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The Sword In The Stone (1963) (Disney) [VHS]
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The Disney version of the early life of King Arthur. Brought up as a scullery boy with the nickname of Wart, Arthur goes through important magical training at the hands of the wise wizard Merlin. It transpires that the sorceror has the boy earmarked for greater things, but Arthur must undergo a number of tests before he can fulfil his destiny.
As far as Disney is concerned, The Sword in the Stone was a portent of things to come, with slapstick upstaging storytelling, and cultural in-jokes substituting for wonder. Based on TH White's beloved novel The Once and Future King, this Disney version chronicles King Arthur's boyish adventures. There's much to enjoy here as coach Merlin the magician shows the young Arthur, nicknamed Wart, the skills that will help him become the future ruler of the Britons. The transformation sequences, where the boy is turned into a fish, a bird and a squirrel are vintage Disney. The oft-repeated scene of Merlin battling it out with mean old Madame Mim still is worth a few chuckles, but it underlines the problem with most of the film--most of its scenes are only played for laughs. References by Merlin to television and other items of modern life also mar the generally innocuous landscape. Younger children will like it, while older kids will find it slower compared with recent Disney films. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The colour looks like it has been brightened up for DVD but other than that the quality of the animation looks untouched, it certainly doesn't look overly remastered and it has the excellent hand-drawn quality of the great old Disney films.
The one downside is that there wasn't a widescreen option so it looks a bit square and boxy on a big modern TV, but you stop noticing that after about 30 seconds and just enjoy the film.
There are also a couple of little extra animations; a Goofy-style one about knights and a Mickey one, possibly others that we haven't watched yet.
Overall, if you liked this as a kid you will still love it, and if you've never seen it before, splash out your £5 and see 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 )
Any dirt, film grain or scratches that may have been present in the source would have been much more welcome on my HD screen than this blurry, artificially smudged mess. Any detail that was originally there is now, well, not. There's a comparison video that somebody has posted on youtube which demonstates this very clearly. In one scene, the sword glows with individually animated stars, however on this blu-ray, they appear only as vague blobs.
I was determined to disbelieve the previous reviews on this score and purchased this disc on the high street. Thankfully, I was able to return it. To avoid similar disappointment, all you can do is wait in the hope that Disney realise what a terrible job they have made of this "digitally restored"/destroyed version and see fit to issue a proper release some time soon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember loving this little Disney movie as a child. I say 'little' movie, as it isn't one that is often remembered by viewers. Read morePublished 2 months ago by spin1984
Excellent quality and condition. Resent having to pay a fortune to replace DVDs that my daughter took with her when she left home. This was really good valuePublished 4 months ago by Mrs. Elaine Wilson