This day in Disney History, The Sword in the Stone debuted.
The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney and originally released to theaters on December 25, 1963 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 18th film in the Disney Animated Canon, the songs in the film were produced by The Sherman Brothers who wrote other Disney movies such as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Jungle Book. The film is based on the the novel of the same name, first published in 1938 as a single novel.
The Sword in the Stone is a novel by T. H. White, published in 1938, initially as a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy The Once and Future King. A fantasy of the boyhood of King Arthur, it’s work which combines elements of legend, history, fantasy and comedy. Walt Disney Productions adapted the story to an animated film, and the BBC adapted it to radio.
There are several scenes with animation recycled from other Disney films, as well as original animation that itself would be recycled in later productions. The deer Kay tries shooting at with his arrow was copied from Bambi’s mother from Bambi. When Sir Ector and Kay are in the kitchen fighting against the enchanted dishware, Sir Ector swings his sword backwards and hits Kay on the head, with Kay groaning. Jasper and Horace in One Hundred and One Dalmatians were animated in the same way during the fight scene with Pongo and Perdita, and archive audio of J. Pat O’Malley (who voiced Jasper) was used for Kay’s groan. Also, the footage where Wart is affectionately licked by the two castle dogs is reused in The Jungle Book four years later. The scene where Arthur is a squirrel jumping from one tree to the next was reused in The Fox and the Hound in 1981. When Wart goes into the forest to retrieve Kay’s arrow, he pushes aside a branch and weaves in and out of a few small trees. This animation was reused in The Black Cauldron.