Rated: G for General Audiences
Recommended for: ages 5 and up
Run Time: 79 minutes
Quick Take: A spellbinding, often overlooked Disney classic that deserves a spot on your DVD shelf.
The Sword in the Stone gets lost in the Disney canon, yet it's an inventive and ingeniously animated fantasy film that deserves to be better remembered.
Among the highlights are Merlin's quarters, perilously perched at the top of one of the castle's crumbling towers; a self-serving sugar dish that is a precursor to Mrs. Potts and Chip in Beauty and the Beast; and a psychedelic battle of wits between Merlin and a witch, in which they transform into everything from a pink elephant to a blue walrus.
Underneath it all is Merlin's emphasis on "brain over brawn," which Wart takes to heart on his way to becoming the new king.
Kids Will Like:
Wart's outing with Merlin, in which the wizard turns them both into fish and they have a harrowing adventure in the castle's moat. If only every field trip could be this exciting.
Parents Will Like:
Merlin's report after doing a little time traveling. "Back from the 20th century. And believe me, you can have it," he says. "One big modern mess." Wait until he gets to the 21st.
Aside from mild violence, this is about as clean as an animated fantasy can get.
Yes. It deserves a place on your Disney shelf, even if it isn't the top spot.