me :roll: . There were a few times when I felt totally bored, but there were some great parts too. My favorite parts are probably when Merlin changes Arthur into different animals. The wolf is also a great little supporting character! He goes through some of the funniest gags. But by far the funniest (and maybe to others annoying) is Arthur's catchphrase: WHOA, WHAT...WHOAAAAAA!!!!!!! :lol: Also how hia voice manages to go through puberty and back (due to the use of three different voice actors).

And I finally realized why the movies from the 60s - the 80s all had the same rough looking art style. It is from the Xeroxography (is that a word?) of the original drawings. Anyhow that was such a revelation to me b/c for years I wondered why the said movies looked the way they do and not like the features before and after that time period.

Okay, back to Sword...I really only bought the DVD because I never saw the whole thing and mainly for the bonus features! For a Gold Collection, I'd have to say this is the best one as far as bonuses go since it has a nice little documentary, a meager, but still good art gallery, loosely related classic Disney shorts, and the Disneyland episode about Magic :) . The Disneyland episode is great, though my only complaint is the Trick or Treat cartoon. I think it's one of the better Donald Duck cartoons but I probably already have 3 other DVDs with the same short!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:19 pm 
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Oh man. I've never seen the Sword in the Sword since I was about 5 years old. The only thing I remember was the Owl. :lol: (Was there even an owl? lol) I'll eventually see it again since I'm trying to get all the Disney Animated Classic DVDs. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:02 pm 
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Aaron wrote:
As for the DVD, it's a surprisingly good one, though I haven't yet tackled all the features. I wonder why Disney went with 1.33:1 for this in the '60s?
Image<--------------- Here's my comment on that :P

The movie probably is more exciting/less boring that way too, instead of the remote far away look it has on open matte.

Last 1.375 was Peter Pan. (Not counting the seldom seen Academy composited version of Lady And The Tramp)

I like the movie but haven't seen it in ages! Have a comic book version of it too.


To permanently add the OAR comparison piccie this was


Last edited by deathie mouse on Wed Nov 10, 2004 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:05 pm 
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Sword and the Black Cauldron both received acceptable gold collection releases. It would, however, be nice to access the open matte version that is presented above.
Sword definitely has the potential for numerous sequals, and I'm surprised Disney didn't try any. Although the original movie isn't the best, if it looked in the least bit exciting (what a bland cover-no real sense of magic) kids might want to pick it up at the store. I bought it last year because I saw it at walmart for $14. I could really get into such sequels, exploring the place of magic in the kingdom and the like. Of course, some of the storylines are a little too adult for the cartoons (Guinevere and Lancalot, as well as Modred come to mind). Maybe we would have a hope for sequels if Jerry Bruckheimer's Arthur had done better.
:roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:07 pm 
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Yes, there is a owl, his name is Archimedes. :)

Deathie, I understand why the DVD didn't go with open matte. I just wonder why Disney went to shooting in 1.33:1 in the '60s after using widescreen for SB and Lady and the Tramp. Was it just the cost?

I would like to say that if the sword was made a bigger deal at the beginning of the film, and that Arthur's destiny was more forcibly pushed towards the destiny of the sword, it would make for a tighter, more riveting story.

-Aaron

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:18 pm 
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Kram Nebuer wrote:
But by far the funniest (and maybe to others annoying) is Arthur's catchphrase: WHOA, WHAT...WHOAAAAAA!!!!!!! :lol: Also how hia voice manages to go through puberty and back (due to the use of three different voice actors).


Let's all pick our favorite Arthur voice:

1. The kid voice - he used mostly when he's a fish or a squirrel.
2. The other kid voice - there were 3 voice actors, two of which were twins, so their voices may have interchanged several times and one could hardly tell the difference.
3. The scratchy voice - he uses it a lot during the last 20 minutes or so, except for one part where he yells out an obviously reused "MERLIN!!!".

My personal favorite is the non-scratchy ones, because I always felt that the poor kid should have coughed a few times before they recorded his voice, lol.

And I'm a big fan of that "WHOA, WHAT WHOAAAAAA!" I think they used it at least four times in the movie.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 7:01 pm 
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I think we are still getting terms like open matte and the various widescreen formats (like flat and anamorphic) mixed-up. So forgive me if i do this all over again :)

disneywb wrote:
It would, however, be nice to access the open matte version that is presented above.

