The Sword in the Stone (film)

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"Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king born of England."

The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney, and it was the 18th animated film in the Disney Animated Classics series. It is about a young orphan boy known as Wart who is given social and magical lessons by Merlin the Magician. Wart eventually pulls a magical sword from a stone and anvil and becomes hailed as King Arthur.

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman. Written by Bill Peet. Based on the novel of the same name by T. H. White.
Tired of living in a Medieval mess... Merlin uses all his magic powers to change a scrawny little boy into a legendary hero!


[First lines; after the credits]
Balladeer: [sings]
A legend is sung of when England was young,
And Knights were brave and bold.
The good King had died, and no one could decide
Who was rightful heir to the Throne.
It seemed that the land would be torn by war,
Or saved by a miracle alone-
And that miracle appeared in London town:
The Sword in the Stone.
Sir Ector: [narrates] And below the hilt, in letters of gold, were written these words: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king born of England." Though many tried for the sword with all their strength, none could move the sword nor stir it. So the miracle had not worked, and England was still without a king [showing The Sword in the stones covered in vines] - and in time, the marvellous sword was forgotten [fades out]. This was a dark age [showing a Star], without law and without order [Fades into a Dark forest]. Men lived in fear of one another, for the strong preyed upon the weak.
Merlin: A dark age indeed! An age of inconvenience!? No plumbing! No electricity! No...nothing! [almost falls into the well] Oh, hang it all! Hang it all! [finally gets his bucket filled with water out of the well, and tries to leave, but finds that he is caught in something] Oh, now what? Now what?! [sees the chain wrapped around his leg] Here, leave off! LEAVE OFF! Oh, you fiendish chain, you! [kicks it away] Everything complicated! One big medieval mess!

Merlin: Now, let me see. He should be here in, I'd say, half an hour.
Archimedes: Who? Who? I'd like to know who!
Merlin: I told you, Archimedes, I am not sure. All I know is that someone will be coming, someone very important.
Archimedes: Oh, pinfeathers!
Merlin: Fate will direct him to me, so that I, in turn, may guide him to his rightful place in the world.

Kay: [whispers] Quiet, Wart!
Arthur: I'm trying to be.
Kay: And nobody asked you to come along in the first place.
Arthur: I'm not even movin'.
Kay: Shut up. [sees a doe] Aha! Here we go. Oh, what a set-up. Hmm. Right smack through the old gizzard!
[Sir Kay almost shoots the doe with an arrow, but the tree-limb Arthur is on breaks; Arthur falls onto Kay, sending the arrow whistling away into the air; the doe flees]
Arthur: [as Kay chases him] Oh Kay, please, I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. Please!
Kay: If I ever- [trips over a ruined tree] If I ever get my hands on you, I'll wring your scrawny little neck, so help me, I will!
Arthur: [going into the forest] I'll get the arrow, Kay. I'm sure I can find it.
Kay: [chuckles] Don't tell me you're going in there? Why, it's swarming with wolves.
Arthur: I'm not afraid.
Kay: Well, go ahead! It's your skin, not mine! Go on, go on!

Arthur: [repeated lines] Whoa, wait! WHOA!

[Arthur falls through Merlin's roof]
Merlin: Well! So, you did drop in for tea after all! Oh, you are a bit late, you know.
Arthur: Oh, I am?
Merlin: Yes. Now, my name is Merlin...Come, come, who are you, my lad?
Arthur: Oh, my name's Arthur, but everyone calls me Wart.
Merlin: Oh.
Arthur: Ooh, what a perfect stuffed owl.
Archimedes: Stuffed?! I beg your pardon!
Arthur: He's alive, and he talks.

Arthur: How did you know that I would-
Merlin: Oh, that-that you would be dropping in? Well, I happen to be a wizard! A soothsayer! A prognosticator! I have the power to see into the future! Centuries into the future! I've even been there, lad.

Merlin: Oh, big news, eh? Can't wait for the London Times - first edition won't be out for at least [looks at his watch] 1200 years. Archimedes, would you mind sailing down there and-
Archimedes: Not interested.
Merlin: Oh, come now! You're as wet as you can get!
Archimedes: NO! No, no, no!
Merlin: Archimedes! I'll turn you into a human!
Archimedes: You wouldn't dare!
Merlin: I will! So help me, I will!
Archimedes: All right! All right!
Merlin: Works every time. Just like magic!

