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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sword-in-the-stone.png]]

Disney [[XMeetsY meets]] KingArthur.

Loosely adapted from the novel of the same name by T. H. White, which became part one of ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing''.

This film version was made in 1963, as the 18th entry in the DisneyAnimatedCanon. It was Walt Disney's penultimate animated film and the last one released while he was still alive. At the start of the story, the king Uther Pendragon has died. Soon after, a sword stuck in an anvil appears in London with a message that says that the person who can remove the sword is the legitimate successor to the throne. However, no one is able to succeed at this task.

Cut several years later to the main protagonist, twelve-year-old Arthur, also called Wart. He is an orphan who was taken in and raised by Sir Ector. Arthur, who is training to be a squire, is under the apprenticeship of Sir Kay, his older foster brother. One day, while accompanying Kay on a hunting trip, Wart inadvertently distracts the knight, causing the aim of his arrow to go off target, missing the deer and losing the ammo. The younger boy goes into the forest to retrieve it. While doing so, he accidentally crashes into the house of the magician Merlin. Upon meeting, the wizard declares that he will tutor Arthur, a decision that greatly changes the boy's life.

The film is a well-loved part of Disney canon, and the character of [[OneSceneWonder Madame Mim]] has a very large fanbase in several countries. In the Netherlands, she appears almost weekly in mainstream Disney comics.
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!!This film provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer:
** There are two female squirrels who qualify (though one of them is ambiguous as to whether or not she's this):
*** The one who falls for Merlin is portrayed as comical when Merlin resumes human form, angrily retreating to her lair and shaking her fist at Merlin.
*** The one squirrel who falls for Wart is drawn to be extremely ''cute'' and instead of being portrayed as comical she's portrayed as heartbroken and sympathetic.
* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Arthur is called "Wart", mostly by his caretaker/guardian Ector and his son Kay.
** Ector also keeps referring to Merlin as "Marvin".
* ActionGirl: The girl squirrel for biting the wolf who thought Wart was a nice snack.
* AffablyEvil: Madame Mim is cheerful, amiable, and pretty friendly when Arthur blunders into her house, and while he can tell she's unpleasant, he doesn't even realize she's dangerous until she tells him she has to kill him which she says with about as much fanfare as someone saying it's suddenly started raining.
* AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: Whenever a person is magically transformed into an animal.
* AllWomenAreLustful: The female squirrels immediately pursue Merlin and Wart as mates, while Madame Mim even sort-of attempts to seduce Arthur of all people. The only female character in the film who doesn't deliberately attempt to seduce someone is the scullery maid.
* AnachronismStew:
** While it's far from the only adaptation to do so, this sets King Arthur in medieval England, about a thousand years after King Arthur is supposed to have lived. It's particularly glaring when "England" is mentioned as the setting--England only came into existence because Arthur and other ''Welsh'' kings failed to stop the English from taking their land.
** There's also Merlin's comment about helicopters (see AnalogyBackfire), which shouldn't exist yet. However, this case is in-universe, because Merlin can see into the future.
* AnalogyBackfire: Merlin teaching Arthur that swimming like a fish is like flying a helicopter. Arthur doesn't know what he means. Merlin, realizing what he said, told him to forget it.
* AnimateInanimateObject: Some of Merlin's furniture, most memorably the tea service.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Sir Ector punishes Wart for claiming Merlin turned him into a fish, even though Ector knows full well that Merlin is a wizard and has seen him cast snow and disappearing spells.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: While it is true the female squirrel chooses a mate, the mate is chosen among a group who wish to court her, and she is the one to be chased. Furthermore, squirrels do not have one mate for life; the male leaves before the birth of the babies. Then again, we wouldn't have this adorable scene if it followed that to a T.
* AttractiveBentSpecies: The girl squirrel who falls in love with Wart.
* BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad:
** Madame Mim certainly believes this, as illustrated in the below quote:
--->'''Madame Mim:''' I suppose Merlin sees some good in you.\\
'''Arthur:''' I suppose so...\\
'''Madame Mim:''' Yes, and in my book, that's ''bad''!
** Even Merlin can't help riffing on this: "You should recover in a few weeks, and be as good... I mean, uh, as ''bad'' as ever!"
* BagOfHolding: One of Merlin's magic spells can pack an ''entire house'' in a single baggage. It's a JustifiedTrope since the bag has normal capacity- it's ''[[ShrinkRay the items themselves]]'' [[ShrinkRay that shrink down in order to fit]].
** Lampshaded by Merlin himself "well just a minute boy, well, how else would you get all this in one suitcase I'd like to know."
* BeleagueredAssistant:
** Wart is this to Kay for much of the movie because he's a page boy.
** Poor Archimedes... assisting the bumbling old wizard can't be easy.
* BerserkButton:
** Mim does ''not'' like sunshine.
** Merlin does not like the martial aspect of English nobility.
** Likewise, try pissing off Ector by coming up with (in his view) extremely far-fetched excuses for ducking out on your kitchen duties, or trying to defend Merlin's behavior, and you'll send him flying off the handle so far that you'll be doing dishes for the ''entire castle''.
* BigBad: The Marvelous Mad Madame Mim is an aversion; she has only one scene and is not involved with the other scenes.
* BigBadassBirdOfPrey: one tries to eat Arthur when he's a bird.
* BigFriendlyDog: The castle hounds, Tiger and Talbon. When Wart is brought home by Merlin, they run over to him, tackle him, and lick his face happily.
* BigGood: Merlin is a aversion because he's a hermit who only associates with his owl Archimedes before Wart.
* BlackKnight: The knight at the tournament in black armor is the first to demand Arthur be given a chance to prove he took the sword out.
* BreakTheCutie: What happens to Wart's cute little squirrel admirer when she discovers that he's not of her kind.
* CanonImmigrant: Madam Mim is mistaken as one of these by those who have only read ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing''. Her part was eliminated from that edition, but is present in the original.
* {{Catchphrase}}: Whenever Wart stumbles or falls it's accompanied with the same "Wha, what, whoa!" This happens at least five times during a fairly short movie.
* CatsAreMean: Mim, when she turns herself into a cat and later on, a tiger during her WizardDuel with Merlin.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Part of Merlin's motivation. He wants to teach Arthur some valuable lessons an adult in medieval England wouldn't be receptive to.
* TheChosenOne: He doesn't quite know what exactly, but Merlin knows Arthur is destined for something.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Merlin's transformations are always blue, Arthur's are orange, Mim's are purple.
-->"Did I say no purple dragons!"
* CoolOldGuy: Merlin, the time traveling wiseman.
%%* CowTools: In Merlin's cottage.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: One Wizards' Duel rule is that there is no disobeying the rules. The next rule is that there's no cheating. It's a justified case as Merlin was asking for clarification on the idea of rules: "Rule three: No Disappearing [teleportation/intangibility]" "Rule four: No Cheating!" If Mim was throwing out rules, he wanted to make sure she ''obeyed them'' as Archimedes himself warned she was only creating rules so that she could break them (which she did).
* DigitalDestruction: The 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray suffers from digital smearing and some out-of-focus shots.
* DisneyVillainDeath: Subverted. Madame Mim plummets screaming off a cliff and into a bog to her apparent doom, trapped inside a tree with seemingly no hope of escape, to similar effect as the Evil Queen falling off the cliff in Snow White, but instead she pops up moments later having turned herself into a purple dragon.
* EccentricMentor: Merlin has some odd ideas and odd behavior and they are especially odd to someone like Wart, whose only known kitchen duty.
* EekAMouse: Mim-the-Elephant during the Wizard's Duel.
* EpicFail: Kay loses a jousting match ''to an immobile dummy.''
* EvilCounterpart: Madame Mim is this to Merlin; evil magic user.
