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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 9:49 pm 
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When considering one of Disney’s great classics, a personal favorite of mine is often over looked… the one feature from the 60’s to not make the Platinum list, The Sword in the Stone. It is said that Sword pales in comparison to the 2 films that it falls in between, story wise, music wise, and in Disney Magic. Those who say that are WRONG!

The Sword in the Stone is one of those under appreciated classics like Alice in Wonderland and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. One aspect of the movie that is often criticized is the episodic theme, similar to that of Alice. Throughout the course of the movie, Arthur is involved in several mini adventures, that each teach him something about life, that will eventually help him when he is king, and that will help him to be a great king. His fish adventure teaches him about action and reaction, as well as to use brains over brawn… his squirrel adventure introduces him to 2 of nature’s most powerful forces – Gravity and LOVE.
What one has to keep in mind, is that this is the first in a series of King Arthur stories, this story is setting the foundation for Arthur to eventually rule as one of the greatest kings ever…
The story is quite interesting, but aside from that, it is fun, and entertaining. Everyone in the family is sure to enjoy it.

The music is very good. It is fluent energetic, and fun. The music during the opening credits is wonderful, and the narration of the beginning is actually sung in the old medieval style (not sure what it is called) limerick? Anyway, it is a nice surprise and a first from what I’ve seen. The music is not done in the Jazzy, or New Age styles, of the other 2 60’s features, but rather a mix of medieval and simple fun. Sword in the Stone features the songs: Higitus Figitus, What Makes the World Go Round, and well another song along the lines of World Go Round. The music is sure to charm everyone in the family, with its simplicity and happy tone.

Anyone who says this has less Disney magic then 101 Dalmatians or Jungle Book, needs their head examined as it is quite the other way around… Sword in the Stone is brimming with that good ol Disney magic, more so then the other two, which are pretty much magic free. All I am going to say on the subject is that if you question what Disney magic is, watch the film, again if you’ve already seen it, and you will question what Disney magic is no more…

Sword in the Stone had a lot of thought that isn’t always showed in animated features anymore. While Merlin like the Genie makes many references to the future, or present for us, he’s made to explain them, by young Arthur who has no idea what he is talking about, while in more modern movies, such as Aladdin and Hercules, many references are made to such modern things and go unquestioned, as if everyone know what is going on in the future.

Sword in the Stone has some pretty wonderful animation at parts, and had it not been for the financial failure of Sleeping Beauty, the entire film may have been done in the nicer style of the opening shots… though one thing to be said about the style is that it goes well with Sleeping Beauty which was done in a Renaissance style, that compliments it’s own Medieval style. While the animation does reflect the time period, due to the Xerox technique used it is no less timeless than the movie it proceeded or the one it followed, it is still a style all it’s own, the medieval style referred to above.

The Sword in the Stone, while maybe not seeming like it, is a bit more mature than most of Disney’s other features in that it teaches some life lessons and stresses the importance of education.

Sword in the Stone is a fun, wonderful piece of art that deserves a place in everyone’s home and heart, it has so many unique wonderful things, that the list could go on and on, it is ageless and for the ageless, unlike with many other stories, it is able to entertain and be enjoyed without being immature, and it is recommended that each and every person who reads this go out and watch today, with an open mind and an open heart.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:27 pm 
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Hey PP. Good to see the DIScussions being revived. Haven't had one in a while...

I too love SitS, and has long been not only one of my favorites, but one of my earliest Disney memories. I can't remember if it was shown in full or as part of a Wonderful World of Disney special, but I remember sitting and watching this one Saturday afternoon as a kid totally entranced.

This is a film that IS often forgotten, and I agree - much to the loss of those doing the forgetting. I must admit, I'm slightly biased here as I love anything vaguely Arthurian, but this is one film I revisit a lot. Although many liberties were taken with T.H. White's books, and much of the wit of the novels was lost in the process, the film maintains a charm all of its own. There is a sense of fun and humour about it, that seems to be lost on some of the more modern Disney films (see Pocahontas, Mulan and the upcoming Borther Bear which have humour in them, but take themselves way too seriously IMO).

