The Sword In The Stone

The legend of King Arthur, via the novel of T.H. White, was treated with modern touches by the Disney studios to appeal to the funny bone. This works well but dampens the mystical quality of the legend. In fact, when the lad Arthur pulls the sword out of the stone and is thus made king of England, he does so just to pry open a door. The concentration is...read more

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The legend of King Arthur, via the novel of T.H. White, was treated with modern touches by the Disney studios to appeal to the funny bone. This works well but dampens the mystical quality of the legend. In fact, when the lad Arthur pulls the sword out of the stone and is thus made king

of England, he does so just to pry open a door. The concentration is on Merlin's training of Arthur to become king, entailing the turning of the boy into a fish, a squirrel, and a bird. In each instance, the animal comes upon a hazardous situation which he must get out of by using his head instead

of his brawn. Thus a valuable lesson is learned, which appears to be pretty much the purpose of this project. Arthur is portrayed as a modern youth, as mischievous and clumsy as all kids, and so the lessons he learns can be easily understood by children viewers. The high point of the picture is

the antics of Merlin; at one point he's hilariously funny in his absentmindedness, and the next he shows his cunning, defeating Mad Madam Mim in a battle of the sorcerers. Though well-received when it came out, and grossing $4.5 million, THE SWORD IN THE STONE has sunk out of sight since it came

out in the early 1960s. It is seldom mentioned in discussions of Disney's work, and no character in it evolved into a Disney favorite. The score, by George Bruns was nominated for an Oscar. Songs include: "A Most Befuddling Thing," "Blue Oak Tree," "Mad Madam Mim," "That's What Makes the World Go

Round," "Higitus Figitus," and "The Legend of the Sword in the Stone" (Richard and Robert B. Sherman).

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  • Review: The legend of King Arthur, via the novel of T.H. White, was treated with modern touches by the Disney studios to appeal to the funny bone. This works well but dampens the mystical quality of the legend. In fact, when the lad Arthur pulls the sword out of t… (more)

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