The Sword in the Stone is not one of those animated features that bubbles to the top of anyone’s list when they talk of classic Disney. Based (very sketchily) on T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King”, the plot is as sketchy as the artwork on the main characters. This is one of those, like “The Jungle Book” where the artwork for the background and settings is several degrees more elaborate and detailed than that of the characters.

Wart, or Art is a neglected drudge and scullery boy in the castle of Sir Ector, befriended by Merlin, a wandering wizard with a pet owl named Archimedes. By way of giving him an education, Merlin turns the boy into successively a fish, a squirrel and a bird. There are lessons to be learned from those experiences, apparently. It climaxes with a battle of wits between Merlin and a rival witch, Madame Mim, and at the very end, Wart pulls an ancient sword out of the stone and is revealed to be the rightful king of England. It’s a slight and barely amusing story, and seems to have been cranked out by Walt Disney while he had his mind seriously set on something else. Two of the extra features – Goofy as a knight at a joust, and Mickey Mouse as the Brave Little Tailor were by far more witty and energetic in about a tenth of the time.

Other notable extras on this feature is an interview with the Sherman brothers. This was the first time they worked with Disney; none of the songs are particularly memorable. Possibly the only feature which could be of long-time amusement would be the Magical Academy Game.

“The Sword in the Stone” will be available June 17th, at Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her upcoming book “The Adelsverein Trilogy” will be available in December. More is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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