The Sword in the Stone (1963)

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

To begin, I thought I should note that this is the Disney film where the team emotionally torments that poor chipmunk character, and also mention that The Sword in the Stone isn’t an exploration of the Arthurian legend.

That timeless Chip ‘n’ Dale chipmunk design

Instead, I think you can consider it more of a series of fun, loosely connected sequences put together to delight young children with colour and slapstick. Which is not a bad thing at all, and it was a film I watched over and over as a kid on my grandmother’s TV, so I have fond memories indeed!

And it’s always great to see Disney’s love of forests on display too, something I notice and compare each time I watch a Disney film. Most of Arthur’s transformations make for exciting scenes but as an adult, I could feel certain moments starting to drag a little, and others felt a little rushed compared to what I sought from a King Arthur/Merlin tale.

Feels like you could draw a neat link from this scene to ‘Finding Nemo’

One scene that sticks around a little long for me is obviously the squirrel one, whereas anything in the city tends to be a more rushed. Having Wart’s character voiced by three actors (including two brothers which was cool) made the variance between them quite stark, even too stark at times.

Overall, I don’t want to call The Sword in the Stone a bad film but there are enough better Disney ones to maybe seek out first. I still enjoyed the moat chase and the dueling magicians (when Merlin confronts Madam Mim) but I wasn’t enchanted this time around.

3 Stars 

Classic Dinsey to bring in the present to any historical story.

7 thoughts on “The Sword in the Stone (1963)

  1. I remember watching this when I was younger. That movie felt very random in hindsight. I didn’t know Wart was voiced by three actors. Interesting fact: Madam Mim was meant to be an abstract parody of Disney’s critics and she got imported as a character to the DuckTales comics of all things.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Certainly. It did feel a bit weird for a Disney movie.

        Oh, yeah. When I found out about the intent of the character, I thought to myself “This makes WAY too much sense.” Even though I certainly wasn’t born when the movie came out, I wonder if I came across that way when I’ve critiqued the Disney corporation.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, maybe not?

          Like, in that era I can imagine ‘criticism’ to be aimed mostly at the storytelling and aesthetic, whereas modern Disney certainty earns every last bit of criticism based on their deeply questionable ethics.

          Related, recently I saw this about the corp trying to skip out on paying royalties to a ‘Star Wars’ writer:

          https://www.polygon.com/2020/12/16/22166064/star-wars-alien-novelization-disney-royalties-sfwa-alan-dean-foster

          And if it’s all true (big corporation trying to screw people out of money sounds on-brand) then wow, more awfulness from the company.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I certainly don’t act like Madam Mim, but I certainly didn’t want to come off as some troll.

            I could see that making sense with the Disney corporation from a 60s standpoint. They were a big company then, but absolutely nowhere near as gargantuan as they are now. That’s true and I’m glad there’s been legitimate critiques. I would recommend The Mouse That Roared by Henry A. Giroux as well as the documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly.

            I just read the article. WOW!! This is so bogus, but I’m not surprised. I wasn’t aware of this story or some campaign about this. I hope those writers get paid what’s rightfully owed to them.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, definitely do *not* get a troll vibe from your writing on Disney (nor a Mim vibe either :D).

            Ace, thanks for the recs there – they sound great. And yes, sadly predictable behaviour, huh? Maybe as the campaign picks up steam they’ll get some good results, hoping so.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The Mim vibe is something that doesn’t exist with me, but it’s good to know I don’t come off as a troll. I do my best to be civil even if I disagree. However, I’m certainly passionate when it comes to these types of critiques and it does come out.

            Sure thing, Ashley! That book was such a great read. I do hope that it gains traction and Disney pays the authors. Maybe if we’re lucky, they’ll eventually pay and credit Hideaki Anno and Tezuka Productions! :3

            Liked by 1 person

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