The Sword in the Stone
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1963's The Sword in the Stone is Disney's animated take on Arthurian legend. In the midst of the Dark Ages, when England has no rightful ruler, a sword imbedded in a stone mysteriously appears in a London churchyard, bearing the inscription "Whoso pulleth out the sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king born of England." Scores of would-be kings travel to London to attempt the feat and thereby claim the throne. They all fail. Years later, in the English countryside, an 11-year-old squire nicknamed Wart (Rickie Sorensen) is devotedly helping his incompetent foster… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There is still some life in the characterizations, though the animation is turning stiff and flat."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The humor sparkles with real, knowing sophistication -- meaning for all ages -- and some of the characters on the fifth-century landscape of Old England are Disney pips."
‑ Glenn Collins, New York Times
"Well animated yet thoroughly tedious..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Innocuous fun for all the family -- well, those under eight anyway. Grown-ups should seek out Excalibur instead."
‑ , Film4
"For all of its inventiveness, the film's characters are never quite as endearing as they should be, and the central relationship between Arthur and Merlin is oddly detached."
‑ Felix Gonzalez Jr., DVD Review
"The feature-length cartoon demonstrates anew the magic of the Disney animators and imagination in character creation."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Aside from the owl Archimedes, none of the characters make any impression whatsoever."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"It makes a good effort at being something like My First Arthur Story."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"It is seldom mentioned in discussions of Disney's work, and no character in it evolved into a Disney favorite."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"He had my heart racing like a squirrel. He had my body soaring into the stratosphere like a bird. He had me slippery and firm like a fresh young perch."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"A beautifully animated Disney feature."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Delightful classic brings Arthur legend to life."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"It feels older than contemporary Disney work due to flat, creaky animation. The story still has resonance for kids, though."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Sadly, in viewing the film as an adult, I lost a bit of the magic."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Fans of the fairy-tale format will recognize a little Cinderella in the structure."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for The Sword in the Stone on Rotten Tomatoes

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