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Blu-ray Review: Trio of Disney Films Make HD Debut

Chicago – Ready to feel old? It’s the 25th anniversary of “Oliver & Company,” 40th anniversary of “Robin Hood,” and 50th anniversary of “The Sword in the Stone.” Maybe I’m showing my age even further by admitting that I would rank the films in order of oldest to newest. “Sword” remains remarkably fun but “Robin Hood” is close behind. Only “Oliver” remains pretty much a waste of time.

Watching all three again was a trip back to my childhood although the journey wasn’t quite as I expected. I remember “Robin Hood” being a little more playful and visually striking. It’s still a decent flick but I found (and my kids agreed) “The Sword in the Stone” to have held up the best of the three. Yes, it’s an imperfect telling of the Excalibur legend but the music is fun and the film contains something too often missing from “lesser” Disney works — joy.
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Blu-ray Review: Disney's "The Sword In The Stone" 50th Anniversary Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

Walt Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, which opened on Wednesday, December 25, 1963, may not be all that familiar to young viewers unless they grew up seeing it on VHS in the 1990s or on its maiden DVD release five years ago. I first saw it in January 1973 during a re-release and again in elementary school in the all-purpose room on 16mm in 1975, which was a real treat as it was rare to see a feature-length film in school (the obvious exception being Charlotte’s Web (1973) which was de rigueur for elementary school students.) Having just viewed the new 50th anniversary Blu-ray, I was shocked to realize just how little of the film I had remembered other than the jousting sequence.

Based upon the 1938 novel by Terence Hanbury White, who passed away some 24 days after the film’s release, The Sword in the Stone concerns the death of King Pendragon,
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Blu-ray: Disney’s Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 6, 2013

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $36.99

Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

The Sword in the Stone

Disney celebrates a bunch of anniversaries with Blu-ray debuts. Animated fantasy movie The Sword in the Stone turned 50 and adventure film Robin Hood turned 40 this year.

Originally released in 1963, The Sword in the Stone tells the story of young Arthur, who’s tutored by Merlin the Magician before fulfilling his destiny of becoming king.

The film was nominated for an Oscr for its music.

1973′s Robin Hood is another old English legend, about the outlaw who fights against injustices by robbing the rich to feed the poor. Robin Hood is a wily fox, his friend Friar Tuck a cuddly bear, the rich Prince John a cowardly lion and his companion Sir Hiss a slippery snake.

The movie also was nominated for an Oscar for its song “Love” by George Bruns and Floyd Huddleston.
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[DVD Review] Walt Disney Animation Collection: Volume 3: The Prince and the Pauper

The Disney Classic Short Films collection abounds with animation gems that have been wiling away the last few years. In the third installment of this collection, headlined by the more well-known The Prince and the Pauper, we get one the better animated features in the old Disney library. Accompanying the main cartoon we have five additional cartoons of starkly varied age, style and quality (more so than on the other sets).

The Prince and the Pauper (1990)

Directed by George Scribner, Written by Gerrit Graham and Sam Graham

Here we have one of the best Disney shorts to come of the pre-Pixar era. Created back in 1990, the animation here stands up to the test of time – in fact, seeing it for the first time in what must have been a decade, I was shocked at how beautiful it still looks. Based on the classic story by Mark Twain, it has all
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