SitS isn't without its flaws of course. As I said, I think much of the charm of the books is lost, and the self-referential humour (such as the visits to the 'present' by Merlin date the film. I believe one reference was actually a parody of an ad at the time!).

Despite all of this, it is a worthy addition to the collection IMO. The DVD (in the US at least) is excellent for a film that is largely 'forgotten' (although only a few of the features are actually specific to the film). Even so, a great film/DVD.
--------

Off topic-ish: Luke, I was hoping to do a DIScussion myself, one day. Are we aiming for film-specific discussions, or could it be something more general. I was discussing with 2099 at one stage the prospect of doing a study of homosexuality in Disney films. Another one that interests me is a feminist reading of the animated classics (given that many of them have female leads, or the name of a woman in the title, 'femininity' in one way or another, is obviously a major theme in Disney films. Is it a good portrayal, or a negative one?). Anyways, I digress.

Great job, PP.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:08 pm 
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Thanks Loomis.

Glad to see someone else who likes the movie as much as I do. :)

It truely is good, the only quam I have with it, is the changing Arthur voice... As I understand it, there were like 3 people voicing him, but there are really only 2 distinct voices... I think the older more gravely voice is more appropriate, while the more childish voice seems to throw things off a bit, but it is really no big deal.

It would be nice if Disney invested the time, effort and monet into making some more of the books from the series into movies.

Oh and by the way, I love your ideas for DIScussions, they sound very intiging, I hope you are able to do them, I know I would like to see them :) Just post them on the forum and give us something new and interesting to talk about... Now that all the contraversy over missing inserts seems to have died down, I'm so afraid we all won't have anything to talk about! :wink: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:28 pm 
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Still have not seen this one.

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Last edited by indianajdp on Sun Sep 28, 2003 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 12:37 am 
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Couldn't really disagree with you more, as I find this by far the weak link of '60s Disney animation. It's definitely one of my 5 least favorite Disney animated features and one of the few that I can actually say I don't like.

Anyhow, if you want me to put this on the site, e-mail me and let me know how you wish to be credited.

Loomis, I'd actually prefer to just focus on the films, but your idea sounds like it could be a good thread. More like 'discussion' but not quite 'DIScussion.' Cause we all know there's a world of difference. ;)

Well-written and you raise good points, Phillip. (I just happen to disagree with most of them.) ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 1:12 am 
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Luke wrote:
Loomis, I'd actually prefer to just focus on the films, but your idea sounds like it could be a good thread. More like 'discussion' but not quite 'DIScussion.' Cause we all know there's a world of difference. ;)


Hee hee hee...
Nah, 'scool, Luke. It is just something I have been tossing over in my head lately (ok, that just sounds wrong), and PP's thread seemed like an appropriate time to mention it...

Perhaps I'll bring it up at some stage. Probably more of an off-topic thing too I guess. Anyways, this is PP's floor and I'll step off....

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:30 am 
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I'm kind of in-between. I like the premise, and I liked the wizard character, but as a whole, the entire thing seemed cheap and sketchy.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:41 am 
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Prince Phillip wrote:
It truely is good, the only quam I have with it, is the changing Arthur voice... As I understand it, there were like 3 people voicing him, but there are really only 2 distinct voices... I think the older more gravely voice is more appropriate, while the more childish voice seems to throw things off a bit, but it is really no big deal.


Surely Disney could have brought in another voice artist and revoiced the entire film? or kept the same one and re-voiced his earlier work?

I must admit, I've only seen this once. I have the DVD but have never felt the need to give it a respin since. My daughter has never asked for it to be shown again either.

There's one sequence that stands out to me, that of young Arthur and the female squirrel. It really is quite touching when Arthur changed back and the squirrel realises she hasn't found a new love after all.

All the rest is sort of fuzzy to me now, even the duel between Merlin and Madame Mim which used to be shown in clip-form virtually every Bank Holiday over here. I think that sequence just goes on too long.

