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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)
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Popularity
5,000 ( 158)
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:

A legendary story. A classic in animation. 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:

27 December 1963 (UK) 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

This was the first Disney animated feature made under a single director. Previous features were directed either by three or four directors, or by a team of sequence directors under a supervising director. The man hired for the job was veteran animator Wolfgang Reitherman (one of the fabled Nine Old Men), who would direct all of the Disney features up until the 1980's. 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: [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

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

 
For every laugh, there should be a tear
22 January 2006 | by c-corleisSee all my reviews

This movie is another proof of the high quality of the classic Disney films. Today feature films are quite funny too... but they based mostly on simple, crude jokes and spoofing of other topical movies (remember the bullet time-spoof in "Shrek"). There is no substance to think about in it. You can see them, laughing about them...and forgot them almost completely a few years later. Who will remember, i.e., "Ice Age" or "Madagascar" in 40, 50 or 60 years? The old Disney classics are different, there are timeless! "The Sword in the Stone" contains a lot of joyful gags too, but no gag stands above the characters, no joke was made only to fill a hole in the plot. The story, the plot, and the characters are primary. And Disney add not only joyful gags. As Walt himself once said: "For every laugh, there should be a tear." Disney take children always quite seriously, and a lot of his early films contains a lesson for life, sometimes the lesson can be very sad and cruel, like in "Bambi", sometimes lesser sad, like in "The Sword in the Stone"... but can anybody forget the cute little girl squirrel, that was left by Wart, desperately crying and with a broken heart? And Merlin's closing words about love: "Well, yes, in its own way... yes, I'd say it's the most powerful force on Earth"!

This is one of the main ingredient of the famous Disney Magic: Joy and tragedy! Another is the art of hand drawn animation. The quality of the animation went downwards at Disney after WW-II too, slowly, but surely. But in 1963 cel-animation was still on a high level. Not so good as in the golden Era, when "Fantasia", "Pinocchio" or especially "Bambi" set the utmost high standards of perfectionism, but quite better than in "Hercules", "The Lion King" or "The Rescuers down under". 7 of 10 stars for "The Sword in the Stone"! It is not the best of all Disney films, but quite better and deeper than the most of the modern CGI movies!


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