* EvilIsHammy: Madame Mim sings a VillainSong about herself complete with dancing and shapeshifting. Merlin is far more restrained.
* EvilRedhead: Ector and Kay aren't really evil, but they act as antagonistic to Wart as any stern dad and jerky older brother can be expected to be.
* EvilPlan: Inverted to Good Plan. This movie takes place because Merlin wants to save Wart from a squire's life and make him into something greater.
* ExcaliburInTheStone: The sword is never said to be Excalibur, it's just always called the Sword In The Stone.
* ExactWords: "Nothing make-believe, like pink dragons and stuff." So saith Madame Mim, who turns into a ''purple'' dragon instead of a ''pink'' one.
** And then Merlin one-ups her by turning into a germ, which also strictly abides by the stated rules.
* {{Familiar}}: Merlin's owl, Archimedes.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Possibly an unintentional example; when Merlin overdoes his cleaning spell and it messes up the castle, the angered Sir Extor and servant woman call him an "old goat". Later towards the climax of Merlin and Mim's wizard's duel, an old goat is exactly what Merlin turns himself into.
** The opening of the film shows a wolf, hawk and squirrel in the forest.
* ForTheEvulz: Madame Mim commits evil because she herself is evil. There is no EvilPlan.
* FrogsAndToads: The frog in the moat, although he is really small.
* TheGenieKnowsJackNicholson: ...and Merlin knows about indoor plumbing, Bermuda and Helicopters. It's played with in that the creators seem to be going with T.H. White's concept of Merlin living through time backwards. Merlin himself reveals that he's seen "centuries into the future" and that he's even been there. What's the best way to portray that in a children's film, apparently? Have him spout wacky anachronisms!
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The scene with the squirrel listed on the [[TearJerker/TheSwordInTheStone Tear Jerker page]] very nearly has Merlin discussing [[TheTalk the birds and the bees]] with Arthur.
* GivenNameReveal: {{Subverted}}; in the novel Wart's name isn't revealed until the very end of the first book, after he's been crowned king. Here he introduces himself as "Arthur, but everyone calls me the Wart."
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Arthur is naive and innocent, but has a good heart that allows him to pull the sword from the stone.
* HappilyEverBefore: The movie ends at the start of Arthur's reign, and therefore before the fallout with Lancelot and stuff.
* HawaiianShirtedTourist: Merlin, upon returning from a holiday in twentieth-century Bermuda.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Inverted with Wart's encounter with the female squirrel who, according to Merlin, is a redhead. In Great Britain, a red squirrel is considered native wildlife and a gray squirrel is considered vermin.
* HeroicBSOD: Arthur undergoes a minor one after [[spoiler:losing his chance to become Kay's squire.]]
* HopelessSuitor: The two amorous squirrels who fall for Arthur and Merlin. Whereas the old lady squirrel who chases after Merlin is PlayedForLaughs, Arthur's girl squirrel companion is done so as well until the end where it... [[TearJerker isn't]].
* HumanTrafficJam: The line of Merlin's belongings going into the bag during the "Higitus Figitus" sequence.
* HumiliationConga: When Ector and Kay try to interfere with the magically-animated cleaning implements, an assembly line of slapstick ensues.
* HypocriticalHumor:
** Merlin finds Wart's plight of being harassed by a [[StalkerWithACrush lovestruck female squirrel]] hilarious...until a much older and fatter squirrel falls in love with ''him''.
--->'''Wart:''' Merlin, I'm tired of being a squirrel. It's nothing but trouble.\\
'''Merlin:''' Oh, ''you'' got trouble!? Look at my- uh, look back there!
** Also, during the WizardDuel, after Merlin changes into a walrus to squash Mim, the latter changes into a elephant and calls the former a "big blimp!"
* ImpossibleHourglassFigure: Madame Mim's beautiful form is mundanely impossible because she used magic to achieve it.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: The wizard's duel culminates in Madam Mim breaking one of her own rules and turning into a dragon.
