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The Sword in the Stone (1963)

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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 English history.

Writers:

Bill Peet (story), T.H. White (based on the book by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sebastian Cabot ... Sir Ector / Narrator in opening sequence (voice)
Karl Swenson ... Merlin (voice)
Rickie Sorensen Rickie Sorensen ... Wart (voice)
Junius Matthews Junius Matthews ... Archimedes (voice)
Ginny Tyler ... Little Girl Squirrel (voice)
Martha Wentworth ... Madam Mim / Old Lady Squirrel (voice)
Norman Alden ... Sir Kay (voice)
Alan Napier ... Sir Pellinore (voice)
Richard Reitherman Richard Reitherman ... Wart (voice)
Robert Reitherman 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

Plot Keywords:

merlin | england | knight | kingdom | boy | See All (121) »

Taglines:

It's merry old England, and a brand new Pooh! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La espada en la piedra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,230,614, 25 March 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,182,353
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Walt Disney never knew it, he himself was character designer Bill Peet's model for Merlin. Peet saw them both as argumentative, cantankerous, but playful and very intelligent. Peet also gave Merlin Walt's nose. This was the second instance in which Walt unknowingly served as model for a wizard, the first being the wizard Yensid from the Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia (1940). This explains why the character was given the name Yensid. This read backwards is Disney. See more »

Goofs

When Merlin is packing his bag by magic to go to the castle, the flow of items stops halfway into the bag as the sugar bowl fights with the teapot. When Merlin says, "Where was I?" there are no items near the bag. The camera cuts to Wart and when it goes back to Merlin, the items are back where they were. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Minstrel: [singing] 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 »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD version omits part of Madam Mim's first line "Sounds like someone's sick. How lovely. I do hope it's serious. Something dreadful." She now says "Sounds like someone's sick. How lovely." See more »


Soundtracks

Higitus Figitus
(1963) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Sung by Karl Swenson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
For every laugh there should be a tear
13 July 2007 | by Atreyu_IISee all my reviews

The 18th animated Disney classic is among the most hilarious of all time. It was never very popular, which is too bad, because it deserves to be more known. However, like other forgotten Disney classics, it has been winning a legion of fans with time.

"The Sword in the Stone" is almost at the same level of the 1960's and 1970's Disney classics when it comes to artwork. It was one of the last movies with the participation of Walt Disney himself.

"The Sword in the Stone" is Disney's version of the famous King Arthur's story. Disney tells this story with its personal touch and classic humor.

I don't know if the Disney version is totally faithful to the real story, but that's not the point.

Arthur, called "Wart" by Sir Ector (his adoptive father) and Kay (Sir Ector's son), is overworked and humiliated by them both. "Wart" is almost like a "Cinderella boy". But despite these problems, he remains optimistic and still dreams about being a great warrior and a knight's squire. Somehow "Wart" was the inspiration for the character Taran from "The Black Cauldron".

In the meantime, he meets the powerful but clumsy and hilarious wizard Merlin, who wants to give him education and culture. Merlin believes that pure strength means nothing when a person has no brain.

Together, Merlin and "Wart" live great adventures, funny moments and Merlin teaches everything he knows to "Wart". We mustn't forget the owl Archimedes too. The owl, as you know, is usually «the fountain of knowledge» on cartoons.

Archimedes is wise, intelligent, clever but also very lazy, very confident, grumpy and has a strong personality. That's what makes him so funny. In fact, both Merlin and Archimedes are a comic relief.

This film might take place in medieval times (which year is unknown). But it is one the funniest Disney classics ever, like "Pinocchio", "Aladdin", "Robin Hood" and "The Aristocats".

It has lots of hilarious moments which can make one get into uncontrollable laughter.

Let me mention some of them: the scenes with Merlin and the Granny Squirrel; the scene when the dishes wash themselves and Sir Ector and Kay get a "bath"; the scene when Kay brutally crashes with the castle's oldest tower; the part when the plane model gets stuck on Merlin's beird and Archimedes laughs so hysterically that he almost can't breathe; that part when Archimedes nearly shrinks inside his little house; the moments with the sugarpot...

I could go on, but it would take forever because there are so many hilarious moments.

The songs are clever and enjoyable, such as "The Sword in the Stone", "That's what makes the world go round" and especially "Higitus Figitus", my personal favorite.

I like this movie and I've gotta say that humor is, without a doubt, the strongest attribute of this movie.

This should definitely be on Top 250.


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