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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Blu-Ray Review: The Sword In The Stone 50th Anniversary Edition!


One of my earliest Disney animated film memories is watching The Sword In The Stone. Now here it is on blu-ray!

The movie tells the tale of a young orphan named Wart, who has no idea he is the son of the late king. After a seemingly chance encounter with the wizard Merlin, the Wart is off on a grand adventure. Wart is then armed with knowledge, wisdom, confidence and friendship. He discovers his true destiny and learns that the best magic is the magic that you find withing yourself!

Video Quality:
Disney who usually has one of the best track records when it comes to digital restoration doesn't fail here but the video does not live up to their usual high standards. They have done a great job of scrubbing away the film grain from the print but this creates a softness to the print. Some of the long shots are missing details such as a face here and there. Backgrounds are highly detailed and look fantastic. I just wish the video looked sharper than it does here. But it is still far better than the transfer they used for the DVD version.

Audio Quality:
There is both a remastered DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track. The sounds is better than I can ever remember it. Voices come across clean and crisp but there is little to talk about from the rear channels. This is a mono mix at heart. I would have loved the original mono.

Extras:
  • Alternate Opening (HD, 4 minutes):just watching this I wanted to know more as you can tell that this original treatment took the story in a whole different direction.
  • Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers (SD, 8 minutes):from one of my favorite parts of The Disney Channel, Vault Disney, comes this great segment of The Sherman Brothers discussing some of the music they wrote for the movie as well as some of the songs that did not make the cut
  • All About Magic Excerpt (SD, 7 minutes): from the television show All About Magic, hosted by Walt Disney, he shows off the "Magic Property Room"
  • Classic Animated Shorts (SD, 16 minutes): "A Knight for a Day" and "Brave Little Tailor" are both here and while I wish they had been restored I love watching classic Disney shorts
  • Disney Sing-Along (HD): simply the lyrics of the songs playing during the musical segments

The Sword In The Stone has never looked or sounded better. I had hoped for more supplements but this is still a much awaited film for my collection. After the August 6th releases of this film, Oliver and Company and Robin Hood, only fourteen more Disney animated features still need to be released.

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