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It's nice to have The Sword in the Stone finally on Blu-ray, but is this the high-def edition fans have been waiting for...?
Buena Vista / 80 Minutes / 1963 / Rated G / Street Date: August 6, 2013
The Sword in the Stonehas never gathered status as one of the Disney machine’s most notable animated achievements, but in the fifty years since it first arrived, it has remained brightly colored, diverting fun. It’s short, and relatively surface-level (at least compared to some of The Mouse House’s earliest hits, but there’s no denying that many of us have a distinct soft spot for it.
I particularly remember just how frequently the film would air on The Disney Channel upon the station’s arrival into the cable world in the 1980s. It had been decades since I last experienced the movie when I popped this 50th Anniversary Edition into the player, but I was nevertheless surprised at how much of the movie’s memorable dialogue and plot scenarios were vividly familiar to me: I must have watched this flick fifty times during baby-sat summer afternoons at home in front of the boob tube.
Yet while it’s admirable and rewarding that Disney continues to flush out its animated materials in high-def, home theater enthusiasts will look at a Blu-ray release like this one with more than a little disdain. So many Disney titles – Snow White, Pinocchio – have been high-def figureheads that the fact that The Sword in the Stone only gets a ho-hum upgrade is a bit disappointing, but the fact remains that even if it ain’t by much, the movie looks better here than it has since it left theatres. That may not be enough to hang your hat on, but it’s something.