A good origin story, when well done, can fill in the gaps and answer questions about a character’s back story. When we know where this person has been, it allows the audience to understand them and perhaps, not be so judgemental about where they are going.
The Sword in the Stone (1963) is Disney‘s answer to the origin story of King Arthur. Based on the book by T.H. White, the movie follows a young boy named Arthur, also known as Wart (voiced by Rickie Sorensen, Richard Reitherman, and Robert Reitherman). Young, orphaned, and poor, he is looked down upon by those around him. When he meets Merlin (voiced by Karl Swenson), Arthur goes on an emotional, psychological, and physical journey that will eventually lead him to the throne of England.
Animation-wise, this is Disney at its best. The technical abilities to bring this movie to life is awe-inspiring. But the narrative is rather simple. Granted, I have not been the target audience for a very long time. But as an adult, I would prefer a little more complexity and less in-your-face-ness. I would also appreciate it if the female characters (who are limited in number compared to the male characters) had been given the opportunity to move beyond the 2D boxes they were kept in.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
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