Merlin: [regarding jousting] Science indeed. One dummy trying to knock off another dummy with a bit of a stick.
Archimedes: And the Wart's just as hot for it as the rest of them.
Merlin: Yes. That boy's got real spark, lots of spirit. Throws himself, heart and soul, into everything he does. And that's really worth something. If it could only be turned in the right direction.
Archimedes: Ha-ha! Fat chance of that!
Merlin: Oh, I intend to cheat of course. Use magic! Every last trick in the trade if, I have to.

[Merlin is being chased by a corpulent granny squirrel, eventually falling off a tree branch and into a bush]
Merlin: By George! I've had enough of this nonsense! ALAKAZAM! [in an atom bomb explosion, he changes back into a human, causing the granny squirrel to scream] There! Now you see? I'm an ugly, horrible, grouchy old man!
[The granny squirrel runs up a tree and chirps angrily at Merlin. In response, Merlin barks like a dog, scaring her off]
Arthur: Merlin!
Merlin: [turns around to see a girl squirrel hugging Arthur tightly] So, here we are.
Arthur: Quick, Merlin, the magic!
Merlin: Snick, snack, snorum! [turns Arthur back into a human]
Arthur: [laughs, which causes the girl squirrel to gasp] There, now you see? I'm not a squirrel, I'm a boy. [the girl squirrel chirps as if asking a question] I tried to tell you. I-I'm a boy. A human boy! [the girl squirrel climbs up to a knot on her tree and sniffs] Oh, if you could only understand.
[The girl squirrel runs up to the hole in the tree and cries her heart out as Arthur remorsefully walks away]
Merlin: Ah, you know, lad...that love business is a powerful thing.
[The girl squirrel, sobbing, pokes her head out of her tree hole and watches Arthur and Merlin slowly walk away]
Arthur: Greater than gravity?
Merlin: Well, yes, boy, in its way, I'd, uh - Yes, I'd say it's the greatest force on Earth.
[The girl squirrel climbs to the top of her tree to get one last look at Arthur and sobs one last time as the screen fades to black]

Sir Ector: Now, what's all the commotion, hmm?
Scullery Maid: Oh, the kitchen! It's under an evil spell! It's bewitched!
Sir Ector: Oh...I bet it's that old goat Marvin. [to Kay] Come on, son! I knew he'd give us trouble! [goes to the kitchen and sees the magic Merlin used on the dishes and mops] GADZOOKS! BLACK MAGIC OF THE WORST KIND! Come on, Kay, to the attack!

Scullery Maid: You old goat! If I ever catch you in my kitchen again, I'll-
Merlin: [firmly] Madame, you won't! [disappears in a puff of smoke]
Scullery Maid: [surprised] Oh dear. He-He's gone!
Sir Ector: Well, by Jove...
Kay: We ought to run the old geezer right out of the castle.
Sir Ector: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Kay, no! He might cast an evil spell on the lot of us. Turn us all to stone! Shh! No, there's no telling what the old devil might do.
Arthur: He's not an old devil! He-He's good, and his magic is good, too. If you'd just leave him alone-
Sir Ector: Now look here, Wart, that's three more demerits!
Kay: Box his ears, Dad.
Arthur: Just because you can't understand something, it doesn't mean it's wrong!
Sir Ector: [spluttering in shock] Ten more demerits!
Arthur: [in tears] You make all the rules, and nobody else can say anything!
Sir Ector: You've said aplenty, boy! All that popping off just cooked your goose! Kay, from now on, young Hobbs is your squire. You hear that, Wart? Hobbs is going to be Kay's squire.
Arthur: [quietly] Yes, sir.
Kay: And that'll teach you to pop off, you little pipsqueak. [as he leaves the kitchen with Sir Ector, he chops a mop that humiliated him earlier in half with his sword]
[Arthur kneels in the kitchen alone with the broken mop in his hand, feeling sad and ashamed]
Merlin: [magically appears] I'm sorry, lad. Sorry, I spoiled everything. I know that trip to London meant a great deal to you.
Arthur: Oh, it's not your fault. I shouldn't have popped off. Now I'm really done for.
Merlin: No, no, you're in a great spot, boy. You can't go down now, it can only be up from here.
Arthur: I'd like to know how.
Merlin: Use your head, and education, lad.
Arthur: [lightning up] What good would that do?
Merlin: Get it first, and who knows? Are you willing to try?
Arthur: [resigned] Well, what have I got to lose?
Merlin: [patting his back] That's the spirit! We'll start tomorrow! We'll show 'em, won't we, boy?
Arthur: [unenthusiastically] We sure will.

