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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walt Disney's most forgotten masterpiece!
Among Walt Disney's thirteen animated works, none has been put aside and forgotten as much as The Sword in the Stone, which is really a shame, knowing that this is a no less delightful Disney experience, it is different in the fact that it tells a different kind of story, it is less intriguing but it offers lots of cool scenes and some memorable characters.

The...
Published on 3 Aug 2007 by Taran Wanderer

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray transfer of a sweet movie ruined by DNR
I cannot understand how an animated movie can be so badly ruined. The DNR, which I am always against because it alters the original aspect of a movie and results on lack of detail, is so excessive in this "restoration" that it creates ghost lines, blurry figures and backgrounds, a huge lack of detail and an ugly, artificial softness in the drawings. Companies that are...
Published 9 months ago by Francisco José Poyato Ariza


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walt Disney's most forgotten masterpiece!, 3 Aug 2007
Among Walt Disney's thirteen animated works, none has been put aside and forgotten as much as The Sword in the Stone, which is really a shame, knowing that this is a no less delightful Disney experience, it is different in the fact that it tells a different kind of story, it is less intriguing but it offers lots of cool scenes and some memorable characters.

The story in 1963's The Sword in the Stone revolves around education, education is the main theme and the moral is that you can't be anyone without a good education (Although in the real world we know that that isn't always the case). When England is left to perish without a king, a marvelous miracle occurs, a sword placed deep into a stone with the words that whoever pulls it out will be king of all England. Strong and mighty men give it a try, all failing and with time the sword is forgotten.

The people of England then decide to have a knight tournament, in which the winner will be crowned king of all England. Wise wizard Merlin soon realizes that it takes more than strength or plain brutality to rule a country so he decides to educate a young servant boy by the name of "Wart." With different tricks and the help of his wise owl Archimedes, Merlin manages to teach some of the most important lessons to the young boy. Each of these lessons are taught in fun ways, by turning Wart and himself into different sorts of animals, he teaches about intelligence against strength, gravity and even love while at the same time, showing him about how different animals must struggle to survive.

On the other hand, the son of Wart's master, Kay is the perfect example of no brain and pure strength, Merlin realizes having someone like him as king would bring the land to destruction so he must hurry and bring up Wart before Kay wins the knight tournament and is crowned King. In the end, Wart's hard-working brain defeat's Kay's strength and leads to be one of the greatest kings in the "history" of the United Kingdom.

Fun, colorful scenes, great characters and lively music make this a quite memorable Disney classic. Every scene from beginning to end is filled with fun, including one in which Merlin himself must use the logic of his own lessons to defeat the hilariously evil Madame Mim, once again, by turning into different animals, surely one of the greatest scenes in the film. Animation quality may not be of the sharpest kind, however the animation itself is lively and realistic, characters are very expressive and move about realistically. Backgrounds can get annoyingly "lazy" but are not as bad as in, say, "101 Dalmatians." The movie is a little dated because of its references to the 1960's, but it is still quite fun to watch at any time, any year. Highly recommended, being the last animated feature Walt Disney saw through completion and indeed one of their greatest and most interesting.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray transfer of a sweet movie ruined by DNR, 29 Oct 2013
By 
Francisco José Poyato Ariza "Fran" (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
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I cannot understand how an animated movie can be so badly ruined. The DNR, which I am always against because it alters the original aspect of a movie and results on lack of detail, is so excessive in this "restoration" that it creates ghost lines, blurry figures and backgrounds, a huge lack of detail and an ugly, artificial softness in the drawings. Companies that are supposed to love their movies should never use DNR, that is a crying shame. Why Diney decided to ruin this movie to me will be a mistery to me. Why the obsession with artificial DNR, here and anywhere else, will always be a mistery to me. I never thought I would feel uncomfortable while watching this very dear movie from my childhood. SHAME ON DISNEY, SHAME ON ALL COMPANIES USING DNR.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 50 year old classic, 29 Mar 2013
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Got this for our son for his birthday, he loves it.

OK it's now over 50 years old but it has been re-mastered and the colours are vibrant..

