Tag Archives: The Sword in the Stone

The Sword in the Stone “Higitus Figitus” (1963)

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The Sword in the Stone “Higitus Figitus” (1963)

Wart’s first meeting with Merlin is interesting to say the very least. One moment he’s fetching Kay’s arrow (though why he needs to retrieve it I have no idea), the next he’s fallen head over heels into the living room of Merlin “the world’s most powerful wizard.” Now that Wart has finally arrived for tea, Merlin announces that he will become his tutor and give him a proper education. But when Wart announces that he needs to get back to the castle, Merlin decides to pack everything up and journey back with him. This is the setting for “Higitus Figitus” which might as well be called “The Packing Song.”

Higitus figitus zumbakazing.
I want your attention, everything.
We’re packing to leave. Come on, let’s go.
No, no, not you; books are always first, you know.

Hockety pockety wockety wack
Abra abra dabra nack
Shrink in size very small
We’ve got to save enough room for all
Higitus figitus migitus mum
Prestidigitonium

Alakafez, balakazez
Malakamez meripides
Hockety pockety wockety… What?!

Now stop, stop, stop, stop.
See here, sugar bowl! You’re getting rough!
That poor old tea set is cracked enough.

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Alright let’s start again.
Ah… Oh, where was I boy?
Wart: Uh, hockety pockety?

Merlin: Oh yes, yes, that’s right…

Hockety pockety wockety wack
Odds and ends and bric a brac

I’ll be with you in just a minute, son
Packing’s almost done!

Archimedes: You… you… bungling blockhead!

Merlin: Hey! Easy there; no no, go ahead.

Dum goo-dily doo-dily doo-dily dum
This is the best part, now!
Higitus figitus migitus mum
Prestidigitonium
Higitus figitus migitus mum
Prestidigitoni…WHOOPS!

Several things about this song: I LOVE that the sugar bowl has an attitude and tries to slip in first. Also, I totally agree with Merlin’s opinion that “books are always first.” For the most part “Higitus Figitus” is a song full of complete nonsense words as everything in Merlin’s cottage shrinks down to fit inside a single bag. There is a very funny moment when Archimedes barely escapes his rapidly shrinking house (much to his consternation). The song does serve as a fun little moment to demonstrate a bit of Merlin’s magical abilities (I mean not everyone is able to pack an entire cottage full of stuff into one bag). Let me know what you think about “Higitus Figitus” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Sword in the Stone “A Most Befuddling Thing” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “Mad, Madam Mim” (1963)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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The Sword in the Stone “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” (1963)

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The Sword in the Stone “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” (1963)

Over the course of The Sword in the Stone, Wart (the future King Arthur) is turned into several different animal forms. Later in the film he’s turned into a squirrel (as seen in “A Most Befuddling Thing”) but his first adventure into the animal world comes as a fish. However, as fun as it is to be a fish, Wart quickly discovers that he doesn’t actually know HOW to be a fish. So, Merlin takes it upon himself to teach the newly created fish a few things about how the world works. This is the basis for “That’s What Makes the World Go Round.”

Left and right
Like day and night
That’s what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That’s what makes the world go round

For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro

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To and fro
Stop and go
That’s what makes the world go round
Thick and thin
Lose or win
That’s what makes the world go round

You must set your sights upon the heights
Don’t be a mediocrity
Don’t just wait then trust to fate
And say, that’s how it’s meant to be
It’s up to you how far you go
If you don’t try you’ll never know
And so my lad as I’ve explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained

The song is all about how the world is full of different things and people. Merlin is trying to make the point that you don’t have to be big and powerful (like Wart’s foster brother Kay) to succeed in the world. The song evolves into an object lesson when the pair of fish draw the attention of a massive pike, who proceeds to stalk them in hopes of a meal. When Merlin becomes trapped in a helmet, it’s up to Wart to use his brains to outwit the pike’s brawn (which he does though not without the assistance of Archimedes).

Let me know what you think about “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Sword in the Stone “A Most Befuddling Thing” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “Mad, Madam Mim” (1963)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

The Sword in the Stone “A Most Befuddling Thing” (1963)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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During the course of The Sword in the Stone, Merlin teaches Wart (the future King Arthur) a series of lessons that will help him in life: as a fish, Wart learns that brains can defeat brawn; as a bird, he learned that knowledge and wisdom are the real power; but it’s when Wart is a squirrel that he learns about the greatest lesson of all…the power of love.