And Aaron wrote:

Deathie, I understand why the DVD didn't go with open matte. I just wonder why Disney went to shooting in 1.33:1 in the '60s after using widescreen for SB and Lady and the Tramp. Was it just the cost?



The dvd IS the open matte version.

The dvd SHOWS what's on the open matte image made by the Technicolor Academy camera on the 1.375 camera negative.

The dvd SHOWS the image WITHOUT the masking or "matte" which it would have covering the "non-widescreen" areas in a normal theater screen, hence the "matte" (or masking) is said to be left "open"

The dvd doesn't LOOK like the movie looks on a theater screen (the OAR)

The dvd shows MORE than you would have seen in a normal theater, more above and below.

The normal theater would have shown the OAR image seen on the top part of my avatar image by masking ("matting") the top and bottom of the 1.375 image in the 35mm print with the projector aperture metalic plate and projecting the resulting widescreen image on the screen. Depending on the configuration of the theater, you'd see something around 1.66 wide to 1.85 wide which is under tolerance of the 1.75 OAR.

As disneyunlimited and I have mentioned, in many "open matte" transfers if you have a 16:9 widescreen display with zoom (or use masking tape/cardboard for 4:3 displays ) you can get the theatrical OAR again, more or less, from the dvd.



Aaron, I think what you really meant is why did Disney stop shooting in "anamorphic/cinemascope/70mm/large" formats after LatT and SB, not "widescreen".

Yes?

Cus most of the movies made after the 50's are ALL shot in "widescreen". And most of them kept being shot in "1.33" cameras

One Hundred and One Dalmatians is a widescreen film and so is Sword and the Stone. And Batman and the Matrix and Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp.

The diference is how the widescreen image is made. (And for us, how it is presented on video):

A: Shoot the image in the projected widescreen ratio

B: Shoot the image in the center of a larger aperture standart Academy sound or original Silent aperture "squarish" camera and "compose/mask" the image for rectangular widescreen projection. These films are said to be shot in "open matte". Other way they are called is flat (spherical) lens widescreen photography.


Of the 6 films i mentioned above, 4 are "B", but ALL are widescreen movies.

Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp both were shot in method "A"

Method A gives you the greatest image quality and the largest widest images in theaters.
But it has to be cropped for "non widescreen" presentations (like for normal TV)

Method B lets you make an alternate non-widecreen version without having to chop the sides of the images by letting you show more of the "extraneous" image above and below on the non widescreen "presentation" (like TV), so that's one reason most widescreen films are still shot that way today. Even many "Cinemascope wide" films like T2, T3, Matrix, LOR, I Robot etc etc. are being done in open matte "1.33" cameras (i've already seen some 1.78 "open matte" versions of these 2.39 wide films on HDTV .)

Other reasons to shoot "open matte" are:

You don't need to modify the cameras from Academy/Silent to widescreen as the Widescreening is done in the projector/lab (and now you can do it on your zoomed 16:9 display) so the cameras can do double duty and be used for both widescreen movies and "old square" tv

SFX are much easier to make on spherical (flat) lens photography than with anamorphic ("scope" or squeezed image) lens photography so to do that in widescreen movies you have to use the open matte method (or go to spherical 70mm/VistaVision for the effects which is costlier (what Lucasfilm and Douglas Troumbull used to do in the good ol' days)

And of course large format movies like Technirama, VistaVision and 70mm use special cameras, and more film in negatives and prints (cus they are bigger wider) so it cost more too, and are projected in fewer theaters than 35mm prints

So Walt Disney must have realized that by shooting in hard masked widescreen/large formats he would be both spending more and limiting his markets specially when he just had a new Television market open to him, so he must have taken a bussiness descision to have most of his films shot in "open matte" COMPOSED for widescreen 1.66-1.85 (it's principal artistic showcase) but PROTECTED for 4:3 presentations like future TV showings or maybe overseas or educational markets that still used Academy wide 1.375 screens or 16mm projectors by just animating a little more at the bottom and showing more of the painted backgrounds at the top than shown on modern theaters
So he basically kept shooting them with "1.33" cameras (remember, they are 1.375) and composing them for widescreen like most other widescreem movies did.