We all find the irritable owl Archimedes funny ( voiced by Junius Matthews who also provided the voice for Rabbit in Winnie the pooh )
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Disney film, 16 Dec 2005
By A Customer
I have an extensive Disney collection, and "The Sword in The Stone" is- in my opinion- by far the best. The graphics are "old school", the songs are fantastic, the characters have so much personality, the story has some great twists and turns, and the script is witty and memorable. It is a lovely adaptation of the King Arthur story and very re-watchable. Those who try and compare it to other "modern" Disney movies really shouldn't; as brilliant as modern day computer graphics are, this often overlooked gem shines through by virtue of its content. This is original Disney at its most magical.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I once thought, 13 July 2008
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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As other reviewers have duly noted, this film (first released in 1963) is based on the first of four parts of T.H. White's The Once and Future King (1958), focusing on Arthur's birth, childhood, and youth before he became king of England. The film has been reissued as a 45th anniversary edition. It features the well-selected voices of Sebastian Cabot (Sir Ector/Narrator), Karl Swenson (Merlin), Rickie Sorensen (Arthur/"Wart"), Junius Matthews (Archimedes), and Alan Napier (Sir Pelinore). Frankly, I was underwhelmed when I first saw it many years ago and had little patience with the antics. While seeing it again recently, I found the film much more entertaining and frequently charming.

In our family, a film's "acid test" for grandchildren is for them to want to see it again, immediately. After I watched it with several of the younger ones, they requested that but agreed, instead, to check out "Merlin's New Magical Academy Game," passing on the other bonus features. I would not rank The Sword in the Stone among the "classic" animated features produced by Disney (e.g. Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and Pixar (e.g. Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and WALL-E) as well as DreamWorks' Antz and Shrek. However, how many animation features do?

Perhaps there are other grandparents and parents who also saw The Sword in the Stone years ago, as did I, and are not inclined to have a copy available for children to see. I urge them to reconsider because it possesses a unique "magic" of its own. I think they will also enjoy the bonus features. Hopefully this reissued version will attract the interest and gain the appreciation the film clearly deserves.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High on Beauty, Low on Plot, 26 May 2010
By 
Atli Hafsteinsson (Reykjavík, Iceland) - See all my reviews
This is one of those movies whose obscurity doesn't surprise me. This is a well-executed, beautifully-crafted movie, but its plot and pace never amount to what it promises.

This is the story of the upcoming King Arthur, more specifically when he is a little boy, employed as dishwasher for the local earl, whose pig-brained bully of a son is set to become the next king if no one can remove the sword Excalibur from its rock. Arthur's future looks bleak until eccentric wizard Merlin, along with his dry-witted owl Archimedes, arrives on the scene. Having travelled through time, Merlin knows Arthur's significance and sets to train him up to believe in himself through a series of field tests involving seeing himself in different situations. So Merlin changes Arthur into a fish and a squirrel, resulting in hilarious romping until Arthur stumbles upon the lair of the oddly fascinating albeit wicked witch Madam Mimm.

The trouble with this movie is that not much of significance happens. The plot seems pretty secondary. Most of the movie involves Merlin and Arthur on their little training missions. Excalibur plays a pretty small part indeed, and the movie doesn't really end on much of a high note, either, even though it's supposed to be one. So much more could have been done with the plot. This movie goes overboard with acting and forgets the plot. This A to B structure worked with the Jungle Book, but in the case of the Sword in the Stone, it's a point of storytelling that doesn't sustain itself.

Of course, what the movie lacks in plot it makes up for with visuals. They are stunning, I can tell you. The animation is beautiful and flowing, especially in the case of the wolf (a character I wish I had played more part in the movie) and the scene where Merlin and Mimm duel by turning themselves into all manner of creatures. In the hands of these people, this makes the Sword in the Stone worth a view for its visual excellence, making up somewhat for the thin story and development.

A pleasant, beautiful view, pretty low on substance but with a lot going for it in the visual department.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly faithful adaption of TH White's fantasy book, 19 Jan 2006
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I really loved TH White's (1938) book 'The sword in the stone' when I read it at 12 in the 1960's. Actually the Amazon review above is slightly in error 'The once and future king' is the title of the combined tetrology based on the legendary life of King Arthur, where the original 'Sword in the Stone' book was revised and edited (somewhat badly). The Sword in the Stone is therefore the first book in the series and covers Arthur's life as a youth. For the rest of the Arthurian legend you have to read the next three or four books. That is why this Disney film only covers Arthur's boyhood, and finishes with Arthur standing by 'The sword in the stone'. For this reason the book is filled with the hope and trials of youth and is thus far more jolly than most of King Arthur's adult life (at least when viewed from an adults perspective).

