Characters / The Sword in the Stone

Featured in 1963's The Sword in the Stone

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Voiced by: Richard Reitherman (Act 1), Robert Reitherman (Act 2), Rickie Sorenson (Act 3)

Arthur (better known as Wart) is the main character. He is an orphan boy who becomes King of England.
  • Adorkable: A clumsy and sweethearted boy.
  • Attractive Bent Species: A female squirrel falls for the squirrel form of Wart.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Sort of. He draws the sword out of the stone, the heavens part, and everyone bows to him. We don't see the crowning itself but for the in-universe crowd, this is the part that matters.
  • Baleful Polymorph: He spends a good third of the movie being transformed into various animals, in order to "teach him about life".
  • Because Destiny Says So: The only reason he was able to pull the sword out of the stone.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: To Kay because he's a page. Going into the forest to retrieve an arrow is part of the job.
  • Children Are Innocent: Part of Merlin's motivation. He wants to teach Arthur some valuable lessons an adult in medieval England wouldn't be receptive to.
  • The Chosen One: Merlin has a hard time figuring for what but he knows the boy is destined for something.
  • Expy: Believe it or not, but J.K. Rowling once said that Harry Potter was an expy of him.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Part of the reason he was able to pull the sword from the stone was his pure and noble nature.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: When he loses his chance to be Kay's squire.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Averted. Unlike the myths and the book, nowhere in the film is it said that he is the previous king's son, it seems he really is just The Chosen One.
  • Kid Hero: Averted. He's not doing any sort of heroics in this movie. He does attempt to go after Mim during the wizard duel while he's in Sparrow form, but Archimedes holds him back.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: He is being raised by a "muggle".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Once he's human, seeing the female squirrel's reaction.
  • Nice Guy: Arthur is noble, brave, kind, caring, and hard-working.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Just "Wart". No one refers to him as Arthur, until the end when he becomes King of England.
  • Rags to Royalty: Foster kid to king.
  • Red Is Heroic: Arthur would later wear a red tunic.
  • The Unfavorite: Arthur's adoptive father Ector treats him quite harshly, and dotes on his birth son Kay.

Voiced by: Karl Swenson, Hamilton Camp (Wonderful World of Disney), Alan Young (Christmas Carol), Jeff Bennett (Currently)

Merlin is a powerful wizard and the deuteragonist. Merlin is the wizard master and friend of 12-year-old orphan Arthur, a.k.a. Wart. Merlin is also the magical rival of Madam Mim and has a pet owl named Archimedes.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Ector keeps referring to Merlin as "Marvin".
  • Absent-Minded Professor: The Disney’s version of Merlin is forgetful and clumsy. He’s constantly getting his beard caught in contraptions or twisted in knots.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Albeit very minor: T.H. White spelled it as "Merlyn" while Disney used the more common spelling.
  • Badass Beard: A long white beard.
  • Badass Grandpa: Wizard duel! Who needs a young body when the old mind can take any form it wants?
  • Berserk Button: Merlin does not like the martial aspect of English nobility.
  • Blue Is Heroic: His main color scheme is blue.
  • Cool Old Guy: Time traveling wiseman.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tends to make a few wisecracks here and there, such as watching a jousting match.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Merlin has some odds ideas and odd behavior and they are especially odd to someone like Wart, who has only known kitchen duty.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Upon returning from a holiday in twentieth-century Bermuda.
  • The Hermit: He's a hermit who only associates with his owl before Wart.
  • The Mentor: To Wart. He's his teacher and mentor.
  • Nice Hat: A tall and midnight blue wizard hat.
  • Omniscient Hero: This is an aspect directly related to the Seers example below.
  • Papa Wolf: When Mim nearly "destroys" Arthur.
  • Reality Warper: Thanks to his Functional Magic he can bend local reality to his whim. For example, a personal snow cloud, inside, in summer.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He 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).
  • Seers: He can see the future, and indeed has seen almost all modern technologies and discoveries that mankind would make long after his time. Archimedes wishes he would be more prudent about mentioning future events, as he runs the risk of making Wart sound like a lunatic if he goes around parroting Merlin's predictions.
  • Sequential Symptom Syndrome: When Merlin describes the symptoms of malignalitaloptereosis to Mim.
  • Shipper on Deck: To Wart and the red girl squirrel, but mostly because he finds it amusing than heartwarming.
  • Spinning out of Here: Merlin spins as he arrives at places.
  • Time Travel: Being a Wizard, he has the power to time travel even into the far future, and has taken souvenirs, such as a globe into the Middle Ages.
  • Wizard Beard: Usually a problem, as it gets caught on things rather frequently.
  • Wizard Classic: Robe, pointed hat, long white beard, talking pet, Absent-Minded Professor persona.