* InsultBackfire: Madam Mim's "Thank you, my boy, but that's nothing" response when she says that she takes delight in the gruesome and grim and Arthur comments "That's terrible."
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: When Merlin predicts the invention of manned flight.
-->'''Archimedes''': If man were meant to fly, he would've been born with wings!
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Kay comes off as a JerkJock older brother.
** Ector, occasionally. As shown when he gives Wart more chores for defending Merlin.
** The frog in the moat, who kicks Fish!Wart around and does so again when they hide in the same hole to escape from a pike.
* JerkJock: Kay, again, albeit the medieval version (meaning swordplay and jousting instead of football). The idea that Wart wants to be one as well hits Merlin's BerserkButton.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Kay is implied to have at least a few gold flecks. At the end when his father demands he bow to Arthur, Kay does so sullenly at first... then after looking at him, does so sincerely.
** Ector, who is rather quick to apologize to Arthur for the way he's treated him. He also shows worry and remorse at the beginning of the movie, when he is worried that Wart is dead.
** Archimedes may be a cynic, but he genuinely cares about Wart and sticks with him even when Merlin blasts himself off to modern-day Bermuda over Wart being chosen as Kay's squire due to circumstances beyond Sir Ector's control.
* JumpScare: Arthur peeks around the log to see if the pike is gone, sighs in relief, looks the other way...
** Less scary example, Arthur in squirrel form hides in a tree from an angry woodpecker and the girl squirrel. He peeks out to find she's nowhere to be found. Guess who pops up from inside the same tree next to him?
* {{Kissgusting}}: Wart and Merlin wipe their faces after their respective squirrel mates kiss them.
* LateToThePunchline: Merlin after Wart's admittedly rather brilliant joke about Archimedes "staying out late every night".
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: When Merlin talks to Arthur about his future legacy:
-->'''Merlin''': "Why, they might even make a motion picture about you".
* LoopholeAbuse:
** No make-believe creatures like pink dragons, so Mim turns into a ''purple'' dragon, it's still make believe, but she doesn't care. (Unless, dragons ''do'' exist in this world, just not pink ones; note that Wart mentions slaying dragons as an activity one would perform as a knight.)
** Merlin one-ups her on this ''magnificently'' - while there's a rule that says "no turning into plants or minerals" he turns himself into a germ - which is neither - [[GuileHero to infect her and win]] the duel.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Both the young squirrel and old squirrel go through this upon meeting Arthur and Merlin respectively and try to earn their mates' affection.
* LoveHurts: One of the most heartbreaking examples. The girl squirrel really loved Arthur and immediately starts sobbing in confusion and grief when he reveals himself to be human.
* MadScientistLaboratory: Merlin's cottage is filled with devices of strange purpose and function.
* MagicVersusScience: [[DefiedTrope Defied]]. Merlin is a wizard, alright, but he is quite knowlegeable about science; special mention goes to him using his knowledge of germs and disease to infect Madame Mim. He even outright tells Arthur that magic can't solve everything. In the end, it seems that a combination of the two can give one an advantage in life.
* ModestRoyalty: It's implied Merlin wants to teach Arthur to be this sort of king.
* MoodWhiplash: Two for the price of one. The sequence of sudden mood changes at the end of the scene with the squirrels runs thus:
** The girl squirrel is cheerful and amorous until Arthur becomes human again and [[BreakTheCutie breaks her heart]].
** Then comes the hilarity of Sir Ector and Kay trying to fight off the "possessed" kitchen.
* MorphicResonance: Whenever a person is magically transformed into an animal their face will remain the same.
* MuggleFosterParents: Sir Ector, to Wart/Future King Arthur.
* MundaneUtility: Merlin uses his magical abilities to have the household chores do themselves so Arthur can go out adventuring with him.
* MusicalChores: The MundaneUtility example uses music.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Wart has this look when he realizes he has broken the little female squirrel's heart by turning back to his human form. This scene was such a TearJerker for some fans that some have attempted FixFic where Arthur asks Merlin to turn her into a human. This spawned a good handful of art that is [[TastesLikeDiabetes dangerously adorable]].
