(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Sword in the Stone)
Doug (vo): The Sword in the Stone, this is one of those movies I both really love and really hate at the same time. Well, maybe hate's too strong a word, but there's definitely an annoyance to it.
Story and reviewEdit
Doug (vo): Okay, let's talk about the good stuff. These are very memorable characters. Arthur is a naive, innocent boy, and Merlin is sort of this weird, eccentric wizard who's trying to teach him knowledge and wisdom. It's sort of nice having a film about Arthur that doesn't dive right into the sword battles and such, but instead into the philosophies of, well, being a good king. I like how we dive into the education, I like how we dive into him learning everything, but I guess here's my problem with it. That's exactly what this is. It's education and learning things, and it sort of goes at that pace. It's kind of like being in school, except you have an owl and Merlin teaching you stuff as opposed to your boring teachers. But with that said, that is kind of cool. But is that really what kids want to see when they go to watch a Disney film? For me, as a kid, I did find myself watching it a lot, maybe because there was such a laidback tone to it. I mean, yeah, Arthur becomes a bird, he becomes a fish, he becomes a squirrel, and that's always great for kids.
[One of the film's villains is shown, as well as showing the duel between her and Merlin]
Doug (vo): But nothing truly exciting happens until the last third when we get our villain, Mad Madam Mim. And even then, she's more of a side character than the main villain, though she is a lot of fun. And that wizard's duel? That whole scene was awesome. I used to watch that over and over when I was younger. It's creative, and it's just got some great slapstick.
[A scene from the duel is shown. Merlin, having turned into a walrus, sits on Madam Mim. Mim suddenly turns into an elephant]
Merlin: What's going on here?
[Mim grabs Merlin with her trunk]
Madam Mim: You...you big blimp!
[Merlin suddenly turns into a mouse and sticks his tongue out, causing Mim to scream]
Doug (vo): When I got older and I saw that the film was in the video store, I said, "You know what? I do remember that movie leaving a big impact on me. Maybe I should watch it again." But when I saw it again, I actually found it a little more boring than I remember. The animation's not really spectacular, and neither's really the backgrounds, and I found I wasn't really learning that much. It's got its good scenes, but I don't know if it really gels as well as it wants it to. I think I admire more what it was trying to do than the final product. But with that said, I do like the relationship between Arthur and Merlin, and the side characters are a lot of fun, too. Though, has anyone else noticed that the boy clearly went through puberty when he was doing this voice?
Arthur: But I gotta get back to the castle. They'll want me in the kitchen. [A later scene shows his voice having got deeper] He was a monster, the biggest fish I ever saw.
Doug (vo): There's literally a scene where they play two clips of his voice back to back and they don't gel up. Listen!
Arthur: [deeper voice] Oh, Sir Ector... [Suddenly trips and falls; in kid's voice] Whoa!
Doug (vo): It sounds like two different kids!*
- [Arthur was in fact voiced by three different child actors; Richard Reitherman, Robert Reitherman, and Rickie Sorenson.]
Doug (vo): But, oh, well. The film is a bit of a mixed bag, but I am glad I saw it when I was younger, and I guess I'm glad I saw it when I was older, too. There's a lot of creativity, and like I said, I think it was kind of neat that they took this very laidback tone. But sometimes, I think it works to its disadvantage. I do like it, but I think a lot of it is more because of the nostalgia and the idea of it. It's hard to say whether or not the whole thing is worth recommending, but I will say, if you do go see it, you'll definitely get one or two really creative and enjoyable moments...minimum.
[The scene showing Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone is shown as the ending music is heard]
Chorus: Hail King Arthur! Long live the king!