Movie Night: The Sword in the Stone

Movie Wednesday The Sword in the Stone

England. The Dark Ages. The King has died and left no heir. But in a quiet churchyard, a sword is stuck fast in a stone, with an inscription saying that only one can pull out the sword — the new king of England.

Arthur (nicknamed the Wart) lives an ordinary life with his adopted father Sir Ector … until he meets the wizard Merlin, who offers him an education like no other! Under Merlin’s guidance, Wart is turned into a fish, a squirrel and a sparrow, and has some amazing adventures. But he’s still just a scrawny boy. He couldn’t be the one destined to pull out the sword. Could he?

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Everyone knows the legend of King Arthur. Throughout history, it has inspired films, musicals, operas, TV series — and The Sword in the Stone, a 1938 novel by T. H. White. Disney then adapted it into a film, released in 1963 it was the last animated film to be released before the death of Walt Disney.

The Sword in the Stone may not be Disney’s best known film, but it’s full of memorable characters and important themes and is still worth a watch.

Discussion Questions

  • If you’ve read the original book, how do you think the film compares?
  • If Arthur was destined to become king from the start, did he really have any choice about it?
  • Have you seen or read any other stories based on the Arthurian legend? Which is your personal favorite?
  • Several elements of the film, such as the character of Madame Mim, weren’t in the original novel. How do you feel about these additions?
  • What does Arthur learn through the film? How does his character change?

Additional Resources

Was King Arthur real?

How to make a cardboard sword

Movie Discussion Club

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