Thursday, April 1, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 18: Sword In The Stone

Series Intro: Series Intro: Here is Part 18 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Sword In The Stone
Release: December 25, 1963
Running Time: 79 minutes
Estimated Cost: Couldn’t find anything reliable.
Estimated Revenue: $12 million 1966 ($85,243,026.32 (2010))
Overall Rating: 1 star out of 5

Plot Summary:

Wart (the soon to be King Arthur) finds himself under to tutelage of the great Merlin (who’s greatness isn’t well known at the time). Together, they embark on some misadventures as Wart learns about magic, by being turned into fish, a squirrel and a sparrow.

After a random “battle” between Merlin and sorceress Mim, Merlin finds himself frustrated with how Wart is treated. Leaves Wart under the care of his owl, Archimedes, and heads off to Bermuda.

While Merlin’s gone, Wart truly becomes his foster brother’s squire but messes up by leaving the jousting sword at the hotel. Wart sees the legendary Excalibur, and not knowing of the prophecy, pulls it out of the stone.

The men of the town insist he perform this task again to truly claim the throne. Once on the throne Wart misses Merlin, who returns to continue to guide Wart to make sure he will become the man that Merlin knows we will be (as Merlin can travel through time).

Songs:
The Sword in the Stone
Higitus Figitus
That's What Makes the World Go Round
A Most Befuddling Thing
Mad Madame Mim
Blue Oak Tree

Any of these mean anything to you? Even after watching the film, I’m only a little sure what each song is.

Plot Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The plot was more philosophical that previous WDAS movies and I’m not sure their core audience would understand what most of the movie was trying to get across.

I think there were a lot of frivolous subplots, and that we’ve lost a lot of that one story narrative that we saw with Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians.


Animation Rating: 1 out of 5

Back when I was younger, I really enjoyed the art in this film. I always associated it with the fact that it took place during Arthur’s time and this would have been a true way that animation would have been done then.

Well, now that I’m older and no that animation didn’t exist in the Middle Ages, I can only say that the use of Xerox really have this time period of movies a bad taste to the animation palate. (All the recycling of ideas and animation doesn’t help either).

The Test of Time:

Yes, there is a presence in WDW, with the sword stuck in the stone behind Cinderella’s Castle (I’m not sure if this is in all the parks). But I don’t think many children know what the sword in the stone is, let alone who Wart was.

Through the Modern Lens

Nothing is essentially wrong with this movie, just a complete lack of women (other than the frumpy witch, Mim). But I think this is just a case of what the movie was about. Wart wouldn’t have been around women/girls and even in the Arthurian legends, only one woman comes to mind, Guinevere.

Next Up:
Aristocats.






5 comments:

janice said...

Merlin finds himself frustrated with how Wart is treate.

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Davenz said...

Wart truly becomes his foster brother’s squire but messes up by leaving the jousting sword at the hotel.


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Davenz said...

Wart sees the legendary Excalibur, and not knowing of the prophecy, pulls it out of the stone.

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chum said...

The Hero's Journey is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon.

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chum said...

Find out how modern day weapons have evolved over time. In this article we look at the evolution of the sword.

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