    Madame Mim
"Sounds like someone's sick. How lovely! I do hope it's serious — something dreadful."
Voiced by: Martha Wentworth, Russi Taylor (House of Mouse)

Madam Mim (sometimes named Mad Madam Mim) is an antagonist in the film. Madam Mim is a very powerful witch who is equally or more powerful than Merlin himself.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mad Madame Mim is a genuinely villainous character here who tries to kill Arthur because, as she makes no effort in hiding, she's evil. In the Disney comics that later feature her, she is more of a harmless witch or occasionally even a heroic one.
  • Alliterative Name: Madame Mim. And she refers to herself as the magnificent, marvellous, mad Madam Mim, for some further Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: 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!
  • Berserk Button: Mim does not like sunshine.
  • Buxom Is Better: When she magically transforms her appearance in an attractive woman, she makes herself very slender and with a tiny frame, but with huge breasts.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She sings a whole song about how wonderful it is that she's proud to be mad and evil, and she takes "terrible" as a compliment (and finds it lovely when someone's sick—though she doesn't find it so lovely when she gets sick later...).
  • Combat Pragmatist: In the words of Archemedies, she only wants rules so she can break them.
  • The Dreaded: If Archimedes' reaction upon seeing her is of any indication, she doesn't have a particularly good reputation.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Merlin because she's an evil magic user.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Expect a lot of over the top shouting to come from her.
  • Fatal Flaw: Overconfidence is her biggest flaw.
  • Faux Affably Evil: 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.
  • For the Evulz: She doesn't even play a plot part, apart from being... well, a filler. Madame Mim commits evil because she herself is evil. There is no Evil Plan.
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: In her Wizard Duel with Merlin, her insistence on Exact Words ("Did I say no purple dragons?") ultimately ends up being her downfall when Merlin turns it against her ("No disappearing." "I did not disappear. I have simply become very small.")
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: In her beautiful form.
  • Just Eat Him: This seems to be her preferred tactic for "destroying" those she comes across. She's a cat the entire time she's chasing Bird!Authur around her house and she tends to turn into animals when dueling Merlin, suited to hunting his choices (Fox vs. Rabbit, Snake vs. Mouse, etc.). She only moves away from this tactic after Merlin pisses her off.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Her very first line has her hearing a cough and hoping whoever it was had something dreadful and serious. When we leave her, she's stuck in bed sick with something dreadful, but lucky for her not too serious.
  • Laughably Evil: Madame Mim sings a Villain Song about herself complete with dancing and shapeshifting. Merlin is far more restrained.
  • The Mad Hatter: Self-admitted by the Mad Madame.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    "I take delight in the gruesome and grim!"
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She often acts like a bratty little kid: showing off, acting immature and finally throwing a fit when she loses. This is especially noticeable with her propensity for "games."
  • Psychotic Smirk: Gives a very devious one when Arthur says Merlin's good magic is better than hers, coupled with Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive.
  • Reality Warper: Just like Merlin up there. Lampshaded by her Villain Song.
    With only a touch
    I have the power
    Zim zabberim zim
  • Scaled Up: Her final shapeshift in the Wizard Duel is a purple dragon.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, she was killed after Merlin became an infectious disease, but in the movie, she is merely bedridden, and Merlin actually had to use sunlight in order to cure her.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Lives in a hut out in the wilderness.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The only part of her, aside from her hair, that she retains when changing form.
  • Vain Sorceress: 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 if it were a parlor trick. Then she admits that such a form is only skin deep and she's happy being ugly.
  • Villain Song: "The Marvelous Mad Madame Mim."
  • Wicked Witch: Madame Mim lives in a cottage in the woods brewing up trouble. When she hears coughing, she hopes that it's a serious illness.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Madame Mim's purple hair. Considering she's a witch and no else does, it could be an effect of her magic.