** Sir Ector has his moment when he realizes that Wart is the new King of England
%%* NaturalSpotlight
* NeverSayDie: In the Wizard's Duel, Merlin and Mim are trying to 'destroy' each other.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Wart is a strange case. By the sound of his voice changing radically throughout the movie, it would seem as though time is passing and he is growing older, but he doesn't seem to physically change at all, making it seem as though they couldn't keep a steady voice actor (indeed, Wart is voiced by three different voice actors: Rickie Sorenson, Richard Reitherman and Robert Reitherman).
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Arthur was voiced by two of the directors' three young sons (the third voiced [[Disney/TheJungleBook Mowgli]] and [[TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh Christopher Robin]]) and a third, unrelated child actor. Not one of them had even the slightest trace of the British accent you'd expect from ''King Arthur''.
* {{Nutty Squirrel}}s: The two female squirrels that take a liking to our hero and his mentor.
* OffscreenTeleportation: The pike. Where'd it come from?
* OnlyTheChosenMayWield: The eponymous Sword in the Stone can only be drawn by the One True King of England.
* PalatePropping: Used by fish-Wart against a pike.
* ParentalFavoritism: Ector's partiality to Kay is somewhat justified by the fact that Arthur/Wart is only his foster child. While he could stand to be ''nicer'' to Arthur, he's not really ''mean'' either... more just strict and demanding, which seems to be his personality in general. In fact, at the start of the film, he's ''berating'' Kay for letting Arthur go off into the woods by himself. Kay may be the favorite, but Wart at least isn't TheUnfavourite.
** Society also played a role in this. To be a knight in that period, you must be of noble birth. Kay is, Arthur isn't, so Kay gets all the combat training and respect. Playing second fiddle to him as a squire is the best Arthur could hope for ''by law''.
* PetsHomageName: Merlin's Familiar is an owl named Archimedes, for the ancient Greek mathematician.
* PollyWantsAMicrophone: Archimedes, the talking owl.
* ThePowerOfLove: Discussed by Merlin and Arthur following the incident with the squirrels.
-->'''Merlin''': Ah, you see, lad... that love business is a powerful thing.\\
'''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.
* {{Prequel}}: To the KingArthur mythos. (Unofficially, of course.)
* PrivateTutor: Merlin acts as a tutor to Arthur.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** I! HATE! SUNSHINE! I! HATE! HORRIBLE! ''WHOLESOME''! SUNSHINE! I HATE IT, I HATE IT! ''I HATE! HATE! HATE!...'', etc.
** "And, if you don't mind, I happen to be! A! Bird!
* RagsToRoyalty: Wart goes from being a marginalized orphan to Arthur, King of England, overnight.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure:
** The bearded knight and Sir Pellenore, who protest at multiple people trying to pull the sword out together, and insist that ''Arthur'' be given a chance to pull out the sword (again).
** Merlin himself, who teaches Wart all sorts of valuable lessons that would normally be closed to Wart (although Merlin does have irrational moments, they're few and far between, hence he's still this trope).
* RobeAndWizardHat: Merlin wears both in a midnight blue.
* RunningGag: Remember the [[SavageWolves very muscular, intimidating wolf from the opening scene]]? He reappears as a mangy, flea-bitten mongrel who is constantly having boulders dropped on him, getting the wind knocked out of him after chasing the main protagonists, chomping down on a tree branch, and getting stuck through a pair of branches.
* SequentialSymptomSyndrome: When Merlin describes the symptoms of malignalitaloptereosis to Mim.
* ShapeShifterShowdown: The nature of the Wizard Duel is the pair of them taking different forms for combat.
* ShipperOnDeck: Merlin to Wart and the red girl squirrel, but mostly because he finds it amusing than heartwarming.
