The Sword in the Stone

  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1963
  • Running Time: 79 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Delightful classic brings Arthur legend to life.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1963
  • Running Time: 79 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Wart/Arthur is often bullied but never becomes a bully himself. Merlin instills in Arthur the importance of a good education and teaches life lessons -- courage, the power of love, and the importance of brains over brawn -- creatively. Also addresses the importance of fair play in competition.

Positive role models

Arthur (Wart) is one of the world's most famous heroes. He goes on to become the great King Arthur of the legendary round-table. Disney does a great job in showing how he got there, and as we all expected to find, Arthur was a good, moral role model from the very beginning.

Violence & scariness

Wart is often punished by his guardian and bullied by Kay.

Sexy stuff

Addresses the power of crushes to hurt feelings.


The bad witch Madam Mim has some words for Merlin, but it's never too harsh.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main character experiences some bullying, but otherwise the film offers lots of positive lessons about courage, the importance of brains over brawn, the importance of fair play, and the power of love.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on the book The Once and Future King by T.H. White, THE SWORD IN THE STONE is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed \"Wart,\" the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on his education. Merlin turns him into a fish, a bird, and a squirrel to teach him lessons like the importance of brains over brawn. He gets to see this in action when Madame Mim, Merlin's enemy, challenges Merlin to a duel by magic, and, though she cheats, Merlin is able to defeat her. Wart still has his duties as a squire, and, having forgotten the sword for a jousting match, he runs to get it. He sees a sword stuck in a stone and pulls it out, not knowing the legend that whoever will pull the sword out of the stone will be the rightful king. He becomes King Arthur, and listens when Merlin reminds him that knowledge is the real power.

Is it any good?


The Arthur legend has fascinated people for centuries, and this story about Arthur's childhood has special appeal for children. Aside from the fun of seeing what it is like to be a bird, a squirrel, or a fish, and from having your very own wizard as a teacher, there is the highly satisfying aspect of having one's worth, unappreciated by everyone, affirmed so unequivocally.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what made Arthur the one who could pull the sword out of the stone?

  • What did he learn from his adventures with Merlin?

  • How will what he learned help him to be a good king?

  • How did Madame Mim cheat?

  • How did Merlin fight back when she did?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 1963
DVD release date:June 16, 2008
Cast:Karl Swenson, Norman Alden, Rickie Sorensen
Director:Wolfgang Reitherman
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters
Run time:79 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Sword in the Stone was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Great original Disney Classic!!!

Fantastic, humorous, and highly entertaining film about what King Arthur was taught to make him a great ruler. Great for kids and adults alike! Fantastic family movie!
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Really Good Kids Movie

Teen, 16 years old Written bywho3697cares November 10, 2009
Wihtout a doubt the least creative and accomplished of the animated features made by Walt Disney.


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