owl invitation

10

The Sword in the Stone

103 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Dec. 25th, 1963
Country: USA
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

“The Sword in the Stone is the 18th Disney animated feature film, and it the final animated film to be released before Walt Disney’s death. The songs in the film were written and composed by the Sherman Brothers, who later wrote music for other Disney films like Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).

After years of warring, England can’t agree on a new ruler. A mysterious sword appears, which claims that whoever can pull the sword from its stone will become king. After no one can do it, the test is forgotten. Many years later, Arthur––a measly servant knave known as Wart––dreams of becoming a knight, but is barely certain he may act as squire to castle lord Sir Ector’s son Kay; then, the sorcerer Merlin and his grumpy, talking owl Archimedes invite themselves to the castle and move into its dilapidated north tower. Merlin, who can magically access the future, intends to give Wart a proper education. They transform themselves into animals, face dangerous situations, and battle the Mad Madam Mim. In the end, Arthur accidentally finds the forgotten sword in the stone and becomes king.

The film is based on the novel of the same name, which was first published in 1938 as a single novel. It was later republished in 1958 as the first book of T. H. White’s tetralogy The Once and Future King.

Walt Disney first obtained the film rights to The Sword in the Stone in 1939, and the initial storyboards were produced in 1949. When work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians was completed in 1960, two projects were in development, which were Chanticleer and The Sword in the Stone. The former was developed by Ken Anderson and Marc Davis who aimed to produce a feature animated film in a more contemporary setting. Both of them had visited the Disney archives, and decided to adapt the satirical tale into production upon glancing at earlier conceptions dating back to the 1940s. Anderson, Davis, Milt Kahl, and director Wolfgang Reitherman spent months preparing elaborate storyboards for Chanticleer. When the time came to approve one of the two projects, Walt replied to Anderson’s pitch with ‘Just one word—shit!’

Meanwhile, work on The Sword in the Stone were solely done by veteran story artist Bill Peet. After Disney had seen the 1960 Broadway production of Camelot, he approved the project to enter production. Peet recalled ‘how humiliated [the other team was] to accept defeat and give in to The Sword in the Stone…They never understood that I wasn’t trying to compete with them, just trying to do what I wanted to work. I was the midst of all this competition, and with Walt to please, too.’

This was the first Disney animated feature made under a single director. Previous features were directed by either three or four directors, or by a team of sequence directors under a supervising director. The man hired for the job was veteran animator Wolfgang Reitherman, who would direct all of the Disney features up until the 1980’s.

Although Disney never knew it, he himself was Bill Peet’s model for Merlin. Peet saw them both as argumentative, cantankerous, but playful and very intelligent. Peet also gave Merlin Walt’s nose. This was the second instance in which Walt unknowingly served as model for a wizard, the first being the wizard Yensid from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia (1940). 

For the voice of Merlin, director Wolfgang Reitherman estimated that seventy actors read for the part, but “none evidenced that note of eccentricity that we were seeking. We wanted Merlin to be eccentric but not hokey.” At the same time, Karl Swenson was initially cast for Archimedes, but the filmmakers decided to cast him instead as Merlin. Rickie Sorensen, who had voiced young Arthur, entered puberty during production, which forced the older Reitherman to cast his sons, Richard and Robert, to replace him.

The Sword in the Stone was a financial success at the box office and became the sixth highest-grossing film of 1963. However, it received mixed reviews from critics, who thought it had too much humor and a ‘thin narrative.’”

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FIRST POSTED: 9/6/16

Silhouette- Owl City 

“But the more I try to move on the more I feel alone…”

The year is 2015. Owl City is back.

All right, dudes and dudettes

It’s me and Henry, so you guys aren’t getting any invitations by owl or anything, but as usual all of you guys (even piersdolohov) are invited to our awesome end of summer double birthday party! It’s at my house this year, mostly to annoy my sister littlelionlynn, and we’re going to have it next Friday, August 28th, instead of on our actual birthdays just to help out you guys with jobs and stuff. There’ll be fondue fountains, slip ‘n slides, ball pits – basically everything awesome in this world – so hopefully we’ll see you guys all there next weekend.

Flashback: Forbidden (6th Year @ Hogwarts)

The theatrics at home had resulted in Molly confiding into Arthur that her parents were trying to get her engaged to a purist. While she’d expected her boyfriend of three and a half years to express outrage on the issue, the simple and understanding man that he was, he’d proposed that they both break up so that Molly could fulfill her parents’ wishes. Even though Molly vehemently protested, Arthur called off their relationship, giving Molly and her parents some time to think. It was the beginning of the school year and they’d just reached their sixth year. Grudgingly Molly settled into the new situation wondering whether or not she should talk to the person who was a part of this chaos in her life. As luck would have it, two weeks into the new session, Molly received an owl inviting her to the Forbidden Forest for a meeting with the man in question, Rodolphus Lestrange. Written in an elegant hand the letter was rather crisp and to the point.

All day Molly couldn’t focus on her studies as her mind kept shuttling between Arthur and Rodolphus and whether she should visit the Forbidden Forest, risking detention or not. As the time came she was no where closer to deciding. Having your brothers in the same house didn’t help the case either. The two would notice if the older ginger-head sneaked away. However, she finally decided to give it a try now that Arthur and she were already on a break. So, taking the cover of darkness, wearing a hooded robe to hide the orange flames of her hair, Molly made her way to the Forbidden forest, keeping to the shadows all the while.

“Hello, Rodolphus!” She said in her usual pleasant and confident manner, letting her hood fall back when she emerged from the shadows, face to face with the devilishly handsome and well-built tall man whose status exuded from the mere way he stood.