As for the music, yeah it does have good music. Most stuff by the Sherman Brothers is good. But it's telling that I'm more familiar with the music from my 5 Disc 'Classic Disney' collection than from watching the movie.

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 Post subject: One of my favorites
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:46 am 
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I must admit, I've only seen this once. I have the DVD but have never felt the need to give it a respin since. My daughter has never asked for it to be shown again either.


Personally, this is one of my favorites... among my three favorite disney movies actually! (Alice, Emperor, and this...) and i cant understand how you actually own it on DVD and have only seen it once! oh... and by the way... when did it first come out on DVD??? i've been wanting to get it on DVD a looong time already! I have it on video twice! the original and the classic collection ones! (as you can see,,, im crazy about it!)

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All the rest is sort of fuzzy to me now, even the duel between Merlin and Madame Mim which used to be shown in clip-form virtually every Bank Holiday over here. I think that sequence just goes on too long.


Are you kidding me? if anything its too short! I think the wizards duel is one of the best scenes in the movie, and i always wished it was longer so there would be more in it!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 10:45 am 
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I too think 'The Sword In The Stone' is the best of the 3 animated movies made in the 60's.

I think just like '101 Dalmatians' and 'The Jungle Book' it has really good humour that carries the story along so that you just want to find out what wackie adventures Wart and Merlin will be up to next.

I too, like 2099net, think the scene when Wart turns back into a human and the little girl Squirrels' heart is broken is one of the saddest things in any Disney film. Its even worse that Merlin had earlier on said that a female squirrel chooses a partner FOR LIFE.

I think all the stuff with Mim is harlious, especially the wizards duel scene, although 2099 is right it was shown everybank holiday on a Disney special programme on BBC1.

The two weakest things about this film though are the constant changing of Warts voice and the songs. Don't get me wrong I do like the songs (Mad Madam Mim is great) but the others don't rise to much when you think of the rest of the work the Sherman Brothers put out.

All in all 'The Sword In The Stone' is a film I really can watch anytime and enjoy it. It definately wouldn't fall in my top 10 list of Disneys animated films but would be somewhere between 15-20, which when you think how many there are is quite good.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 3:29 pm 
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Matty-Mouse wrote:
I too, like 2099net, think the scene when Wart turns back into a human and the little girl Squirrels' heart is broken is one of the saddest things in any Disney film. Its even worse that Merlin had earlier on said that a female squirrel chooses a partner FOR LIFE.


I also very much agree, I found this part very sad, when I was watching it yesterday, and it is a scene that had always stuck with me, over all the years that I had gone with out seeing it. (I hadn't seen it from the time I was a little kid to the time I purchased it, like 6-7 months ago, and then again yesterday, for the review...)

I really like Arthur/Wart's character. It has the innocence about it, that many more modern characters do not have, and he is a character that I think the audience can really feel for.

Another thing I meant to mention was, how much I liked Archametes(Sp) and how glad I was that he was not one of those goofy little sidekicks, that practically every disney movie has thrown into them. He was intelligent, and helped to move the story along.

I also loved Mad Madam Mim, as she was a good funny villian. She did not have to be cruel like the Evil Queen, Lady Tramaine, or Maleficent, to be a good villian, she was hillariously bad, without, again, being goofy.

I really like the story of King Arthur, myself, and am currently contemplating, getting TH White's series of Arthur stories, starting with The Sword in the Stone. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:05 pm 
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Can I ask, for the people that didn't think much of TSITS (Luke, 2099net et al) what did you think of the other two fully animated movies from Disney in the 60's?

All three films really are quite different from each other and any other disney film up to that time (afterward Disney really did repeat the jungle book formular just look at Aristocats and Robin Hood) I just think there a really interesting set of movies and would love to hear how you like the other two.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:32 pm 
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Now here is a movie I would like to see when Disney has him all grown up. It would be nice to see some of the King Arthur stuff with a Disney spin on it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:54 pm 
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poco wrote:
Now here is a movie I would like to see when Disney has him all grown up. It would be nice to see some of the King Arthur stuff with a Disney spin on it.


