The Sword in the Stone was the 18th animated, feature-length film; it was based on the T.H. White novel, The Sword in the Stone, part of his The Once and Future King tetralogy. The Sword in the Stone released to theatres December 25, 1963, and now you can watch The Sword in the Stone online through Disney’s new streaming service.
The film was not as popular as other Disney releases, despite being released in what was Disney’s heyday. Despite the movie’s lackluster performance, as a whole, characters from the film have appeared throughout the Disney lexicon. These appearances include the House of Mouse TV series as well as the House of Villains series, and Merlin makes various appearances at both Disneyland and Disney World.
Merlin has also appeared in Disney’s Kingdom Hearts video game series. The studio has renewed interest in the film as families watch The Sword in the Stone streaming. The movie starred voice actors including Norman Alden, Martha Wentworth, and Rickie Sorensen. Here’s how to stream The Sword in the Stone right now:
How to Stream ‘The Sword in the Stone’ – Exclusively on Disney+
The Sword in the Stone is one of the fan-favorite Disney original movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream The Sword in the Stone and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “The Sword in the Stone”
- 5. Tap on “The Sword in the stone”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
The Sword in the Stone: Overview
Release Date: December 25, 1963
Creators: Walt Disney, Bill Peet, T.H. White
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring: Rickie Sorensen, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews, and Sebastian Cabot
Synopsis: The orphan Arthur tries to help his foster brother, Kay, become a knight. He finds Merlin, the magician, while helping Kay train, and Merlin tries to convince him he is bound for greatness.
How Long Is The Sword in the Stone?
The Sword in the Stone has a running time of 79 minutes
The Sword in the Stone Plot
After the King of England dies with no heir, a sword appears inside an anvil in London with an inscription that whoever removes the sword from the stone will be the new king. When no one can remove it, the country falls into the Dark Ages. Years later, an orphan named Arthur is helping his foster brother, Kay, hunt, but instead loses an arrow in the forest. There, he meets Merlin, a wizard, who tells him he is bound for greatness.
Arthur doesn’t believe Merlin, but the wizard declares that he’ll tutor the boy and together they return to Arthur’s home. A friend of Arthur’s foster family arrives with news of a jousting tournament in London in which one competitor will be given the title of knight. Arthur’s foster father decides Kay should compete and that Arthur should help him train.
Merlin, meanwhile, is continuing with Arthur’s education, teaching him science, reading and magical transformations. All of this, especially Merlin’s knowledge of the future, confuses Arthur, and so Merline brings in Archimedes to help. During one lesson Arthur meets Madam Mim, a witch and nemesis to Merlin. She tries to steal the boy away but Merlin defeats her. Kay becomes a Knight and Arthur becomes his squire, which angers Merlin. In his anger, he accidentally transports himself and Arthur to Bermuda in the 20th century.
Back at the tournament, Arthur forgets Kay’s sword at the inn, but sees the sword in the anvil and effortlessly pulls it loose. At the tournament, his foster father and friends see the sword and recognize it but none believe Arthur actually pulled it. They put the sword back in the stone and everyone tries to pull it loose. No one can except Arthur, proving that he is to be the king. Arthur asks Merlin to help him, because he doesn’t feel prepared for his duties. Merlin stands beside Arthur, telling him of the deeds he will do as King and leader of the Knights of the Round Table.
The Sword in the Stone Cast
Veteran voice actors Mel Blanc, Barbara Jo Allen, and Fred Darian would lend their voices to the cast of The Sword in the Stone. Here are the main actors for the film:
Rickie Sorensen as Arthur/Wart
Sometimes called Wart, Arthur is an orphan destined to be the King of England. Rickie Sorensen is best known for providing the voice of Arthur in The Sword in the Stone. He also appeared in the original Father of the Bride in 1961, and Airport ’77.
Sebastian Cabot as The Narrator and Sir Ector
Sir Ector is Arthur’s foster father; he wants his son, Kay, to be a knight. Sebastian Cabot is a veteran actor, best known as Giles from the hit TV show Family Affair. In addition to The Sword in the Stone, he would also provide the voice for Bagheera in The Jungle Book.
Karl Swenson as Merlin
Upon meeting Arthur in the woods, Merlin is convinced he is the boy who will be the king. Merlin sets about teaching Arthur everything he needs to know about being a ruler. Karl Swenson was a character actor who appeared in nearly 200 films over the course of his career. He is best known for his work in Hour of the Gun, The Birds, and The Sword in the Stone.
Martha Wentworth as Madam Mim
Madam Mim is Merlin’s arch-nemesis. Martha Wentworth is best known for her contributions to 101 Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone. She would appear in 82 movies over the course of her career, but Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone was her final role.
Norman Alden as Sir Kay
Sir Kay is Arthur’s foster brother and is convinced he should be a knight. Veteran character actor Norman Alden appeared in 250 movies and television series including Back to the Future, The Rockford Files, and The Sword in the Stone.
The Sword in the Stone Songs and Soundtrack
The soundtrack to The Sword in the Stone was written by Richard and Robert Sherman, songwriting brothers who would create the music for several Disney classics including Mary Poppins which would net them two Academy Awards. The Sherman brothers were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, and were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2008. George Bruns scored the film and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film in 1963.
The Sword in the Stone at the Box Office
The Sword in the Stone earned $4.75 million at the box office in 1963, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of the year, and was re-issued, along with Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, in 1983. The re-issue earned $12 million at the box office. Overall the film, which had a budget of $3 million, has earned just over $22 million.
The Sword in the Stone Reviews – What the Critics Said
Reviews for the movie were mixed at release, with many reviewers saying it was too light and funny, with too little plot substance. This didn’t keep fans of the film from turning out, however, because of the animation and effects.
Where The Sword in the Stone Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
The Sword in the Stone is one of the lesser-known Disney movies, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. The film’s score was nominated for an Academy Award, and songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman would go on to create many hit songs both in the Disney universe and outside of in. The film was also nominated to AFI’s Top 10 Animated Films list; it didn’t make the top 10 cut, but remains on the longer list. Both Merlin and Arthur have made appearances in other Disney shows, including the House of Mouse, and in video games including Kingdom Hearts.
The Sword in the Stone Trailer
The Sword in the Stone Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Though not as well known as other Disney films, The Sword in the Stone was well-received by viewers in 1963. Here are five fast facts about the movie.
1. Sherman Brothers Awarded National Medal of the Arts
In 2008, songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman were given the National Medal of the Arts; the highest honor given to artists or patrons of the arts by the United States government. The award was presented by President George HW Bush.
2. The Sword in the Stone Director Named Disney Legend
Wolfgang Reitherman, an animator who began working for Disney in 1933, was named a Disney Legend in 1988. He directed many Disney favorites including The Sword in the Stone, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, and 101 Dalmations.
3. Sword is Walt Disney’s Final Production
Although Walt Disney Productions has gone on to produce hundreds of movies, The Sword in the Stone was the last film produced by Walt, himself. That is because he would die of cancer in 1967 while The Jungle Book was still in production.
4. 3 Boys Gave Arthur His Voice
Although Rickie Sorensen is given the most credit for providing the voice for Arthur, the character was actually voiced by three different boys: Rickie Sorendsen, Richard Reitherman, and Robert Reitherman.
5. Live-action remake of The Sword in the Stone Ordered
After the successes of live-action remakes for Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, Disney has announced remakes of several of their animated classics. A live action remake of The Sword in the Stone, with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directing, has been ordered. There are no details about when the movie will be released.
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