* SneezeOfDoom: When Mim, sick with malignalitaloptereosis emits fire from sneezing that forces Arthur and Archimedes to duck and cover.
* SpinningOutOfHere: Merlin spins as he arrives at places.
* SpitTake: Sir Ector does this when Sir Pellinore tells him that the winner of the New Year's events wins the throne of England.
* StalkerWithACrush: The female squirrels that pursue Arthur and Merlin.
* StalkingIsFunnyIfItIsFemaleAfterMale: Squirrel Merlin thinks this when it's squirrel Arthur being chased, but after ''he'' gets a female squirrel pursuing him, he no longer thinks it's funny any more.
* StarCrossedLovers: Squirrel-Arthur and the [[TheWoobie girl squirrel]], although it's a pretty one-sided romance.
* StockAudioClip: See {{Catchphrase}}.
* StockFootage: Disney was suffering financially while this film was being made, so there's a substantial amount of recycled animation. For instance, Kay trips in the exact same way when chasing Arthur at the climax that he does when chasing him into the woods at the film's beginning. Merlin's "pack all the house in the bag" spell is recycled for his "clean the dishes" spell, and Kay's eating a chicken leg during Merlin's arrival is repeated thrice in the same scene.
* SuccessionCrisis: England has been kingless for over twelve years.
* TakeThat: Some see the character of Madame Mim (who hates sunshine) as one to critics who disliked the light tone of Disney's films.
* TalkingAnimal: Archimedes. People who are transformed into animals keep their ability to talk. Interestingly, the girl squirrel, for all her incoherent chatter, says one line of understandable human dialogue, "Oh no!" when her beloved Arthur is in danger of falling to his death.
* TenPacesAndTurn: During the Wizard Duel. Madame Mim proceeds to break this protocol like every other rule she made for the duel such as "no teleporting" and "no cheating".
* ThroughAFaceFullOfFur: Or rather through a face full of scales/skin in her case as a dragon and then in her normal form, Madame Mim. One of the side effects she has is changing into various colors (including red from hot flashes and blue from chills) before stopping at green and breaking out in red spots, thanks to Merlin infecting her as a germ.
* TitleDrop: The last line of the opening song, and Sir Ector exclaims "It's the Sword in the Stone" when he reads the first few words of the titular blade's inscription and realises what it is.
%%* ToThePain
* {{Tsundere}}: Archimedes has shades of this. He's insulting and bad-tempered, but seems to genuinely have affection for Arthur, so much so that he risks his life to save him from the pike when Arthur is transformed into a small fish.
-->'''Arthur:''' That big fish almost swallowed me, and Archimedes... he saved me!\\
'''Archimedes:''' [[BlatantLies I did nothing of the sort!]] I intended to ''eat'' him! [[IWasJustPassingThrough Young perch is my favorite dish, you know that!]]
* TheUnintelligible: The girl squirrel. She only squeaks and chitters emotionally. However, she mutters an "Oh no!" when she sees Arthur about to fall from a breaking branch.
* VainSorceress: Mim defies this trope. She says she ''could'' be beautiful if she wanted to be, and in fact, does change herself into such a form as it it were a parlor trick. Then she admits that such a form is only skin deep and she's happy being ugly.
* VerbalTic: Archimedes' "Who? What, what?"
* VillainSong: "The Magnificent, Marvelous, Mad Madame Mim."
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: The girl squirrel is a somewhat mild example.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: As magic users, Merlin and Mim can turn into things like animals...and germs.
* WickedWitch: Madame Mim lives in a cottage in the woods brewing up trouble. When she hears coughing, she hopes that it's a serious illness.
* WizardBeard: Usually a problem, as it gets caught on things rather frequently.
* WizardDuel : Merlin vs Madame Mim
* XanatosSpeedChess: The WizardDuel at the end. It involves shape shifting into different animals on the fly to gain an advantage.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Madame Mim's purple hair. Considering she's a witch and no else does, [[PowerDyesYourHair it could be an effect of her magic.]]
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