Hmm...I would like to see Disney do a big budget Arthurian epic, possibly in live action.
Mind you, for my money, Excalibur was one of the best live action Arthur movies ever made.

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Last edited by Loomis on Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:12 pm 
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i love this film its like the sleeping beauty that never to me!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:06 am 
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I guess am one of the oddball disney fans.... I actually prefer this film WAY much more to Sleeping Beauty. I've never been able to jump on the Sleeping Beauty bandwagon.... Anyway, don't get me wrong, i like SB a lot, its just that this film is more fun to watch IMHO.

I am yet another who is touched by the squirrel love scene. In fact, just the other day i posted this particular scene as the saddest one out of all the disney moments on Disney Sites.

This is one of my top five "watch when you feel bad/sad/sick" animated films. I think i'm going to watch it right now! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:22 pm 
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FOr me, I wish Aladdian would hurry up and come out.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:27 pm 
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i know we talked about this earlier, but the gold collection dvd of sword and the stone....is that the original aspect ratio? it says fullscreen and "modified from its original version", but i don't ever recall hearing that one as a wide screen. have we really lost a lot of picture on this release? i checked imdb.com and no ratio specs could be found. any luck with anyone else?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:36 pm 
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Matty-Mouse wrote:
Can I ask, for the people that didn't think much of TSITS (Luke, 2099net et al) what did you think of the other two fully animated movies from Disney in the 60's?


I love Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, they're both among my top 10 Disney animated favorites. It had been quite a while since I had seen them, so earlier this summer I revisited them on (blech) VHS. 101 Dalmatians was slightly less than I remembered it (but then I have very fond memories of seeing and loving the movie on the big screen), Jungle Book was slightly more. Both are very fun movies, particularly The Jungle Book. It's got colorful characters, great music, and a wonderful story about growing up. To me, it's the model of successful Disney formula, and it works without feeling formulaic.

Sword in the Stone, in my opinion, takes a similar formula (4 years before Jungle Book is made, of course) and it comes off feeling bland to me. I feel the 'cute' animal sequence is out of place and unnecessary, the villain seems to be a throwaway, and the movie never decides on a direction to take.

Phillip, I got your e-mail and I will be putting it up on the site...sometime soon, I hope. Just formatting the article and getting the pics will take a little while, and I'm busy with a few other things.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:54 pm 
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love Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, they're both among my top 10 Disney animated favorites. It had been quite a while since I had seen them, so earlier this summer I revisited them on (blech) VHS. 101 Dalmatians was slightly less than I remembered it (but then I have very fond memories of seeing and loving the movie on the big screen), Jungle Book was slightly more. Both are very fun movies, particularly The Jungle Book. It's got colorful characters, great music, and a wonderful story about growing up. To me, it's the model of successful Disney formula, and it works without feeling formulaic.


guess what? the exact same thing happened to me! i just re-saw the jungle book and 101 dalmations and i found 101 Dalmations being less then i remembered and Jungle book being more! it's just cool for me that we had the same experience! :D

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Sword in the Stone, in my opinion, takes a similar formula (4 years before Jungle Book is made, of course) and it comes off feeling bland to me. I feel the 'cute' animal sequence is out of place and unnecessary, the villain seems to be a throwaway, and the movie never decides on a direction to take.


Actually... i think that that's what makes the sword in the stone good! that it never really stays in the same direction! it gives the whole movie more flavor and makes it fun.... very much along the lines of Alice in Wonderland and The Jungle Book!

Oh... and by the way... did anyone notice besides me that in the sword in the stone, (in the point where they turn into fish), that Merlin turns into a big blue fish and Wart turns into a small orange fish! just like in Finding Nemo!!!! (Dori- big blue, Marlin- small orange!)
And another thing I noticed.... Merlin in the sword in the stone turns into a fish, and Marlin in finding Nemo is a fish!

Though they aren't the same type... i still insist that somthing very fishy is going on here!

:nemo: :nemo: :nemo:

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