Merlin: Archimedes, have you seen that flying machine model?
Archimedes: I have nothing to do with your futuristic fiddle-faddle, you know that.
Arthur: [pointing to the airplane model right above Merlin] What's that thing up there?
Merlin: Hmm? Oh, yes, of course. Here we are. [takes it down]
Arthur: Do you mean man will fly in one of those someday?
Archimedes: [scoffs] If man were meant to fly, he'd have been born with wings.
Merlin: [winding up the propeller of the model airplane, but not noticing his long beard getting caught in it] I am about to prove otherwise, Archimedes, if you care to watch. Here she goes! [tosses it out the window] No, no, no - NO!
[The plane unravels from his beard at the wrong angle, and starts to fall out of the sky]
Archimedes: [laughs] Man will fly, all right! Just like a rock! [The model plane lands in the moat with a crash, and is sunken out of sight. He then laughs harder]
Merlin: It would have worked if...if it weren't for this infernal beard! [Archimedes continues to laugh hysterically] Man will fly someday, I tell you! I have been there! I have seen it!
Arthur: Oh, I do hope so. I've always dreamed about flying; that I was a bird and that I could go sailing all over the sky, high above everything... [Merlin sneaks up behind him and quietly changes him into a sparrow] It's my favorite dream. [sighs] But then, I suppose everyone dreams about flying- [notices his new form; happily] I'm a bird, I'm a bird, I'm a bird! [starts to flutter clumsily out the window]
Merlin: [grabbing him in one hand] Hold it, boy! Not so fast, not so fast. First, I'd better explain the mechanics of a bird's wing. [grabs Archimedes' wing and runs his finger along the feathers] Now, these large feathers are called the primaries, and-
Archimedes: And since when do you know all about birds' wings?
Merlin: I have made an extensive study of birds in flight, and-
Archimedes: [crossly] And if you don't mind, I happen to be a bird!
Merlin: All right, Mr. Know-It-All! He's your pupil! [sets Arthur down firmly]
Arthur: Ouch!
Archimedes: Now boy, flying is not merely some crude mechanical process. [clears his throat offensively at Merlin, who clears his throat in return] It is a delicate art. Purely aesthetic! Poetry of motion! And the best way to learn it is to do it.

Arthur: Oh, I'm not really a sparrow, I'm a boy.
Madam Mim: A boy?!
Arthur: Merlin changed me with his magic. He's the world's most powerful wizard.
Madam Mim: Merlin? [laughs] Oh, Merlin - the world's most powerful bungler! Why, boy, I've got more magic in one little finger! Now don't tell me you've never heard of the marvelous Madam Mim?
Arthur: Well, no, I don't guess so.
Archimedes: Madame Mim?! [flies off] Good heavens, good heavens, good heavens...!
Madam Mim: Why, boy, I'm the greatest! I'm truly marvelous! [sings] With only a touch, I have the power, zim-zabberim-zim, to whither a flower! I find delight in the gruesome and grim!
Arthur: Oh, that's terrible!
Madam Mim: Thank you, my boy. But that's nothing, nothing to me. Because I'm the magnificent, marvelous, mad Madam Mim!

Madam Mim: Say, lad, did you know that I can make myself uglier yet?
Arthur: Well, that would be some trick - er, I-I-I mean, uh...
Madam Mim: You want a bet? [hides her face in her hair, then pulls her hair away to reveal a sow's face] BOO! [Arthur jumps in fright] You see? I win, I win! Aren't I hideous, boy? Perfectly revolting?
Arthur: Well, uh, yes, ma'am.
Madam Mim: But, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Watch this. [presses her pig snout and turns into a beautiful, voluptuous wasp-waisted woman; sings] I can be beautiful, lovely and fair; Silvery voice, long purple hair; La-la-la-la; La-la-la-la-la; La-la-la-la-la-la; La-la-la-la-la-la-la; But, it's only skin deep, for zim-zaberim-ZIM! ["Beautiful" Mim yanks her long hair and explodes in a puff of yellow smoke, turning back into an old woman] I'M AN UGLY OLD CREEP!!! The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!

