For the first time in High Definition, Disney’s The Sword in the Stone brings the delightful story of young Arthur to a new generation of viewers, as well as those who have enjoyed the musically charged animated film over the years. This movie focuses on the innocent little orphan boy who becomes King of England due to his destiny, not his birthright.
The story starts when England is in “one big medieval mess.” The king has died leaving no heirs. However a sword embedded in a stone on an anvil proclaims the legend that whomever can pull the sword out of the stone will be king. That person will be someone of pure character. Of course, all the men in the area try their strength at the enchanted sword, but no one can pull it out of the stone.
A man who works at a castle took in the little orphan and puts Arthur to work doing all kinds of tasks while training him to be a squire. Young Arthur is nicknamed Wart, and is happy to do whatever he can to help. He’s a sweet young lad whose life is changed when he meets Merlin, a wizard who teaches him about the world. Merlin is an interesting character who has been to the future and knows all that will happen. He teaches the boy that true power is in higher learning and sets to improve Arthur’s knowledge of the world. Along the way, Arthur learns his inner strength.
How does he do this? During the course of the story the boy is turned into a fish, a squirrel, and a bird. He learns a lot about life this way. And he ultimately learns that knowledge and wisdom equals power. Although the story stops when the young lad becomes king, anyone who knows the legend of King Arthur knows that he uses his mind instead of might.
There are several bonus features on this 50th Anniversary Edition, most of which have been on the previous DVD release. But the new feature is an alternate opening to the film. It’s done in storyboards with narration and is a bit darker than the one that ultimately ended up in the movie. Having seen this, it is no wonder the filmmakers went with the fun and more enjoyable opening they did.
The music in the film is entertaining, especially the song where Arthur, as a squirrel, must deal with a girl squirrel who is infatuated with him. This is how he learns about male/female relationships. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music.
The entire family will enjoy the story of the sweet young boy who becomes a legend. Jumping hogtoads! He’s definitely an endearing animated character.
The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition Combo Pack includes a DVD, a Blu-ray, and Digital Copy. It’s rated “G” for the whole family.