This film (and the book) follow Arthur's eventual rise from being second fiddle to his older step-brother Kay, who is clearly dad's favourite - his dad, Sir Hector, even calls Arthur 'the Wart' [a curruption of Art, short for Arthur]. Not that Sir Hector isn't very fond of Arthur, it just reflects Arthur's lowly but highly protected status of being a young boy. It is therefore a coming of age story, and I think any boy from 8 up would strongly identify with the Wart. Soon into the story the magician Merlin arrives and instructs the Wart using magic to illustrate points, even transforming them both into many things from birds and fish to trees and stones. This is all followed fairly faithfully by the film (although the more mystical tree and stone sequences were sadly cut out). Living his life 'backwards' Merlin naturally has the edge on other mortals when it comes to prophesy, although 'the future' in-jokes in the film do intrude somewhat. The film is also more jocular than the satirical and witty book, ignoring it's portrayal of the grittier realism of medieval life, like the young boy who has his nose bitten off by a man similarly afflicted who he was taunting [remorseful, he later adopts the boy]. TH White manages to merge aspects of the twentieth century seamlessly into the tale, just as the Mallory's 'Morte de Arthur' originally combined the Saxon descriptions of the great warrior King Arthur with 'modern' medieval concepts like chivalry and knighthood [to create the Arthurian legend we now know]. In many respects the clearly Roman educated and Christian Arthur has been confused by the pagan Saxons with Jesus, hence 'The once and future king' aspects of the legend.

In the film, the battle with the witch (Madam Mim) who the Wart encounters in the forest, is far more central to the plot, and Disney can't resist adding the odd, rather good, song sequence. The uplifting end (removing Excalibur from the stone) is naturally retained, finishing the story on a high note with the 'Wart' triumphant. This was the 18th Disney animated film, from 1963, and the film has been fully restored for DVD with 5.1 sound added. Also included are: a short cartoon, a 'sword in the stone' scrapbook & two fun sing-a-longs of the films songs, plus a Music Magic Featurette [and the usual few minutes of annoying adverts for other Disney DVDs]. The film is 1.33:1 on the TV, not widescreen as shown in many cinemas at the time of release. This actually is the fully restored size, as Disney animators created the master such that it could be shown widescreen with the top and bottom cropped without losing anything important - and it could also be shown complete on a standard TV as Disney intended. So 1.33:1 is the correct & original format. So all in all, a highly recommended medieval based 'fantasy' cartoon film for pre-teen boys. If you like this film, do get the original book - it's an easy read for 10 and over.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Disney classic, with its own charm, 4 Oct 2008
This was one of my favourite disney films when I was little and when I saw it on DVD fully restored with pristine picture quality I had to buy it. This may not be on the same terms as Lion King, Bambi, Little Mermaid and other disney classics we all know, in terms of popularity but this film has its own charm to it and is just as good as the others, with its sense of imagination, humour and positive messaging. This is a great film in its own right and for any disney fan or someone looking for a good family film it should be in your DVD collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for preschoolers, 26 Nov 2009
By 
NappyValley (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
I'll keep this brief as there are loads of reviews on the DVD.
But having recently watched this with our son (just 4yr) I have to say it is a real must for anyone with younger children. the salpstick style story telling sequences really capture that young sense of humour. Our son loved it (he is knights , swords and merlin mad) but not just for the main story (which personally I find a bit bity and doesn't flow) but for the comic sequences and silly jokes. This is definately one they will watch over and over, but I think they might be over it by the time they are 7!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camelot, 25 April 2009
By 
M. G. Hatfield "trekle5" (North Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the legend King Arthur and how T.H.White said he took the throne of England Wart who is the young king working as a servant in a old falling apart castle in the middle of a forest.

Arthur is looking for a arrow when he falls through the thatched roof of one af the most famous wizards ever known.

Merlin attempts to teach Wart through a series of magical changes which keep landing him hot water and danger.

This is Disney's 18th Classic which is now celabarting it's 45th year this Disney Classic in full of magic fun and song two of the best loved song writers Disney ever employed The Sherman Brothers who famous worked on classics like Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book (Classic Number 19)which is just over 40 years old.

Disney's Sword in the Stone is great telling of the story Disney has put thier brand of magic into this title, which makes this title truly magical.

This Disney's has everything that makes a Disney Classic great storytelling, great music to sing along with, and great animation which less on no computer graphics the remastering may be done by computer but the all of the images were hand drawn originally.

If you want to see Disney's films from the company's founder (Mr Walt Disney) day you can go far wrong with these early classics.
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Sword in the Stone [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Sword in the Stone [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Wolfgang Reitherman (DVD - 2008)
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