The Sword in the Stone is the first solo directorial effort of famed Disney animator Wolfgang Reithermann. The lackluster animation and unimpressive musical numbers disappointed audiences upon the film's initial opening, but its tale of a stout-hearted child destined for greatness proved timeless as it lured scores of Disney fans to theaters upon its several re-releases. Based on the first book of T.H. White's tome The Once and Future King, the film blurs Arthur's story, but makes the legend accessible to very young children. If the movie's animation is not up to par, the remarkable and eccentric characters well make up for it. The skinny, bowlegged Wart (Rickie Sorenson) is as much a hero as his predecessors, the wooden Pinocchio and the big-eared Dumbo. Moreover, Merlin's (Karl Swenson) skeptical sidekick, the scholarly owl Archimedes (Junius Matthews), as well as his wacky nemesis, the sorceress Mad Madam Mim (Martha Wentworth), make the film as colorful as any of its state-of-the-art cartoon counterparts.