Today I am going to have some fun by talking about The Sword in the Stone. The Sword in the Stone was first released all the way back in 1963, I did not see the movie until the 80s, but as a child, it was a real favorite of mine. I recently watched this on Disney Plus and I was pleased with how well it held up.
How to Download The Sword in the Stone
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like fantasy animated films, check out also our review of The Black Cauldron and the TV series – The Seven Deadly Sins.
The Movie Review
What we have here is a kind of coming-of-age and Disney version of the childhood years of King Arthur. England is in the Dark Ages as there is no king as no one can remove the Sword in the Stone to prove that they are worthy to be the real ruler. Currently, Sir Ector is running things and a competition is going to be held with the winner becoming king, Ector’s son, Kay is in line to be the king.
Kay is the foster brother of Arthur and while they are out hunting, Kay ends up missing a shot, blames Arthur, and makes him go and get the arrow. It is here that Arthur meets the wise wizard Merlin, Merlin takes a liking and interest in the boy and decides to become his teacher and returns back to the castle with him.
The scenes with Merlin teaching Arthur are some of my favorites from any Disney movie. We get to see him transform himself and Arthur into various animals like a fish, a squirrel, and then a bird (with his owl Archimedes being his teacher here) I loved these scenes as a kid, and even as an adult I had a smile on my face the whole time I was watching them.
Merlin clearly sees some major potential in Arthur, but the other people in the castle are not sold on Merlin and see what he does as black magic. That is the least of Arthur and Merlin’s troubles as they come into contact with a witch called Madame Mim who is a rival to Merlin. I think Mim is a classic Disney Villain, but she never gets the same respect that the likes of Maleficient and Ursula do!
Merlin and Mim hate each other! It is decided that they will have a wizard’s duel to see who is the better magic user. This is another fantastic scene and while it is action packed, Merlin uses it as a way to teach Arthur that being smart and full of knowledge is better than just being strong and tough.
If you know the story of The Sword in the Stone, you know what ultimately does down and it is a great Disney version of Arthur being the one to pull the sword from the stone. In Disneyland Paris, they have a real Sword in the Stone, and pretty much everyone that goes there gets a photo of themselves trying to pull it out! I wonder if I were able to pull it out if I would become the King of England?
I think that the Sword in the Stone is a real Disney classic. It may lack the “depth” of some of the other movies, but I still think the message of education here is a good one for kids to take on board. Plus, it has some fantastic action scenes and the stuff with Arthur as an animal is still something I greatly enjoy to this day.
- I love the teacher/student relationship Merlin and Arthur have
- This is a fun coming-of-age story about King Arthur
- The animation in the animal transformation scenes is fantastic
- This is just a fun and classic Disney movie!
- There is something off with the sound mix on the version on Disney Plus
- Like many Disney classics, we are still waiting for a physical 4 K release of this