A young orphan named “Wart” wants nothing more than to be the squire to his older foster brother. Merlin the Magician sees more potential in the boy and begins training him for a greater destiny. “Wart” accompanies his brother to a tournament in London, where he will discover his true fate as Merlin’s visions of greatness unfold.
We all know how it feels when you remember a movie one way from childhood and realize as an adult it’s not quite as it seemed. That was my feeling as I watched Disney’s The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition. Far be it for me to start slinging mud at what is considered to be a classic in the eyes of many. However, it became tedious watching Merlin the Magician teach “Wart” life lessons through turning himself and the boy into one animal after another and breaking into song.
I’ve never been a big fan of any musicals. I’m sure this factor has everything to do with my lack of enthusiasm for The Sword in the Stone. My preferred version of the Arthur story would lean more towards the adventurous Excalibur.
The Sword in the Stone does contain quite a bit of magic. Some people with certain religious convictions will find this a good reason to steer clear of the movie. I would have to say that anyone who watches The Lord of the Rings films has no right to throw rocks at this one.
The audio and video transfers for The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary give viewers the best experience they’ve ever had with this film. The colors are vibrant and the picture is clean. The 5.1 surround sound gives home audiences the opportunity to experience it on a whole new level.
The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition includes some entertaining special features. There’s an alternate opening presented here through the use of black-and-white storyboards. It also contains two classic featurettes entitled “Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers” and an excerpt from “All About Magic” hosted by Walt Disney. Two animated shorts and Disney’s Sing-Along round out the bonus material.
My 7-year old loved The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition, so maybe I’ve just outgrown it. He’s watched it twice already, where I found it near impossible to sit through once. If children like it, does it really matter what this old reviewer thinks about it anyway? It’s been proven time and time again that Disney movies are critic-proof.
The Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition is available now on Blu-ray.