[Just as Mim is about to destroy Arthur, Merlin quickly barges into her cottage]
Merlin: Mim! Mim! Wh-wh-what are you up to?!
Madam Mim: Oh, uh, oh, M-Merlin! Well, you're just in time. We were playing a little game.
Arthur: She was going to destroy me.
Madam Mim: And just what are you gonna do about it? Want to fight?! Want to have a wizard's duel?! [slaps Merlin across the face provokingly]
Merlin: [composing himself] As you wish, Madam.
Madam Mim: Well, come on. Step outside!
Merlin: After you, Madam.
[Mim marches outside, followed by Merlin; Arthur flies out onto a tree branch to watch, where Archimedes joins him]
Archimedes: Wha-?! What's up, boy, what's going on?
Arthur: They're having a wizard's duel. What's that mean?
Archimedes: Oh, it's a battle of wits. The players change themselves into different things in an attempt destroy one another.
Arthur: D-D-Destroy?
Archimedes: Just watch, boy, just watch. You'll get the idea.
Madam Mim: Now! First of all, if you don't mind, I'll make the rules.
Archimedes: Rules indeed! Gha ha ha! Why, she only wants rules so she can break them!
Madam Mim: [to Archimedes] I'll take care of you later, featherbrain. [Archimedes huffs; to Merlin] Now, Rule 1: No minerals or vegetables, only animals. Rule 2: No make-believe things like, oh, pink dragons and stuff. Rule 3: No disappearing. [squeezes his nose playfully]
Merlin: Rule 4: No cheating!

[Madam Mim transforms into a big purple dragon]
Merlin: [nervously] Now, Mim! No dragons, remember?
Madam Mim: Did I say no purple dragons? DID I?!

[Arthur arrives in the castle guestroom in a squire's outfit]
Arthur: [excitedly] Merlin, look! I'm a squire!
[Merlin, angry and disappointed by Arthur's decision, scoffs and goes back to his stove]
Archimedes: Oh, uh...very nice, boy.
Merlin: Yes indeed. A fine monkey suit for polishing boots!
Arthur: [his expression falls] It's...It's what all squires wear.
Merlin: And I thought you were going to amount to something! [gets up out of his chair] I thought you had a few brains! [kicks over a stack of books] Great future! Hah! A stooge for that big lunk, Kay! Congratulations, boy!
Arthur: [breaks into tears] What do you - What do you want me to be?! I'm nobody! You...You don't know a thing about what's going on today! [Archimedes gasps] I'm lucky to be Kay's squire!
Merlin: [loses his temper] Oh Of all the idiotic...! BLOW ME TO BERMUDA! [magically rockets off to Bermuda by accident]
Arthur: Where...W-Where did he go?
Archimedes: To Bermuda, I suppose.
Arthur: Where's that?
Archimedes: Oh, an island way off somewhere that hasn't been discovered yet.
Arthur: Will he...ever come back?
Archimedes: Who knows? Who knows anything?

[Arthur returns to the tournament with the Sword in the Stone]
Arthur: Kay! Kay! Here's a sword!
Kay: [takes the sword] This is not my sword!
Sir Ector: Hold on, Kay! Wait a minute. [reads the inscription under the hilt] "Whoso pulleth out this sword..." [shocked] Why, it''s the Sword in the Stone!
Sir Bart: The Sword in the Stone?! It can't be!
Sir Ector: But look! It is!
Sir Pellinore: It's the marvelous sword!
Sir Bart: [to the townspeople] Hold everything! Someone's pulled the sword from the stone!

Kay: Now wait a minute. Anyone call pull it, once it been pulled.

[After Arthur pulls the Sword from the Stone again]
Sir Pellinore: It's a miracle, ordained by Heaven. This boy is our King!
Sir Ector: Well, by Jove...
Sir Bart: What's the lad's name?
Sir Ector: Eh, Wart. Oh, uh, I mean, Arthur.
Sir Bart: Hail King Arthur!
Archimedes: [laughing] I can't believe it!
Sir Ector: [bowing before Arthur humbly] Oh, forgive me, son. Forgive me.
Arthur: Oh, please don't, sir.
Sir Ector: Kay, bow down to your King.
[Kay bows as well, with an expression of remorse and humility]
Narrator: So at last, the miracle had come to pass in that far-off time upon New Year's Day, and the glorious reign of King Arthur was begun.

[Last lines; Merlin magically enters the throne room wearing 20th century style clothes]
Arthur: Oh, Merlin! You're back from Ber-Ber-Ber-
Merlin: Bermuda? Yes, back from Bermuda and the 20th century! And believe me, you can have it! One big modern mess! Alakazam! [magically changes back into his blue robe and hat]
Arthur: I'm in an awful pickle! I'm King!
Archimedes: He pulled the Sword from the Stone.
Merlin: [surprised] Aha! Of course, of course! King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table!
Arthur: Round Table?
Merlin: Oh, would you rather have a square one?
Arthur: Oh, no, round will be fine.
Merlin: Boy, boy, boy - you'll become a great legend. They'll be writing books about you for centuries to come. Why, they might even make a motion picture about you.
Arthur: [confused] Motion picture?
Merlin: Well, uh...that's something like television. Without commercials.


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