The Sword in the Stone (Remastered) (1963)

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Released 12-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Knight For A Day
Featurette-Brave Little Tailor
Featurette-Music Magic
Karaoke-Higitus Figitus
Karaoke-That's What Makes The World Go Around
Gallery-Sword In The Stone Scrapbook
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1963
Running Time 76:18
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Wolfgang Reitherman
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Sebastian Cabot
Rickie Sorensen
Junius Matthews
Karl Swenson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Richard Sherman
Robert Sherman
George Bruns


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Norwegian
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Norwegian for the Hearing Impaired
Danish for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Sword in the Stone is an animated Disney classic based on the children's novel by T.H. White. It is a light-hearted telling of the story of the beginnings of King Arthur and the fabulous Sword in the Stone.

    Wart (Arthur, voiced by Rickie Sorenson) is a young boy leading a very boring life, consisting of drudgery and mountains of chores that boys do not ever like to do. He is growing up in a castle with Sir Ector (Sebastian Cabot) and Kay (Norman Alden), who enjoy taking advantage of Wart as he tries to make his way through squire training. Wart generally ends up doing all the menial tasks while having his youthful exuberance suppressed.

    It comes to pass that Wart drops in on Merlin (Karl Swenson), a supremely powerful (and good-natured) wizard, and his pet talking owl, Archimedes. Merlin has envisioned that Wart has a very bright future and takes it upon himself to teach Wart some of the true meanings of life.

    As time goes by, Wart and Merlin experience many wonderful adventures around the Castle where Wart lives. Merlin awakens in Wart self-confidence, joy in life, and a sense of purpose. So where does the Sword in the Stone come into all of this? Well...you will have to find that out for yourself.

    The Sword in the Stone is a wonderful children's movie, and great for reliving childhood memories for older viewers. It is a true classic and should be on the shelf of every DVD collector that has children, or doesn't mind feeling a little younger for a couple of hours. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Given its 1963 vintage, the video quality of this transfer is very good. There are very few faults and these are never distracting from the content.

    The feature is presented in the non-enhanced aspect ratio of 1.33:1. I would just like to point out that the cover incorrectly states that the feature is 16x9 enhanced - it most assuredly is not. It is also interesting to note that the original aspect ratio for this film is listed as 1.75:1. I cannot determine if this transfer is full frame (open matte), or panned and scanned. Either way, I did not notice any missing picture information.

    Sharpness is very good throughout, although this is not very surprising given the animated content. Shadow detail is not really applicable to the content but there is certainly no low level noise to mar the presentation. There is some unusual 'fluttering' in brightness around the edges of the picture at around 4:40, but it only occurred once. I also noticed some very minor edge enhancement at a few instances but it was not distracting.

    Colours are wonderfully bright and vivid, really bringing the story to life. There are certainly no problems in the rendering of colour for this DVD.

    There were no obvious MPEG artefacts to mar the presentation. There were, however, a few instances of film artefacts. These are most obvious at around 9:15, and 17:30. The artefacts seem to be a result of the animation process as they cover the entire screen and move downwards. I have not seen anything quite like it before. There is no aliasing present.

    I only sampled the English subtitles and they seemed quite accurate.

    This is a Dual Layered disc. It appears that the movie occupies one layer while the extras are spread over the second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Again, given the age of the transfer, this is a very good audio track.

    There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks available on this DVD. I listened to the English track, encoded at 384kbps.

    Dialogue quality is exceptional throughout - without a hint of distortion. Singing is also delivered very well. Audio sync is as good as can be expected from animation.

    The score by George Bruns is typical heart-warming Disney fare, while the songs by the Sherman brothers are also very engaging.

    The surround channels receive very little use in this remaster. However, the soundscape is noticeably more open in the 5.1 track when compared to the music clips, taken directly from the movie, that are in Dolby Digital 2.0. It is safe to say that the 5.1 mix is an improvement but it certainly will not blow your socks off.

    The subwoofer lay practically dormant throughout.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are numerous extras presented on this DVD. Most are of excellent quality but will be of more entertainment value for kids than adults.

Menu

    This is an animated audio-backed menu that is also 16x9 enhanced.

Knight For A Day (7:08)

    An enjoyable short animated film starring Goofy. Presented at 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, the transfer quality is quite good, but not as good as the main feature.

Brave Little Tailor (9:03)

    Another short animated film, featuring Mickey Mouse. Presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, the transfer quality is not up to the level of the main feature but is still quite acceptable. There are a few film artefacts that move in the vertical plane.

Music Magic (7:50)

    This is an interview with Robert and Richard Sherman, the co-writers of the songs found in the movie. It is a very interesting segment, examining the thought processes that go into writing the songs and music for an animated children's movie. It is also recorded quite recently so the video and audio quality are very good.

Higitus Figitus (2:45)

    This is a karaoke style clip of a musical segment taken straight from the movie. The video transfer is almost identical to the main feature but the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack lacks the openness of the 5.1 mix.

That's What Makes The World Go Round (2:45)

    See Higitus Figitus comments.

Sword In The Stone Scrapbook

    This is a comprehensive scrap book consisting of 16 pages of images & text. It includes concept art, promotional material, production stills, and other related propaganda. Quite interesting.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The R1 version does have more extras than the local release, but the price is quite high. From all accounts there is little difference in the transfer quality. Your choice - the local release obviously has the advantage in price.

Summary

    The Sword in the Stone is a classic animated tale for young and old, presented on a very good DVD.

    The video quality is very good given the age of the material.

    The audio quality is also very good .

    The extras are enjoyable, particularly for children.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Cameron Rochester (read my bio)
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer 106S DVD-ROM with PowerDVD 4.0 scaling to 864p, using RGB output
DisplayMitsubishi VS-1281E CRT front projector on custom 16x9 screen (270cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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Comments (Add)
Release Date..? - trosper
aspect ratio -
More on Aspect Ratio -
Re Sword in the Stone aspect ratio - Terry (read my bio)