Voiced by: Junius Matthews, Andre Stojka (House of Mouse)

Archimedes is the tritagonist. He is Merlin's pet owl who has the ability to speak like a human.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Poor Archimedes... assisting the bumbling old wizard can't be easy.
  • Berserk Button: When people insult his intelligence. He also wasn't too happy when Wart mistook him for a stuffed owl.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Starts out rudely indifferent towards Arthur. In progression, he rescues Arthur while denying it, takes a begrudging then genuine interest in his education, being impressed with the boy's flying, before finally staying by his side when Merlin takes off in a tantrum leaving them both alone.
  • Familiar: An owl that accompanies Merlin wherever he goes.
  • Grumpy Bear: He has a good heart but tends to be grouchy, cynical and sarcastic.
  • Intellectual Animal: A "highly educated owl"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has shades of this. He's insulting and bad-tempered, but he genuinely cares 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!
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Archimedes, the talking owl.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: For example, when Merlin predicts the invention of manned flight.
    Archimedes: If man were meant to fly, he would've been born with wings!
  • Talking Animal: A talking owl in this case.
  • Verbal Tic: "Who? What, what?"

    Sir Ector
Voiced by: Sebastian Cabot

Sir Ector is a supporting character in the film. He is a knight who is the father to Kay and adopted father to Arthur/Wart.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original book, Ector wasn't nearly as strict towards Wart and actually wanted him to have an education, and his Jerk with a Heart of Gold qualities are much more clear, with him being proud of Wart well before he got the Sword, and he was on much better terms with Merlin. The Disney adaptation throws out his more shaded and sympathetic qualities and makes him more strict and unpleasant.
  • Anti-Villain: He acts antagonistic to Wart but he's closer to "strict father" then "antagonist".
  • Berserk Button: Try pissing off Ector by coming up with (in his view) extremely far-fetched excuses for ducking out on your kitchen duties, or try 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.
  • Butt Monkey: Gets a Humiliation Conga in the kitchen scene.
  • Evil Redhead: Not really evil but he acts fairly antagonistic towards Arthur.
  • Fat Bastard: He's obese and has a bossy, unlikable attitude, although he's not a bad guy.
  • Foil: He serves as this to both Wart and Merlin. Whereas Wart is humble, considerate and understanding, and Merlin is cantankerous and eccentric but eager to make Wart's life better with education and friendship, Ector is an arrogant, judgmental and self-righteous disciplinarian who believes in strict rules and hard work for their own sake, and is even against the idea of Wart being educated because it would interfere with his rigid schedules.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He shows worry and remorse at the beginning of the movie, when he is worried that Wart is dead. He's also quick to apologize to Arthur for the way he's treated him.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: To Wart/Future King Arthur.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he realizes that Arthur is the new King of England.
  • Parental Favoritism: Ector's partiality to Kay is somewhat justified by the fact that Arthur/Wart is only his foster child, and Kay is both his biological son, heir and a knight-to-be. Though, while he could be nicer to Arthur, he's not all that mean either... more just strict and demanding, which seems to be his personality in general.
  • Pet the Dog: During his first scene, he scolds Kay for letting Arthur go alone in the forest and expresses his worries for the boy.

    Sir Kay
Voiced by: Norman Alden, J. Pat O'Malley (fighting)

