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The Sword in the Stone (1963)

A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in England history.

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(story), (based on the book by)
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4,766 ( 181)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sir Ector / Narrator in opening sequence (voice)
...
Merlin (voice)
Rickie Sorensen ...
Wart (voice)
Junius Matthews ...
Archimedes (voice)
...
Little Girl Squirrel (voice)
...
Madam Mim / Old Lady Squirrel (voice)
...
Sir Kay (voice)
...
Sir Pellinore (voice)
Richard Reitherman ...
Wart (voice)
Robert Reitherman ...
Wart (voice)
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Storyline

Arthur (aka Wart) is a young boy who aspires to be a knight's squire. On a hunting trip he falls in on Merlin, a powerful but amnesiac wizard who has plans for Wart beyond mere squiredom. He starts by trying to give Wart an education (whatever that is), believing that once one has an education, one can go anywhere. Needless to say, it doesn't quite work out that way. Written by Tim Pickett <quetzal@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whiz-Bang Whizard of Whimsy! The most fabulously funny cartoon characters ever come to life. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La espada en la piedra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Squirrel scene, Merlin transforms himself into a gray squirrel, while Wart turns into a red. In reality, gray squirrels where imported into England (from their native north America) no sooner than 1870s, after which they gradually dominated all of the forests and made the red squirrel almost extinct on the British Islands. The story, however, takes place apparently during the Middle Ages, long before that time. It might be a deliberate feature in the movie, as Merlin is capable of seeing deep in the future. See more »

Goofs

When Archimedes is teaching Arthur to write the alphabet, there is a point when Arthur moves to talk to Merlin and the "F" disappears then reappears in the next scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Minstrel: A legend is sung, of when England was young, and knights were brave and bold. The good king had died, and no one could decide who was rightful heir to the throne. It seemed that the land would be torn by war, or saved by a miracle alone. And that miracle appeared in London town: The Sword in the Stone.
See more »

Connections

Version of Knights of the Round Table (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Oak Tree
(1963) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Sung a bit by Sebastian Cabot and Alan Napier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What it lacks in plot, is mostly made up by humor
28 June 2012 | by (Here) – See all my reviews

The Sword In The Stone is a major disappointment. It's by no means a bad film, it's just disappointing. What I expected to be an origin film was really just a silly film about a boy with a wizard for a teacher.

Don't let the title deceive you, this is not a movie about a sword in a stone, it's about a skinny young boy named Arthur- whom everyone calls Wart- who has a rather ruthless and obnoxious father and older brother. While hunting with his older brother, Kay, Wart discovers a wizard named Merlin and his frumpy owl, Archimedes. Merlin is convinced that it is his job to tutor the boy, and that's all there is to it.

There's not nearly enough plot to last even the short 79 minute run time. This might've worked as a 15 minute short film, but as a feature length film, The Sword In The Stone feels padded and tedious. There's just not enough material.

Which is a shame because The Sword In The Stone has so much potential. This could've been a marvelous rags-to-riches story, but alas, it's just a Ben Kneobi, Luke Skywalker tale.

The Sword In The Stone does have some bright spots though, make no mistake. While a majority of the characters are dull and forgettable, Archimedes is at least slightly amusing, and Merlin is the real main character, and he steals all the scenes anyhow. The protagonist, Wart, is likable, if mostly forgettable.

The animation is shockingly bland. Despite a beautiful underwater segment, The Sword In The Stone has little visual sparkle.

There are songs too, but like many of the characters, they're forgettable. They're not bad by any means, just forgettable. At the minimum, they're not dull and that's good enough for me.

The score, by recurring Disney composer George Bruns, is disappointingly mediocre. However, there's a wonderful jazz piece utilizing the piano during a scene in which Merlin uses magic to wash dishes. This is the only part of the score I can recommend, unfortunately.

Some of the scenes are funny, if somewhat pointless to the actual story. The quarrels between Merlin and Archimedes are particularly amusing. There's also one scene towards the end, where Merlin battles a witch in a fun, yet completely illogical duel of magic.

While The Sword In The Stone lacks a real plot, and ultimately has nothing to do with the sword in the stone, it's an occasionally fun ride with enough humor to be a mildly enjoyable diversion.


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