Monday, June 25, 2007

Snick, snack, snorum!

One of the joys of watching movies as a child? Funny hair!

A pretty relaxed movie (there's not much tension, even during the inventive wizards duel), with a plot consisting mostly of charming little episodes and the bare minimum of story (Wart learns brains over brawn, pulls the sword from the stone, becomes king of England, and... FIN). But I'm still charmed by Disney's The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1962) (with story and character design by Bill Peet), even after watching it dozens of times as a child. I think the characters are the strength of the movie, from the curmudgeonly Merlin, to the really, really curmudgeonly Archimedes, to the perfectly revolting (Why, thank you dearie!) marvelous mad Madam Mim. From the swishy-ness of Pellinore's mustache, to the walrus stomach of Sir Ector, to the cro-magnon face of Kay, to the skin and bones (literally!) of Wart -- character design, voice acting, and the script all come together to create vivid, memorable characters, so that even though the story is slight, the characters are for real. Plus: Hokety, pockety, wickety, wack! Zim zaba, rim BIM! and Prestidigitonium! are just too entirely awesome to comprehend. Also: BLOW ME TO BERMUDA! never gets old. Heh.


Campaspe said...

Gosh, I was crazy about this movie as a kid and had not thought of it in ages. I need to get cracking and get more Disney for the kids so I can re-discover these. We did watch the Aristocats a while back and I still enjoy that one although it is not the pinnacle of Disney animation, I guess.

The Derelict said...

I've never seen The Aristocats, and I probably should since I think it has a jazzy soundtrack and love jazzy soundtracks. I was expecting The Sword in the Stone to disappoint, because I was obsessed with this movie as a kid and I was sure that no movie could live up to such a memory. Well, it was as delightful as ever.

How times have changed, re: animation -- other than Pixar, most other animated kids movies today are noisy, harsh, and stupid (even if they do manage to mildly entertain). Old-school second and third tier Disney (stuff like Sword in the Stone, Aristocats, the Rescuers, Robin Hood, etc.) all seem so much more pleasant and intelligent. Wow, have I turned into an old curmudgeon, or what!

Anonymous said...

I wish Disney had stayed truer to the original story by T.H. White, but even so it is still a movie I love to this day. In the movie, Wart was a weaker character that everybody picked on, but in the book he is a much, much stronger the fact that he gets turned into a lot more animals ( which is so cool, btw ).

Getting back to the movie...I love the character designs and the songs so much. I watch this film practically once every other week :D