The Sword In The Stone (50th Anniversary Edition)
It might have been made in 1963, but "The Sword in the Stone" doesn't feel like a 50-year-old film. Perhaps that's because it takes place in the time of King Arthur, or perhaps that's because the film is fast-paced and downright funny. But this Disney gem is a cult favorite for its whimsy and enchantment, and it deserves a place on any Mouse-lovers shelf.
The plot is simple, its themes wonderfully complex. Wort, aka Arthur, an adopted boy whose lifelong aspiration is to ride squire to would-be knight brother Kay, tumbles quite expectedly into wizard Merlin's forest hut. The necromancer follows Wort home, and attempts to school him even as the boy helps Kay train for a New Year's Day joust in London -- to whose victor goes the crown of England, an honor up for grabs since Uther Pendragon's untimely demise left the land without an heir.
Unfortunately, Wort is forgetful, and absentmindedly leave's Kay's sword at the inn when they show for the tournament. Looking for a replacement, Wort accidentally stumbles upon the legendary Sword in the Stone -- and the rest, as they say, is history.
The film's overarching theme -- that brains are better than brawn -- is a wonderful lesson for kids (and even some adults we know). And for those who enjoyed the notorious wizards duel between Gandalf and Saruman in "The Lord of the Rings," you'll be interested to know that Merlin and Madam Mim fight the quintessential original wizards duel here. The film is also known for the charming exit of Merlin in an angered puff, shouting "Blow me to Bermuda!" as he charges to the 20th century island getaway.
- Never-before-seen alternate opening. Wart meets Merlin. In a different way. Novel, right?
- Music magic: The Sherman Brothers. Betcha didn't know they wrote "Mary Poppins," did you Mary?
- Singalong with the movie. If you must.
- Bonus shorts. In case you pee yours during the film.
"The Sword And The Stone"