Sorting Through Dad’s Hoard #12: The Sword in the Stone


Once again memory is playing tricks on me. I’m fairly certain that the Disney film version came first.

Which I don’t think I will ever be able to watch in its entirety again.

This is fairly ridiculous. I don’t think it was a film that Dad watched with us an awful lot, and I’d never associated it with him until the last few years.One could make the argument that the wise, kindly old mentor who teaches the young boy, takes him on marvellous adventures and wants so much so badly for him, only for their relationship to be lost and ended (thankfully momentarily) in a moment of anger, hurt and misunderstanding, might just possibly be relevant…

…but I hold more to the fact that this is the shitty, cheating, sly, conniving bloody thing about grief. When does it ever make sense?

Also, there’s that bit with the little squirrel girl.

Squirrel girl
If the utter heartbreak of the little squirrel girl doesn’t make you cry helplessly (or at least feel incredibly down and sick at the bitter cruelty of life) you are a barefaced liar, and you can meet me with guns at dawn.

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So. About Disney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’…

…I really do love this film.

Nope. No statement of something about it that bugs me this time. It is a great film, adapted as it is from a book where just about the only people left alive at the end are one lucky son of a gun poet, the knight who caused a good deal of the whole mess, the woman who (oh no! What a punishment!) he must marry, and a goat.

Personally I think the goat deserves her own book, but you can’t have everything in life.

There isn’t much about this film that I don’t like. I love the visuals, the adaptations of the characters, the dialogue. And the music! The way Paul Kandel (Clopin) hits that last note in The Bells of Notre Dame! Tom Hulce singing as Quasimodo! Esmeralda’s heart breaking God Help the Outcasts! Tony Jay singing Hellfire! Hold onto that last one, we’ll be returning to it in a minute.

I’m going to make a very bold statement here, which might be controversial – I even enjoy the gargoyles.


When they’re not singing. (There is a limit to the capacity of even my generous heart.)

They’re fun and supportive and gave Quasimodo someone to talk to, and sometimes they provided some real comic gems. Again, when they weren’t singing.

Really, I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me when I say that you could take A Guy Like You out of the soundtrack and let it drop into that fiery pit Frollo was ranting about, and we would rejoice and not mind one little bit.

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So. About Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’…

…looking back on it now, I’ve realised that I didn’t really like Ariel all that much.

Oh, I liked pretending to be her when I was playing. I liked colouring her in and drawing her. I liked singing along with her. I liked dressing up as her – my sister and I once went to a fancy dress party as Ariel and Belle, though for the life of me I can’t remember which of us was dressed up as which princess. It was quite a while back.

Yes, I liked doing all that…but still, I didn’t like Ariel herself, as a person, all that much.

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