Blu-ray Review “The Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition”

sword-stoneActors: Ricky Sorenson, Karl Swenson, Norman Alden, Sebastian Cabot, Martha Wentworth
Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Run Time: 79 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Growing up, my sister and I just to watch “The Sword in the Stone” quite a bit and it was always one of our favorites. It has been many years since I’ve seen the film and yet it is still as ever entertaining. I was very impressed to find that I know (somehow) recall all the lyrics to the fun songs like “Higitus Figitus”. The music in this film is so great, I forgot how much I love the score. One thing I can’t come to terms with is the fact that this film is already 50 years old, that just blows my mind. Having watching this as a kid, to now have a daughter of my own, I can’t wait to share this with her.

Disney has been releasing all the animated classics in their library recently onto Blu-ray. Along with this, “Robin Hood” (1973) and and “Oliver & Company” (1988) were released as well. In fact after looking into it they should be coming to an end shortly with only fourteen more theatrically released Disney Animated Classics left with two more set for this year alone. Next up we have “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and “The Little Mermaid”.

Official Premise: Disney proudly presents the 50th anniversary edition of a spellbinding and beloved animated classic. Conjure up magical family fun with the humor, adventure, and Academy Award-nominated music (best score – adaptation or treatment, 1963) of The Sword In The Stone – on DVD and now on Blu-ray combo pack for the first time ever! Take an amazing journey with a young orphan named “Wart” and the extraordinary wizard Merlin. According to legend, only someone with the purest character and inner strength can pull the enchanted sword from the stone and claim the throne of England. Armed with newfound confidence and the power of friendship, Wart discovers his destiny and learns the best magic is the kind you find inside yourself!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy included. I have to admit though, I am a little disappointed in the release overall. The 1080p transfer is not the best, especially coming from Disney. I know the film is 50 years old but I am not sure how much restoration (if any) they did to this film since it looks a little iffy. Overall, it is still very enjoyable and a big improvement from past DVDs but not what I expected from in terms of Blu-ray standards. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track delivers at least very well, especially with the music and action.

Back to disappointing again with the special features. Come on Disney, this is for the 50th anniversary, where are the new and exciting extras? The only new feature is a never-before-seen alternate opening presented in black and white storyboards. “Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers” discuss about the men behind the films music. There is a short excerpt from “All About Magic”, hosted by Walt Disney. There are two classic animated shorts including “A Knight for a Day” and “Brave Little Tailor.” Lastly, there is a sing along with the movie, done in karaoke style.


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