When I was wee, you never saw any of Disney’s classic animated films on TV.
There were only three TV channels in the UK until I was 13. And the home video boom didn’t really take off until I was in my mid-teens.
This meant that when I was a kid, there were only two way to see a film – go to the cinema when it first came out, or wait three or four years for it to premier on one of those three channels – usually at Christmas.
However, Disney’s feature-length cartoons NEVER aired on TV. Back then, they were re-released into cinemas every decade or so, so I guess the Disney bosses did not want to devalue them by making them available on TV.
The best we got was on bank holidays and at Christmas and Easter, when there was always a special edition of Disney Time on BBC1 in the afternoon, presented by whatever celebrities were trendy at the time – including, in one memorable case, Doctor Who star Tom Baker in character as The Doctor.
Disney Time included brief clips from a selection of Disney’s animated classics, padded out with clips from some of their lesser animated and live-action efforts.
All of which is by way of a preamble to explain why the following scene still means a lot to me, even though The Sword In The Stone isn’t really considered one of Disney’s greats.
This clip – the wizards’ duel between Merlin and Madam Mim – ALWAYS seemed to appear in every single one of these bank holiday Disney Time shows and so helps evoke some happy childhood memories for me.
Although, in saying that the memories were happy, at the time it was exceptionally frustrating to only ever see clips and never the full film!