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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Original Production Cel of Wart as King Arthur from "The Sword In The Stone," 1963


Original hand painted production cel of Wart as King Arthur from "The Sword In The Stone," 1963; Set on a lithographic background; Size - Wart (King Arthur): 5 1/4" x 5 1/2", Cel: 10 x 12"; Image 8" x 9 3/4", Mat 13 1/2 x 16"; Double matted.


"The Sword in the Stone," 1963 is the 18th full length feature film produced by Walt Disney and it was released on December 25, 1963 by Buena Vista Distribution. The film was based on the novel of the same name, that was first published in 1938. It was later republished in 1958 as the first book of T. H. White's tetralogy "The Once and Future King." It was to be the final Disney animated film released before Walt Disney's death on December 15, 1966. The songs in the film were written and composed by the Sherman Brothers, who would become very famous for their future work on later Disney films including; "Mary Poppins," 1964, "The Jungle Book," 1967, and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," 1971.


Production cel of Wart as King Arthur without the background.

Wart was animated by both Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston; and the voice was provided by three different actors; Rickie Sorensen, Richard Reitherman and his brother Robert Reitherman. This lead to noticeable changes in the character's voice between scenes. Also, the three voices all have Brooklyn-esque accents, which differed with the English setting for the film and with the accents spoken by all other characters.


Photograph of the matted original production cel of Wart as King Arthur.

The cel is from the scene in the film which occurs after Wart/Arthur has pulled the sword (Excalibur) from the stone and is crowned King. As time passes, he feels unprepared for the responsibility of ruling an entire country. He attempts to run away, but every exit door of the castle is blocked by cheering crowds of people. Merlin suddenly returns from Bermuda and is thrilled that Wart is now King Arthur. Merlin tells Arthur that in the future he will be famous, books will be written about him, and perhaps even a motion picture! This cel is from the scene when Arthur jumps off his thrown and attempts to run away from the castle. Cels of Wart as King Arthur (wearing the crown and robe) are extremely rare. He is only in the film as King during the last few minutes of the movie. The dialog for this cel is below:

Wart/King Arthur: "I can't be a king, Archimedes. I don't know anything about ruling a country."
Archimedes (Owl): "I told you to leave the thing in the stone, boy."
Wart/King Arthur: "I'll, I'll run away, that's what I'll do. They'll just have to get somebody else."