The Sword in the Stone
What it lacks in story is mostly made up by humor
The Sword In The Stone is a major disappointment. It's by no means a bad film, it's just disappointing. What I expected to be an origin film was really just a silly film about a boy with a wizard for a teacher.
Don't let the title deceive you, this is not a movie about a sword in a stone, it's about a skinny young boy named Arthur- whom everyone calls Wart- who has a rather ruthless and obnoxious father and older brother. While hunting with his older brother, Kay, Wart discovers a wizard named Merlin and his frumpy owl, Archimedes. Merlin is convinced that it is his job to tutor the boy, and that's all there is to it.
There's not nearly enough plot to last even the short 79 minute run time. This might've worked as a 15 minute short film, but as a feature length film, The Sword In The Stone feels padded and tedious. There's just not enough material.
Which is a shame because The Sword In The Stone has so much potential. This could've been a marvelous rags-to-riches story, but alas, it's just a Ben Kneobi, Luke Skywalker tale.
The Sword In The Stone does have some bright spots though, make no mistake. While a majority of the characters are dull and forgettable, Archimedes is at least slightly amusing, and Merlin is the real main character, and he steals all the scenes anyhow. The protagonist, Wart, is likeable, if mostly forgettable.
The animation is shockingly bland. Despite a beautiful underwater segment, The Sword In The Stone has little visual sparkle.
There are songs too, but like many of the characters, they're forgettable. They're not bad by any means, just forgettable. At the minimum, they're not dull and that's good enough for me.
The score, by recurring Disney composer George Bruns, is disappointingly mediocre. However, there's a wonderful jazz piece utilizing the piano during a scene in which Merlin uses magic to wash dishes. This is the only part of the score I can recommend, unfortunately.
Some of the scenes are funny, if somewhat pointless to the actual story. The quarrels between Merlin and Archimedes are particularly amusing. There's also one scene towards the end, where Merlin battles a witch in a fun, yet completely illogical duel of magic.
While The Sword In The Stone lacks a real plot, and ultimately has nothing to do with the sword in the stone, it's an occasionally fun ride with enough humor to be a mildly enjoyable diversion.