Welcome, welcome. A warm welcome. I may still be a little bit mushy in my head and heart after watching Frozen last night. Wow, that was a great movie and I wish I could watch it again every day but I have to wait for it to come out as DVD to do so. Now onto why we’re really here today, The Sword in the Stone which came out in 1963. I think I know the basic story of it but not the movie itself so this will play out nicely and I promise I try not to suddenly start singing “Do you wanna build a snowman” or “Let it Go“. No promises though.
The title card informs us that this movie is based upon a novel by T.H. White and I have never heard of him but I didn’t suspect it to be any other way. Then a big old story book is open and we’re told the background story in form of song because obviously. Lest we forget this is Disney. So England has no king at the moment because the next heir is the one who can pull out this sword that is conveniently placed in a stone. Sure, sure. Years upon years go by and nobody can pull it out and it gets forgotten. The times are dark, hence the middle ages were also called the dark age, you get it? *wink wink, nudge nudge*
We cut to a guy who looks like I imagine Merlin would look like and lo and behold, he has a talking owl (obligatory OWL SHOT) named Archimedes. For those that don’t know, Archimedes of Syracuse was a greek mathematician, engineer, physicist and so on who along with many other things, discovered the basics of hydrostatics and also lever. Sorry, for the smart mouthing but my useless knowledge must be put to use sometimes.
Merlin!guy talks about the arrival of someone 12 year old boy and I know he’s talking about the one to eventually get that sword out of the stone because I’m so good at Disney. #notsohumblehumblebrag
Cut to the boy observing a man trying to hunt a deer, only the boy messes things up and the deer runs away. Womp, womp. He promises to retrieve the lost arrow from the dark and wolf infested forest and this can only end badly. By the great contrivance spirit, the boy ends up falling through Merlin!guys roof right onto the chair Merlin had positioned there earlier for just this moment. We learn that Merlin!guy is actually named Merlin, wow, this is kind of anticlimactic, but also: me so good at this. The boy’s name is Wart, so there’s that.
Merlin explains how he can look into the future. Well, he can’t see everything but lots of it. He demonstrates by showing us an early example of a steam powered train. Nice work. Merlin is actually pretty awesome and I really heart him. He suggests Wart needs an education
(because the future king of England can’t be a fool). Naturally Merlin starts shrinking all his possessions so they fit into a bag he can take with him when he accompanies Wart back to the castle the boy works/lives at. Sorry Merlin, but you apparently could take a tip out of Mary Poppins’ book. She has a bag everything fits into without having to shrink it. I know, these may be two equal approaches but I like Mary’s better. #sorrynotsorry
Cut to some guy in the castle talking about how Hunter!Dude could lose Wart, his foster son and blah blah blah until Wart enters the room with Merlin and the owl in tow. Merlin mentions he is from now on going to educate Wart and they both get into a pissing contest over who has the longest wand, I mean who is the one to take care of Wart. Ugh. Merlin gets to stay in the worst room of the entire castle but he doesn’t complain much about it.
Some guy arrives at the castle and Merlin sends Archimedes to eavesdrop on what they say. Turns out, there will be some tournament in London and the winner gets to be the King of England. Training at the castle ensues.
Then it’s time for Wart’s first Merlin lesson and the boy gets turned into a fish because if reasons. I’m sure there are some but they eluded me. Fish!Merlin joins Fish!Wart in the pond and they start to swim around. Then they get chased by some gigantic fish and Fish!Merlin lets Fish!Ward fight his own battle. The lesson os that brains will always outsmart muscles and I love this movie for it. Also, these are important Disney Life Lessons so take note!
Wart has duties in the kitchen like cleaning an ENORMOUS amount of dishes. Merlin believes this is not a good use of the boy’s time and sets up a factory line running on magic to clean. Where can I get one of these?
The next lesson involves turning into a squirrel and I don’t know why but Squirrel!Wart learns to take a look every time before he takes a leap. #thatsdeep We also get schooled on what gravity is so. Wow, this is a very educational movie! If they showed this ins schools, we could get rid of so many teachers. #justkidding A female squirrel sees Squirrel!Wart and falls for him. Squirrel!Wart doesn’t know what hit him and tries to fight it with not much luck. Squirrel!Merlin thinks it’s all some marvellous joke until he gets himself an admirer (admiretress?) of his own and ends the whole damn thing. Lesson learned: Love is also a force of nature you can’t escape and neither should you. (At least that’s what I’m making of it. Sorry, but I said I’m currently all mushy concerning all matters of the heart.)
Upon returning to the kitchen, Warts foster father gets his panties in a twist over the ‘mess’ the magic has turned into and it’s decided Wart won’t be squire for the tournament. SADZ.
Archimedes has taken it upon himself to educate the boy some more and there is a HUGE mountain of books. Only Wart can’t read so reading and writing lessons first. Archimedes doesn’t believe Merlin when he says that people will fly in airplanes one day because if they were meant to fly they would have been born with wings. I call BS on this because flying is totes a thing now. Of course this has only been an elaborate setup to Wart can say that he always wanted to be able to fly. You and me both, Wart. The day I found out I would never be able to fly on my own was a sad day for me. #truestory
So Merlin transforms Wart into a bird and lets Archimedes do the flying instructions. It’s fine at first but then a hawk spots them and Bird!Wart gets chased into the chimney of some strange lone house in the woods. Yeah, this is not going to end well, I know it. In the house lives an old witch, called Madame Mim and she totes laughs about Merlin being the greatest wizard of the world cause she is so much better. Her spells seem to disagree though.
A very weird chasing scene between Mim and Merlin ensues with lots of shape shifting and whatnot. Merlin manages to outsmart her though so the lesson to be learnt here is that knowledge and wisdom are the real powers! BOOM!
Cut to the castle in the snow where the guys sit around the table to eat and discuss. We are shown this solely to learn that the boy who was supposed to be squire has mumps and can’t go to London for the tournament so Wart gets his place. All proud of himself, he goes to tell Merlin who calls him a fool because he is way too smart to play squire to some idiot. Merlin angry-exits through the roof to Bermuda. I wish I could do that sometimes as well. *sigh*
Cut to the tournament. Ward forgot the knights sword at the inn and he gets told off. In his despair, he tries to get it but nobody won’t open the inn for him. He suddenly sees the sword in the stone and goes to grab it. Every time he touches it, glimmers and shines. And then HE PULLS IT OUT OF THE STONE!! It’s not like this was a big surprise but YAY!!
Back at the tournament, the people don’t believe Wart so he has to demonstrate again. This time there is also music when he touches the sword. REAL MAGICAL. Hello and welcome to King Arthur as Arthur seems to be Ward’s real name. Whatever. His foster father and apologises for treating him the way he did all this time and the boy becomes king.
Young King Arthur isn’t that happy with all of this though and he tries to run away. No way though so they call Merlin back. He arrives fresh from Bermuda and puts all this King business in perspective for Arthur.
Now this was avery nice movie. There was no misogyny and the lesson that brain power trumps muscles is always appropriate. I was hardly ever bred throughout this and I really enjoyed it. Have you seen The Sword in the Stone? What are your thoughts about it?