The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Credit: www.fanpop.comA wart breaks a squirrel’s heart then becomes king.

 

Sugar is a such a punk.

This is definitely one of the most under-appreciated Disney films of all time. The squirrel scene alone deserves praise unfettered.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: There will come a point in this movie where you’ll wonder why you are choking up over a rodent romance that was never meant to be. Don’t fight it…don’t fight it.

This is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies – not just because a wizard shows up in a pair of chucks, but because it refuses to accept the notion that greatness is only available to those who are physically strong or of noble heritage.

As the narrator says, “This was a dark age, without law and without order. Men lived in fear of one another, for the strong preyed upon the weak.” Then, scene after scene, we are shown how one boy overcomes predators, bullies, and witches and eventually becomes King Arthur.

To me, King Arthur is like Santa Claus – whether or not he existed doesn’t matter as much as what he has come to symbolize for the rest of us: Selflessness, chivalry, compassion, peace.

But before he became a symbol of greatness, Arthur had to believe he could become more than he was at present. That’s where Merlin comes in. Like Samuel to Saul, Merlin not only foresaw Arthur’s greatness, but helped Arthur see it, too. As Merlin sings to Arthur:

Credit: www.soundonsight.org

You must set your sights upon the heights
Don’t be a mediocrity
Don’t just wait and trust to fate
And say, that’s how it’s meant to be
It’s up to you how far you go
If you don’t try you’ll never know
And so my lad as I’ve explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

No one was foreordained to fail. But being foreordained to greatness is worthless unless we choose to live for it.

Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” – D&C 58:27-28

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