The Sword in the Stone - Disney Films Project
I've watched this film so many times that I have found the bloopers and small mistakes made by the animators, yet I still love it. This is not a masterpiece by any means, but I adore the story and have always enjoyed the general theme of the movie. The Sword in the Stone is based on the King Arthur legend - specifically the book The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Of course it has been "Disneyfied" here, but it is still a good retelling.
I enjoy Merlin and Archimedes and the lessons they teach "the Wart". It's a simple tale that is fun to watch. The opening number almost always lulls me to sleep these days so I load this show up on my iPad when I have trouble sleeping. It often takes me several nights to finish it all the way through.
The wizards duel with Madame Mim is a really clever bit of animation. I do agree with Alex that it slows down the story a bit but it is probably my favorite part of the movie. I also love the musical number of Higitus Figitus and the animation sequence that goes with it.
The animation is not top notch in this feature and the action is a bit slow. Despite those problems, I genuinely love this movie and it's just comforting for me to watch it. I'm giving it 7 out of 10 Mickeys. We all have our personal favorites and this just happens to be one of mine.
This movie is rarely reference in Disney culture these days and I've never run into any merchandise related to it. I sure would love to see a few items come up for sale. Maybe I missed something when it had it's 50 anniversary back in 2013? I guess I'll hope for a 60th celebration in 2023. Sigh! It is rumored that there will be a live action remake coming up, but I'm not all that excited about that idea.
The most attention this movie gets is the photo opp attraction placed in Fantasyland in several of the Disney parks. Here's Alex and his Dad trying to figure out how to get the blasted thing out of the stone during a rainy trip to Disneyland in 2001.
Second opinion with Alex
I admire the film, half developed as it is. See, the problem here was that a lot of the animators were off chasing chickens while Bill Peet did his work. Chanticleer, I believe it was (the story the other animators were working on).
The message of wisdom is the films focus, to the point that the heart may seem muddled. Don't be fooled. The film's heart is its wisdom, and the point that brains will find or make a way.
Of other note, Merlin here is actually a noted take on Walt, the old Maestro himself. The animators even gave the wizard Walt's nose.
Even the choice of Wart helps to focus our attention, giving us sympathy for our character. (By the way, that's not a recommended nickname. Ever!)
The film does get in its own way, however. The songs aren't as memorable as other Disney songs, though that's more rookie inexperience than anything. The Sherman Brothers will return, this I promise you.
My main peeve, however, is the imbalance in any sequence involving Madame Mim. Miss Mim absolutely slows the film's focus down. The wizard's Duel is excellent, don't get me wrong, but it just seems to derail our real story. (Which Miss Mim would no doubt take pride in, as she lives for these types of trainwrecks.)
Final rating on my end is 6 out of 10 Mickeys. It's excellent, but a few slips make this a mark off the beaten path. Still worth watching, however.