Sir Kay is a supporting character from the film. He is the biological son of the knight Sir Ector and the adoptive brother to Arthur.
  • Adaptational Villainy: He's a much more sympathetic, shaded character in the book, where he suffered from a Sibling Rivalry with Wart and had some serious insecurity issues. The Disney adaptation makes him an unsympathetic, one dimensional bully and throws out his better qualities.
  • Anti-Villain: Similar to Ector, his jerkass behavior never crosses the line into abuse.
  • Big Brother Bully: Often pushing Wart around and disrespecting him.
  • Butt Monkey: He's involved in a few slapstick, particularly in the kitchen scene, along with Ector.
  • Dumb Muscle: Kay is not very bright and has rather muscular appearance.
  • Epic Fail: Kay loses a jousting match to an immobile dummy.
  • Evil Redhead: Again, not really evil, just a jerky older brother.
  • Jerkass: Far more so than Ector. Until the very end, he acts arrogant, boorish and obnoxious. He even lets Wart risk his life by going off into the woods on his own, and doesn't even care if he's in danger.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Subverted. Kay stops Wart from pulling the sword Ector put back, saying that anyone can pull it out after it's already been pulled out. Except he can't.
  • Jerk Jock: The medieval version; a rude knight and jouster instead of a football player.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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.
  • Younger and Hipper: Inverted; in the book he was only two years older than Arthur, while in the movie he's an adult.

    Girl Squirrel
Voiced by: Ginny Tyler

A young, female squirrel who falls in love with Squirrel!Arthur.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Mostly from Wart's POV since he's a human boy and she's a squirrel (though a very cute one).
  • Action Girl: When she saves Wart from the wolf.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The amorous chirp she made after Wart yanked her tail off of him, throw it over her head and push her is a definite sign she wanted Wart for her mate even more.
  • Break the Cutie: Her reaction to finding out that Wart is really a human.
  • Did Not Get the Boy: She saves Wart, but because he still doesn't return her affections or want to remain a squirrel, he still reveals himself as a human and ends up breaking her heart.
  • Fiery Redhead: Passionate for Wart, and hostile towards the wolf trying to eat him.
  • Forceful Kiss: A less violent and more passionate example, attempted to make Wart interested. She kisses him five times before he changes back.
  • The Glomp: She tends to do this to Wart when he least expects it. She REALLY loves physical contact with him.
  • Language Barrier: As an animal, she's unable to understand Wart (which he realizes when he turns back to normal) and vice versa, which prevents her from understanding him when he says he's a human.
  • Love at First Sight: For Wart, when the both of them were running up to each other.
  • Love Hurts: The scene where she tearfully watches Wart walk away is a real Tear Jerker.
  • Motor Mouth: As far as squirrel gibberish goes.
  • No Name Given: Only known as the "little girl squirrel".
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She's always getting close to Wart, whether to hug him, kiss him or even wrap her tail around him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Until Wart turns human again, she spends her entire scene cheerful and in love. Even her slight confusion and hostility to the wolf can be played for laughs. If one looked carefully when she hears Wart's voice after he turns human, her warm smile is quickly replaced with a wide-eyed startle. She's at first shocked and confused, and then she runs into a tree and starts crying her broken heart out, with Wart briefly seeing her looking with tears in her eyes.
  • Plucky Girl: Until learning Wart isn't another squirrel, she is resolute.
  • Prehensile Tail: She at one point was able to grab Wart with her tail and wrapped her it around him to keep him close. He struggles out of and its only when she lowers her guard by kissing him does he get out.
  • Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: She keeps chasing and pestering Wart, even though Wart tries to keep her away from him. As Merlin even brought up during "A Most Befuddling Thing"
    Merlin: You're wasting time resisting, you'll find the more you do; the more she'll keep insisting, her "him" has got to be you!"
  • Undying Loyalty: To Wart.
  • The Unintelligible: She speaks in chittering noises. No one of them sounds like a word, except for a slightly decipherable "You're cute!" and "Oh no!".
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: A mild example. When she saw the wolf getting ready to eat Wart, she saved him by chewing on the wolf's leg, causing him to yelp.

    Older Squirrel
Voiced by: Martha Wentworth

An old, female squirrel who falls for Squirrel!Merlin.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Like the Girl Squirrel is to Wart, she is one to Merlin.
  • Acrofatic: Despite being wider than the other squirrels, she can run just as fast as them.
  • Foil: To the Girl Squirrel. Old to her young, dull colored to her light colored, chubby to her slim, ugly to her cute. And while the Girl Squirrel learning her love is unrequited and isn't a real squirrel is heartbreaking and she cries, Old Squirrel reacts with horrorified anger and Played for Laughs.
  • Love at First Sight: With Merlin, seeing him play with an acorn as if it were a Soccer ball.
  • Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: Greatly interested in Merlin's squirrel form.