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The Sword in the Stone [1963] (1 disc)

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Director:Wolfgang Reitherman
Writer:Bill Peet
Composer:George Bruns
Songs:Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Length:79 minutes
(1 hour 19 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Kids
IMDB Rating:7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:69%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Comedy
  • Fantasy
  • Kids
  • Family
  • Cartoon
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: Young Wart runs into an old wizard who teaches him several confusing lessons.


Reaction: Fun. This is a fairly silly film, though not so much that parents won't be able to watch with their kids.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Select Cast and Crew
Wolfgang Reitherman => Director
Bill Peet => Writer
George Bruns => Composer
Richard M. Sherman => Songs
Robert B. Sherman => Songs
T.H. White => Book
Alan Napier => Sir Pelinore
Barbara Jo Allen => Scullery Maid (uncredited)
Ginny Tyler => Little Girl Squirrel
James MacDonald => The Wolf (uncredited)
Junius Matthews => Archimedes
Karl Swenson => Merlin
Martha Wentworth => Old Lady Squirrel / Madam Mim
Norman Alden => Sir Kay
Richard Reitherman => Wart
Rickie Sorensen => Wart
Robert Reitherman => Wart
Sebastian Cabot => Sir Ector
Thurl Ravenscroft => Black Bart (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Two songs written for the film but scrapped before production began were "The Blue Oak Tree" and "The Magic Key". The latter was to be Merlin's lecture to Arthur about the value of an education. It was replaced with the more amusing "Higitus Figitus".
  • The first Disney animated feature with songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
  • This is the first new animated Disney movie to use the regular version of the Buena Vista Distribution opening logo. When Buena Vista began distributing Disney movies, the new animated Disney films, their first animated release, Sleeping Beauty, featured a custom-designed Buena Vista logo relating to the movie. The Sword in the Stone was only the second new Disney animated film released after Buena Vista began distributing them.
  • The music that plays when Mim turns into a dragon is the same music from the dragon fight in Sleeping Beauty. Composer George Bruns, who adapted the music from [?] Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's score for the Sleeping Beauty ballet, would use the same piece once more in Robin Hood, for the climactic battle between Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham in the burning castle.
  • 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.
  • Character designer Bill Peet gave Merlin Walt Disney's nose.
  • Arthur was voiced by three different boys - Rickie Sorensen, Richard Reitherman and Robert Reitherman. The changes in voice are very noticeable in the film because of the way Arthur's voice keeps going from broken to unbroken, sometimes in the same scene. One of the easiest noticed is in the last scene in the throne room when Arthur asks in his "changed voice", "Oh, Archimedes, I wish Merlin was here!" Then, the camera cuts farther back and Arthur shouts in his "unchanged voice," "Merlin! Merlin!"
  • The climactic battle between Merlin and Mad Madam Mim is often cited by animation experts as some of the best character animation to that date. The characters go through numerous physical transformations during battle, yet retain their identifying features; Merlin's guises are blue and include his glasses and facial hair, while Mim's are pink and purple and have her messy hair.
  • The Anniversary DVD release has censored one of Mad Madam Mim's lines: "I do hope it's serious, something dreadful, ha, ha, ha!"
  • The only animated Disney movie from the 1960s not to have a Platinum DVD, a sequel, a TV show, or a live-action remake.