7.2/10
84,709
95 user 69 critic

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Trailer
0:55 | Trailer
A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history.

Directors:

Wolfgang Reitherman, Clyde Geronimi (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Bill Peet (story), T.H. White (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,409 ( 663)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sebastian Cabot ... Sir Ector / Narrator in opening sequence (voice)
Karl Swenson ... Merlin (voice)
Rickie Sorensen Rickie Sorensen ... Wart (voice)
Junius Matthews Junius Matthews ... Archimedes (voice)
Ginny Tyler ... Little Girl Squirrel (voice)
Martha Wentworth ... Madam Mim / Old Lady Squirrel (voice)
Norman Alden ... Sir Kay (voice)
Alan Napier ... Sir Pellinore (voice)
Richard Reitherman Richard Reitherman ... Wart (voice)
Robert Reitherman Robert Reitherman ... Wart (voice)
Learn more

More Like This 

Robin Hood (1973)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, David Hand
Stars: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Stars: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, James Algar, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey
Dumbo (1941)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.

Directors: Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, Herman Bing
Bambi (1942)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, and 7 more credits »
Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a litter of Dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella de Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O'Malley
Peter Pan (1953)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, and 4 more credits »
Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley

Photos

Edit

Storyline

Arthur (aka Wart) is a young boy who aspires to be a knight's squire. On a hunting trip he falls in on Merlin, a powerful but amnesiac wizard who has plans for Wart beyond mere squiredom. He starts by trying to give Wart an education (whatever that is), believing that once one has an education, one can go anywhere. Needless to say, it doesn't quite work out that way. Written by Tim Pickett <quetzal@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sword | owl | castle | wizard | boy | See All (121) »

Taglines:

Walt Disney's newest and most hilarious all-cartoon feature See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tudor Owen (Background Knight in a crowd), Thurl Ravenscroft (Sir Bart), Rickie Sorensen (Arthur), Junius Matthews (Archimedes), and Martha Wentworth (Madam Mim and the Granny Squirrel) appeared in 101 Dalmatians, two years earlier. Unfortunately for Wentworth and Owen, this film was their last film roles before they ever did before their retirement. See more »

Goofs

When Mim is sitting at the table playing solitaire, she pulls the 3 of hearts from the deck, however the 3 of hearts is already on the table. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Minstrel: [singing] A legend is sung, / Of when England was young, / And knights were brave and bold. / The good king had died, / And no one could decide / Who was rightful heir to the throne. / It seemed that the land / Would be torn by war, / Or saved by a miracle alone. / And that miracle appeared in London town: / The Sword in the Stone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD version omits part of Madam Mim's first line "Sounds like someone's sick. How lovely. I do hope it's serious. Something dreadful." She now says "Sounds like someone's sick. How lovely." See more »


Soundtracks

Higitus Figitus
(1963) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Sung by Karl Swenson
See more »

User Reviews

 
Solid
8 October 2010 | by MyNeighborFanboySee all my reviews

When it comes to classic Disney, The Sword in the Stone is usually overlooked compared to other sixties releases. Not one character here has had the kind of iconography many of Disney's characters have, with the possible exception of Merlin. There are no classic villains and the conflict is pretty loose and undeveloped. Despite all this, I think the film deserves a bit more love than it typically gets. It's not a great Disney movie, but it's a solid one with scenes of real note.

Nevertheless, Disney's influence is notably more scattershot in this film than in any of the previous ones. This is bad when your movie is dealing with the coming of age of King Arthur of all people. Our Arthur in this tale is too damn cute for us to really buy his potential, and Merlin, though great fun, seems like just about the worst teacher you could possibly hand a student to (one of his lessons seems to be to always use magic to fudge your chores...brilliant). The various episodes generally don't add up to much of anything other than chase scenes and slapstick comedy. Considering we're dealing with an older character than Pinocchio, it's just too bad that Pinocchio had to deal with much more hellish and sobering obstacles than does Wart.

If, however, we forget that this isn't a great narrative and focus on the individual bits, there's some fun to be had. Design wise, it's not One Hundred and One Dalmations but it's still loaded with some great stylized visuals and colors. Milt Kahl gets to do some straight cartooning with Merlin, and succeeds quite spectacularly, particularly in his use of hands (animators take note...Kahl was a master of that hard-to-draw limb). There's another great example of slapstick in Brian Sibley's wolf character, who is completely useless and might as well have been taken out altogether but is so inventively utilized that I don't mind him at all. I think the same of Madame Mim, who again serves a pretty dubious purpose (remember, young Wart, if someone insults you...shoot magic at them) but on her own terms is very entertaining.

However, I do not have this complaint with the squirrel sequence, which is one of the best scenes in any Disney movie. Not only is it a masterful example of boarding and animation working together, it actually manages to balance some good physical comedy with a poignant message...one that Merlin's other lessons could stand to incorporate. Frank Thomas did most of this scene, and it's a great example of difficult motions handled with a strong sense of weight (one animator associate of mine played it on his ipod while doing some work, and when I pointed out how much I liked that scene he responded with "Yes, it's...so beautiful," before tearing up. I wouldn't go quite that far...) Really, though, it's a shame we couldn't have gotten a ballsier version of this story. There's just not much to it. When Merlin leaves at the end, we shrug our shoulders and wonder why it should matter. Wart doesn't learn anything really, except in a few instances. The movie's quite watchable, but little else. Oddly, I think the transformation scenes must have influenced some of Osamu Tezuka's work (like Buddha) but he was much more forceful with how this pertained to character growth. If Sword in the Stone had done the same, it might have been another great and unusual Disney movie, rather than a somewhat tepid collection of solid scenes. Still, I'd consider it underrated on this level.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 95 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sword in the Stone See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,230,614, 27 March 1983

Gross USA:

$12,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed