|Sword in the Stone - 45th Anniversary Edition, The|
Written by Brian Wylie
June 22, 2008
“Who so pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is right wise king born of England.” We all know that Arthur ends up pulling Excalibur out of the anvil on the stone to become king, but what we don’t know is Arthur's story before that. This is where The Sword in the Stone starts, we get to follow Arthur as a young boy and more known as “The Wart” than the greatest King England has ever had. Disney takes you through his ups and downs as he learns about life and much more.
Disney starts you out by meeting Arthur’s soon to be teacher, Merlin. He is sputtering around his cottage preparing for something, an arrival of someone but he doesn't know who just yet. You quickly find out that Merlin is a wizard with special powers, but with his powers he has some limitations. As Merlin is preparing for his tea time meeting, his pet educated owl Archimedes is questioning why he is wasting his time doing something that will never happen.
Merlin begins to tell a story to Archimedes about how a boy, who they have never met or know, will meet him in a short while. Here is when you get to see your first glimpse of Arthur, or lack thereof. He is not a very big boy, extremely lanky and skinny. He definitely doesn’t have the look of a king or even a knight in training. You come to find out that he is training to become a knight’s squire because he is an orphan and not of noble birth.
After the two meet up Merlin explains to Arthur that he has to be educated and make something of himself and that he himself will teach him. Merlin tells Arthur that he is a wizard and that he didn’t know who was coming to meet him but he could predict the exact spot on which they would land. Merlin then shows how he puts his magic to good use and shows Arthur that he is a good wizard by shrinking everything, and I mean everything, so it will fit in a small handbag. They continue their conversation while heading home to the castle where Arthur lives with Sir Ector and Kay.
Here you find that Arthur has a tough home life. He is more of a maid than anything. He gets demerits for wrong doing which gives him bigger workloads. He is the only child that has to do chores for punishments. But he does everything without question and does it well. This shows you the great character he has, and one quality Disney shows early that shows you Arthur is a great person. Merlin hates to see him work so hard for reasons that are unjust, so Merlin decides to put his magic to work and lends helping hands to allow Arthur to slip away for learning.
During these times you get to see three big scenes of teaching that allow Arthur to learn valuable life lessons while he has fun. Merlin and Arthur get to sing songs and experience everything first hand. First, Arthur gets to become a fish and swim in a moat and learn about motion. Then he gets to become a squirrel to run and jump through the trees and learn about gravity. And finally he gets to fly with the birds and learn about physics. What causes everything to really sink in with Arthur are the problems the two of them run into during their adventures. Somehow Merlin always seems to get trapped or held up and Arthur has to put what he has been taught and put it to good use to save both his and Merlin’s lives.
You get to follow the two most popular characters of the medieval times in everything they do. You get to watch them fight off barracudas, wolves, hawks, Arthur’s foster parent and brother, and even the dreaded Mad Madam Mim! Watch as “The Wart” begins his quest to become King Arthur, a king that is filled with honor, decency, and inner strength. This is one of Disney’s all time classics that has been remastered and brought out of the Vault for all to fall in love with again.