The Sword in the Stone was the last film Walt was alive to see, and is also his weakest (not counting the anthology films). The story of King Arthur's beginnings is retooled here as series of lessons to the future king, and while many moments are amusing and charming, the pacing is sometimes uneven, making the film a little bit slower than expected. The animation lacks the grandeur of past films but the character animation is excellent. And, while the protagonist is not very interesting, the supporting players (mainly Merlin, Archimedes and Madame Mim) are a delight from beginning to end and help elevate the picture from its uneven rhythm. Plus, the epic battle between Merlin and Madame Mim is one of the most memorable and beautifully animated sequences in all of animated film. All in all, The Sword in the Stone may not be an instant Disney classic but has enough charm and magic to delight young and old audiences. Rating: 4/5.
Next Week: Animated Classic #19: The Jungle Book (1967)