With computer rendered CAPS film they are doing the same but in 1.66 so no modern theater shows black letterboxed bars and it helps on 4:3 video transfers. Why not make the CAPS 1.33? About 25% savings in computer rendering time/costs? It HAS to be a minimum of 1.66 cus unlike in video, the 1.66 theaters can't zoom and pan/scan the black bars. When i measured all the xtra top and bottom image in the 4:3 CAPS rendered music video of Beauty and the Beast against the 16:9 version i got something closer to 1.60... but i haven't double checked :P

As far as I know Disney has made just 5 of it's animated classics (Lady And The Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, The Black Cauldron, Atlantis, and Brother Bear) in a difficult to "Full Frameize" format (And he actually made an Academy 1.375 version of Lady and the Tramp to avoid that)

I don't know how many of the Live Action films were made this way. (20,000 Thousand Leagues, The Black Hole, Tron, a few more)

Hope this answers your questions


.....


If they can make Timon and Pumba sequels, i'm sure they could do Merlin/Madam Min/Archimedes prequels/sequels set on those magical times apart from the main Arthurian theme :P

Actually, if DisneyCo. REALLY wanted to be creative they could make a duel of magicians, witches, etc etc film by pooling from all its magical/villanous characters that would be better or more interesting than cheapquels if they had someone who made an intelligent brainy script ;P

A good wizards and witches movie to go against LOR and Harry Potter type movies now in vogue, showcasing Disney animation and quality

missed opportunities :P


deathie for Disney Advisor with Steve Jobs for CEO

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:03 pm 
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deathie mouse wrote:
Aaron, I think what you really meant is why did Disney stop shooting in "anamorphic/cinemascope/70mm/large" formats after LatT and SB, not "widescreen".

Yes?


Yes! Thanks, deathie. :D

-Aaron

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:20 pm 
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I'm watching it tonight after 10 YEARS of abstinence, cant wait!! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:53 pm 
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Thank you for clearing that up! I feel like a real idiot for not getting that. Needless to say, I'm saving the info for future use. You certainly put in the time on that reply.
Thanks a bunch.
I'm all for SITS sequels!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:27 pm 
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I have that one on DVD ... it's good. Not great, but ...

Man, I LOVE the squirrel scene! :)

One of my favorite Disney scenes. I felt so sorry for the girl squirrel when she found out Arthur was a human boy. Poor thing. And I liked the race through the tree-tops, the hide and seek between them. It was sweet, and cute. I liked the animation there. And Merlin's song was good in that scene.

In fact, Merlin was a constant riot, all throughout the film. Great voice-work with him, and with Archimedes. (Trying to teach Arthur the A-B-C's, and laughing at the downed toy plane.) I liked all the "turning into animal" scenes, all the lessons Merlin taught Arthur.

I think "The Sword in the Stone" is a fun, solid film. I like it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:36 am 
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I think it can depend on which country you are in! here in the UK i think the film is rated higher than in the USA. Last time it was on TV 3 different TV guides gave it a four star rating! and lots of people here have seen it!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:28 am 
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I'm not so sure I'd agree that SitS is "underrated". Even though a lot of nice things can be said about this film it still remains one of the weaker ones, IMO. That doesn't necessarily mean that I think it's bad, as I'm quite a fan of Disney's output of animated features in general.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:03 pm 
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Wow it amazes me how almost each time that we have one of these disscussions on one of these movies a lot of the times the ones that are considered underated are my favorites: Such as Alice in Wonderland, The Rescuers. Well I am sure that many of you get the picture by now. But the Sowrd in The Stone was no different for me. When I was younger this was one of my favorite films I actually got this movie and Alice in Wonderland for my birthday :D when I was younger of course.

And just like Arron said I think my fascination with this movie is the whole idea of King Arthur stories but then again I am not sure if this movie opened up that door for me.

This move may not be as magical as Beauty and the Beast but to me its so special. I love the fish scene when they go in to the little pond and sing (to and frow thats what makes the world go round) And the Characters are great. Funny in thier own way and very distinctive personalities.I think my absolute favorite part is when Arthur and Merlin first meet and he fall through the roof of the house.And he has tea with Merlin the litte sugar container cracks me up.

Really I could go on and on but I wont. I think that it is a great movie and wone of the few that I would not mind seeing a sequal done to it since thier are so many things that can be done with it. So those are my thoughts :) .


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 Post subject: The Sword in the Stone
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:19 am 
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I absolutely love this movie. I think its a bit underrated. Not too many people have seen it, but its hillarious, and Merlin is really funny! Post what you think about the movie!


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