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The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray

United States
50th Anniversary Edition / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Disney / Buena Vista | 1963 | 80 min | Rated G | Aug 06, 2013

The Sword in the Stone (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.75:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.75:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS-HD HR 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0
Russian: Dolby Digital 2.0
(more)

Subtitles
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)
Digital copy (as download)
DVD copy

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $26.50, Price history
Amazon: $19.96 (Save 25%)
New from: $14.92 (Save 44%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.2
141
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 2.3 of 52.3
Audio 3.8 of 53.8
Extras 2.5 of 52.5
Based on 6 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Family100%
Animation90%
Adventure54%
Fantasy47%
Musical47%
Comedy44%
83%
popularity
1752
collections
53
fans




The Sword in the Stone

 (1963)

The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray features bad video and solid audio in this mediocre Blu-ray release

Based upon T.H. White's beloved novel, this Disney-fied version chronicles the tutoring of the Once and Future King, Arthur, as handled by the magician Merlin.

For more about The Sword in the Stone and the The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray release, see the The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.

Starring: Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson, Rickie Sorensen, Junius Matthews, Martha Wentworth, Norman Alden
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

» See full cast & crew


The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray, Video Quality

  1.5 of 5

The Sword in the Stone's 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is an extremely difficult presentation to evaluate. Terribly, almost shockingly soft -- to the point that many shots appear out of focus, blurry, or as if the line art is plagued by the sort of ghosting you might find in a poorly aligned 3D image -- with nary a showcase scene to be found, the film suffers the wrath of heavy handed remastering that features an unforgiving application of noise reduction. The difficulty in evaluating the presentation, of course, is in discerning which issues trace back to the source and which have been exacerbated by the new overhaul. Softness is fine, if it's inherent to the print. Artificial sharpening can be just as detrimental as DNR. This isn't filmic softness, though; it's digital smearing, and it's some of the worst I've seen.

Yes, colors have been bolstered and black levels deepened, with a few instances of blazing primaries to boot, and yes, the palette largely retains its dreary, dismal disposition, as it should. Contrast is consistent too, even though the animation never really pops or looks overly "new." Sadly, detail is an utter disappointment, as evidenced by any one of the expanded screenshots that accompany this review. (In the interest of being thorough, I spent quite a bit of time searching for anything more striking, but to no avail.) The animators' line art has been scrubbed to the point of appearing squishy, disheveled or, at its worst, nearly indistinct (as if it's been blotted away), and every now and then it falls into all three categories. The painted backgrounds have the telltale smeariness of noise reduction gone awry -- as does the print, which tends to feature an ugly artificial cleanliness -- and grain has been wiped away in its entirety, almost to comical ends. How bad does it get? It isn't uncommon to run across a sequence that looks as if it's been restored using tracing sheets and Crayola markers.

The encode itself isn't as problematic. Banding and aliasing aren't in play, and the minor macroblocking that creeps in from time to time is tough to spot with the film in motion. (But still there, hindering the occasional splash of color.) Granted, The Sword in the Stone has never been blessed with precision animation or a pristine source, and I'm sure some of the trouble here at least began with the original elements. (In trying to remove dust and dirt, a noble pursuit, the remastering team jumped off a very steep cliff.) However, having carefully analyzed the film three times on three different displays, then poring over dozens of screenshots, it's become clearer and clearer that the choices made over the course of remastering the film for high definition have only made things worse. Much, much worse. This is, without a doubt, the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the animated presentations Disney has released on Blu-ray.

Reviewer's note: Originally my video score was a 2.0. Upon investigating the source and severity of the presentation's woes further, I've decided to reduce that score to a 1.5.


The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track isn't as disappointing as the film's video presentation, but it also isn't all that remarkable either. With a narrow, front-heavy soundfield and all the signs of a competently restored but long-since-bypassed mono mix, The Sword in the Stone sounds better than it ever has... and yet still doesn't leave much of an impression. Voices are clean and clear on the whole, with minimal hiss, and effects are bright and well-prioritized, despite some presumably unavoidable flatness and tininess. There isn't much to write about LFE output or rear speaker involvement, though both add a welcome but reserved depth to adventure and magic-oriented sequences. The 5.1 remix never suffers, never falters. It simply doesn't have a lot to offer. Personally, I would have preferred a lossless presentation of the original mono. The additional channels don't elevate the experience that much. This'll do, mind you, but having the best of both worlds would be ideal.



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The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray, News and Updates



The Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray - May 17, 2013

This summer, Walt Disney Home Entertainment is bringing The Sword in the Stone to Blu-ray in celebration of the film's 50th anniversary. The 1963 animated adaptation of the T. H. White novel of the same name was Walt Disney Animation's 18th feature, and makes its ...


The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



Topic Replies Last post
The Sword in the Stone (50th Anniversary Ed... (

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)
933 Apr 19, 2014
Stone 01-25-2011 55 Mar 30, 2011

» Show more forum discussions for The Sword in the Stone Blu-ray



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