The Sword in the Stone “A Most Befuddling Thing” (1963)

After being unfairly given a mountain of work in the kitchen by his foster father, Wart is led out of the castle by Merlin with a promise to see into the crazy, dangerous life of a squirrel (it also helps that Merlin sets up a magical “washing assembly line” to get the dishes done in Wart’s absence).

And so, Wart is turned into a common brown squirrel and Merlin into a blue one (which always amused me) and the two set off to first learn about climbing trees (Wart is eager to make the jumps; Merlin…not so much). But they’re not alone for long: Wart quickly comes nose to nose with a red squirrel climbing along in the opposite direction.

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They move out of the way, but the girl squirrel isn’t interested in moving aside, she’s interested in Wart! (As Friend Owl would say in Bambi, she’s “twitterpated.”) This prompts a highly amused Merlin to sing a song explaining the unavoidability of love in “A Most Befuddling Thing.”

It’s a state of being, a frame of mind
It’s a most befuddling thing
And to every being of every kind
It is discombooberating!

You’re wasting time resisting
You’ll find the more you do
The more she’ll keep insisting
Her him has got to be you
It’s a rough game anyone knows
There are no rules, anything goes
There’s no logical explanation
For this discombooberation
It’s a most bemuddling, most befuddling thing

There’s no sensible explanation
For this discombooberation

It’s a most hodge-podgical
Most illogical
Most confusiling
Most bamboozling
Most bemuddling
Most befuddling
Thing!

And as Merlin sings, Wart does everything he can to try and evade the girl squirrel who is determined to shower him with affection (whether he wants it or not!) Poor Wart runs into every obstacle imaginable: a harassed mother bird trying to sit on her eggs, Archimedes the owl who’s trying to take a nap, and a rather determined wolf (who nearly gets Wart on a few occasions). But the tables are soon turned: as Merlin’s song comes to an end, he unwittingly comes to the attention of another red squirrel (I always think of her as the pretty girl squirrel’s older sister) who takes a fancy to Merlin!!

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Not anticipating this (hilarious for the audience) turn of events, Merlin decides that this particular trip needs to come to an end! Wart agrees and the spell is quickly undone. But while Merlin’s red girl squirrel runs away screaming in fright (and then anger that her “squirrel” is actually a grouchy old man), Wart’s girl squirrel is quite upset, clearly not understanding why her beloved boy squirrel has disappeared. Of course Wart can’t explain himself because squirrels don’t understand human language and the heartbroken girl squirrel runs away crying to a hollow in a tree. A sobered Merlin sums up the situation for Wart perfectly:

Merlin: Ah, you know, lad, that love business is a powerful thing.

Wart: Greater than gravity?

Merlin: Well, yes, boy. In its way, I’d, uh… Yes, I’d say it’s the greatest force on earth.

This is one of the saddest moments in the film because there’s really no way to “fix” the girl squirrel’s broken heart. And it’s a double strategy because Merlin explained earlier that “when a girl squirrel mates, it’s for life.” This would imply that the girl squirrel is going to be alone and heartbroken for the rest of her life (which is a very sad thought). But it’s like Merlin said, love is a very, very powerful thing.

What do you think of “A Most Befuddling Thing” from The Sword in the Stone? I always giggle when Merlin finally notices the older girl squirrel sneaking up on him. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

The Sword in the Stone “Higitus Figitus” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “Mad, Madam Mim” (1963)

For more Disney songs, see here

What Disney taught me about life: Things I learned from the Movies

This post is part of the Things I Learned from the Movies Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy.

So, I have a confession to make. Originally I was going to write about what Disney films taught me about humor, but as I got started, I realized I couldn’t think of any good examples. So, I decided to make the subject a little broader, and talk about several life lessons I learned from Disney films (my apologies for the last minute change).

  1. Sometimes when you love a person, you have to let them go. This happens in Pocahontas (1995) when Pocahontas and John Smith know they love each other, but John has to go back to England to be treated for his injuries. Pocahontas could go with him, but she needs to stay with her people, and so they say goodbye, even though it breaks both their hearts.
  2. Imagination is a very powerful tool. I learned this from The Sword in the Stone (1963). Most of Merlin’s lessons are based on the Wart’s ability to “imagine” that he is a fish, or a bird or a squirrel before the magic can actually work. And as the Wart’s imagination is opened up further, he grows further and further as a young man.
  3. You don’t always fall in love at first sight. I know most Disney films portray the opposite, but that’s exactly my point. Until very recently, Disney portrayed true love as being something that could occur in a single meeting. Or, to be more generous, something that could occur over a relatively short period of time. While that’s better, I really think that real love takes closer to a year to happen. The good news is that Disney is slowly moving away from “true love at first sight”.

and the most important thing I learned from Disney films?

4. Sometimes the “bad guy” wins. The big example for this comes from The Lion King, when Scar succeeds with his plan to kill Mufasa. While we all want to believe that the hero always wins and the villain always loses, in real life it’s usually the other way around. And, while it took me years to understand, I think it’s good that Disney includes this concept in some of their stories. It hurts, but it’s a lesson that needs to be shared.

And that’s a small sample of the things I learned from Disney movies. I hope you enjoyed checking it out! Thanks to Silver Screenings and Speakeasy for hosting this great blogathon!

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The Sword in the Stone “Mad, Madam Mim” (1963)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

You know how a lot of Disney movies have been adapted into Broadway plays? Like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc. ? Well, one film that I wish would be turned into a Broadway show is The Sword in the Stone (1963), a Disney animated feature that was released after Disney’s Golden Age and long before the Disney Renaissance at the end of the 1980s. This film generally slips under the radar but it still contains some amusing and memorable moments.

Based on T.H. White’s book The Once and Future King (1958), The Sword in the Stone tells the story of a young page named Wart (real name Arthur, voiced by Rickie Sorensen, and Richard and Robert Reitherman) who meets a strange wizard named Merlin (Karl Swenson) and a talking owl named Archimedes (Junius Matthews). Merlin is convinced that Wart has a big future in front of him, but it won’t come to pass unless he gets a proper education (that Merlin will provide).

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The Sword in the Stone “Mad Madam Mim” (1963)

Wart’s “education” can be divided into several segments based on the animal he is turned into (and the appropriate lesson he learns): a fish (brains are better than brawn); a squirrel (Love is the greatest force on Earth); a bird (knowledge and wisdom are real power). It’s this last segment, where Wart become a bird that really wants me to see this story as a stage show because THIS is where we meet Madam Mim (Martha Wentworth), a slightly-deranged witch who is as evil as Merlin is good. Wart (still in bird form) ends up falling down her chimney by mistake while fleeing a hawk and quickly comes to the witch’s attention. Hearing that the Wart is acquainted with Merlin (“the world’s most powerful bungler” as she puts it), Mim decides to prove to Wart that SHE is the most powerful, and not Merlin, by performing a song that I would dearly love to see rendered on the stage.

Mim

With only a touch, I have the power
Zim zaba rim bim, To wither a flower
I find delight in the gruesome and grim
(Oh, that’s terrible.)
(Thank you, my boy. But that’s nothing, nothing for me!)
‘Cause I’m the magnificent, marvelous, mad Madam Mim

(You know what? I can even change size.)

I can be huge; Fill the whole house
I can be teeny, small as a mouse
Black sorcery is my dish of tea
It comes easy to me,
‘Cause I’m the magnificent, marvelous, mad Madam Mim!

Mim demonstrates various abilities: she can change size (from giant to very tiny), make herself even uglier than she already is (by her own admission) and also change herself into someone beautiful as well. I’m not sure how a live show would accommodate all of these changes exactly, but I’m sure it could be done somehow.

 (Hahahaha! Marvelous, boy! Marvelous! Hahohoho! Hey, lad. Did you know I can make m’self uglier yet?)
(That would be some trick, er… I mean, uh…)
(Wanta’ bet? BOO! You see? I win, I win! Aren’t I hideous, boy? Perfectly revolting?)
(N- Yes, m’am.)
(But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Watch this.)

I can be beautiful, lovely and fair
Silvery voice, long purple hair
La la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, la la la la la la la
But it’s only skin deep, for Zim zaberim ZIM
I’m an ugly old creep; the magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!

After her song, Mim demands to know which one is better, but Wart still believes that Merlin is the best because his magic is for good (Mim doesn’t like this at all). Recognizing that Merlin sees something “good” in the boy, Mim declares that for her that’s “bad” and therefore she’ll have to destroy him. Moving in for the kill, Mim demonstrates one more ability, she can change into animals just like Merlin can, and what animal do you use to catch a bird? A CAT!!!

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Fortunately for Wart, Merlin steps in shortly afterward…

I absolutely love this song, it’s pure Disney madness from beginning to end. If “Mad Madam Mim” were performed on a Broadway stage today, who do you think could pull it off the best? I’m not sure myself, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about it 🙂

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

The Sword in the Stone “Higitus Figitus” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” (1963)

The Sword in the Stone “A Most Befuddling Thing” (1963)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

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