May 2016


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Arthurian Things post #3 - Favorite Arthurian Movies part 1: Sword in the Stone

This movie is one of those "always been there" things for me, which makes sense, because it was released several years before I was born. I'm pretty sure it's one of the major origins of my Arthurian knowledge. I know it is for a lot of my generation, though far from the only source.

For me, this is one of the top 5 Arthurian movies out there (I'll be covering the others in later posts). This one's great because there's really no romance in it, and because it' simple for anyone to watch. Of course, it doesn't really get into the central stories of Camelot and the Knights of the Round table, but for several generations now, it's been introducing kids to the young Arthur, and thereby continuing the interest in Camelot into a new generation.

For me, the story itself always makes me smile. Wart's innocence, Merlin's excitement about learning, and Archemedes' crochetiness. Not to mention the creatures they become and meet, and the Wizard War with Madam Mim ...

I'll cover it more in a later post, but this is one of two movies based on one of the seminal modern Arthurian classic books: The Once and Future King by T.H. White, which has lent as much to the legends these days as Mallory or Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Given that the only other possible Arthurian story that would have made a good kid's movie (Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone) wasn't written for a few more years after this movie came out, I think this was the best choice for a Disney Arthurian story that they could have made, especially given the darkness of some of the stories.

There have been other attempts to do Arthurian stories for kids since, but really, none are quite as enjoyable as Sword in the Stone. At least, not for me.

So what about you? Like or hate Sword in the Stone? Do you have another kid's movie you prefer?


Apr. 24th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
Yep, this is the one that started it for me too. I saw the movie and then read the book when I was very young. To this day, Once and Future King is still my favourite "canon."
Apr. 24th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
I have to admit of the modern stories, I'm less fond of the opening, but its such a baseline for so many Arthurian stories these days, it still feels "right." Mostly I dislike it because we get almost no information about Uther and Igraine. Plus, I think the last time I read (maybe heard?) it was when I was quite young, so I really don't remember a lot of the finer details.
Apr. 25th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
We've got that one on VHS. The daughters adored it when they were little. I think the duel with Madam Mim is one of the best magical duels ever. *G*

Apr. 25th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
I agree. She's so fun to watch. And so many clever moments in that duel... You can tell the animators had fun planning that one out.
Apr. 29th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love The Sword in the Stone! Madam Mim was so hilarious in it!
Apr. 29th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
She really is a kick. :D