Disney has been making animated movie for more than 80 years and the company has had a massive theme park where those movies have come to life for for more than 60 years. With everything the park has done to remain fresh and new in that time, you'd think that every old school Disney movie would have been mined by now, but apparently not. Starting next month, Disneyland will debut a brand new parade, entitled Magic Happens, and along with that parade will come what is apparently the theme park debut of The Sword in the Stone's Arthur, a character who may have never been seen in the park before as a flesh and blood person.
It's somewhat surprising that the movie from 1963 never saw a massive focus inside Disneyland when the film came out, but there's no record of Arthur, the main character of the story, ever appearing to guests from that day to this one. Merlin was a regular presence at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World as part of the Sword in the Stone ceremony, where kids were given the chance to pull out the sword from its location in front of the Carousel, but Arthur was never there to join him.
However, concept art for the float based around the event that will be part of the new Magic Happens parade debuted today, and it shows Arthur pulling out the sword, with Merlin looking on.
It's maybe not too shocking that The Sword in the Stone hasn't received a lot of love over the years. The movie was met with lukewarm reviews, and lukewarm box office, when it debuted in 1963, and while it, along with many films of the era, have aged well and are loved by many, it's the sort of film that is likely to be few people's favorite.
It makes one wonder why The Sword in the Stone is getting the love now. Part of the reason is simply because it fits well with the parade. Based on a video about the parade released by Disneyland Resort today, it's clear that the broader theme of the parade is one of transformation. We'll see Cinderella transform from her ragged clothes into her beautiful ball gown. We'll also see a "transformation" moment for Tiana and Prince Navin from The Princess and the Frog. Both of these floats also revealed concept art for the first time, giving us an idea what we're in for. If transformation is what the parade is about, then see Arthur transform from commoner to King simply fits.
There might also be more to it, however. The Sword in the Stone is one of the projects currently slated for a live-action remake, and if that movie is moving forward, it could be that Disney wants to simply remind people of the original, ahead of the remakes' debut.
Magic Happens debuts at Disneyland Resort February 28. If you're planning to make the trip to Disneyland this year, be sure to check out all the other new attractions and events the resort has planned this year.