10 May 2006

Disappearing Ink XII - The Sword in the Stone

Higitus Figitus, Sword and Sandals month continues with the lesser watched Disney production The Sword in the Stone. This 1963 film attempted to adapt T.H. White's massive Once and Future King. I think the film at most covered about 20% of the book, and ended just when things were getting good. The tale begins with young pre-King Arthur (or Wart as he is referred to in this movie) meeting the Wizard Merlin. Wart becomes a pupil of the wiz, and experiences life as a fish, love as a squirrel, and flight as a bird. In the last few minutes of the film, the pure-hearted lad pulls the legendary Excalibur from a stone where it rested, stuck until one such as he would remove it. Upon so doing, Wart is ordained King, and the credits roll.

There are a few nice moments in the film, such as the aforementioned Higitus Figitus song as Merlin packs his entire households belongings into a small suitcase. Another highlight is a wizards duel between the silver bearded Merlin, and the wicked Madam Mim. During this duel, the magic wielders transform into various beasts until Mim is finally outsmarted. The remainder of the film, plays as a series of episodes with only a very faint thread of plot or progression. This film isn't bad, but it is kinda boring despite its short 79 minute length.

Other Disney entries in the 60's included The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, both of which are considered to be classics (though not quite at the level of Snow White or Bambi). I am not sure why Stone missed the boat, but I do not completely fault Disney for this film's failure. There have been a lot of attempts to adapt the Arthurian legend, but none has really triumphed. Its just a difficult work to adapt. Nevertheless, The Sword and the Stone deserves no better than a C-.

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The Sword in the Stone (Disney Gold Classic Collection)


j said...

C-, huh? ouch!

I've actually seen this film and liked the parts that you mentioned. I guess at 79-minutes thats pretty much the whole film.

Chip Chief said...

its not a terrible film, but it just seems like a so-so tv show series without the last episode.

Anonymous said...

this film is amazin u hve no taste...this film reeely is the classic film of disney...compared to films like pinicheo this film wipes the floor with it.... SWORD IN THE STONE RULES!!!!!!!!!!

Chip Chief said...

thanks for your enlightening comment

Anonymous said...

I LUV THIS FILM!!!! I definately think that it deserves at LEAST a B+ if not an A+. and yeh, i totally agree w/ what the other anonymous said: "SWORD IN THE STONE RULES!!!!!!!!!!" w00t! :ph34r: