Madam Mim (sometimes also named Mad Madam Mim) is an antagonist in Disney's 1963 feature film The Sword in the Stone, which is based on the novel of the same name by T. H. White . She was voiced by the late Martha Wentworth which was also her last role before her retirement and death.
Madam Mim appears in the original version of the novel, but not in the revised version featured in The Once and Future King which is more commonly known. In Italy she is known as Maga Magò. This character was the basis for the film character. Mim was animated by two of Disney's legendary Nine Old Men, Milt Kahl (who also designed the character, refining storyboard sketches from Bill Peet), and Frank Thomas. Kahl animated her initial interaction with Arthur, while Thomas oversaw her famous "Wizards' Duel" with Merlin.
Although Madam Mim is the main villain, her total screen time does not exceed twenty minutes in the film.
Madam Mim is a very powerful witch who is equally or more powerful than Merlin himself. However, overconfidence is her biggest flaw. She is an old rival of Merlin, and holds him in disregard. Mim is presented as boisterous, mischievous, and rather conceited, a sorceress much impressed with her own power who delights in causing trouble. She is also a somewhat morbid character with distaste for sunshine and all things wholesome.
She is also hypocritical, as she broke her own rules along with Merlin's during their duel, and used a "loophole" when she took on the form of a dragon, meaning she doesn't care about rules at all, and had probably just made them up to limit Merlin, whose honorable side would not allow him to break rules.
Powers and Abilities
Madam Mim claims to be more powerful than Merlin, but in actuality, she is merely a specialist in dark magic. She is shown doing a few minor tricks, like withering flowers. The main ability she displayed however was her shape-shifting skill with which she can take the form of anything she wants. During her introduction scene, she changes into a cat, and magically makes herself uglier, and then beautiful. During her wizard duel with Merlin, she turned into: an alligator, a fox, a hen, an elephant, a tiger, a rattlesnake, and a rhinoceros, all of which were colored pink and an ugly, purple, fire-breathing dragon.
When Arthur is transformed into a bird by Merlin, he ends up in the home of Mim. Madam Mim initially tries to convince Arthur that she is better than Merlin, but Arthur remains unconvinced, citing that Merlin uses his magic for good. This result in Mim deciding to try and destroy him, being that she sees all good things as bad ("Yes, and in my book, that's bad!"). She transforms into a cat and captures Arthur, but cannot destroy him as Merlin, warned by Archimedes, appears and interrupts her. This results in a "Wizards' Duel" between her and Merlin for the young boy's life in which both parties transform into a series of animals. Mim cheats throughout the entire duel, breaking each of her self-set rules in turn. Mim transforms any animal in the duel like a crocodile, a fox, a chicken, an elephant, a tiger, a snake and a rhino. Mim initially has the upper hand, especially after transforming into a dragon. However, Merlin outsmarts her by transforming into a germ and infecting her. She is last seen in her home, recovering from the disease. Merlin advises her to get plenty of rest and sunshine, opening a hole in her roof as he speaks. As Merlin, Archimedes, and Arthur leave, Mim rants about how much she hates sunshine.
The Disney version of the character was adopted into the Donald Duck comics, where she sometimes teams up with Magica De Spell and/or the Beagle Boys. She has also appeared in the Mickey Mouse universe, where she teamed up with Pete on occasion and even the Phantom Blot at one point. She was in love with Captain Hook in several stories; in others, with the Phantom Blot. In some European Disney comics, she has lost her truly evil streak, and appears both morbid yet still relatively polite.
Madam Mim makes very frequent appearances in Dutch Disney comics, in which she's often paired up with her good friend Witch Hazel.
Madam Mim appeared as a cameo in various House of Mouse episodes. She also sang the song "It's Our House Now!" along with the other villains in Mickey's House of Villains. In the episode "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", she appeared alongside Mushu, Dragon Maleficent, Elliott, and the Reluctant Dragon.
An unnamed Madam Mim is the boss of the library/cookie jar level.
- In the alternate opening, it was intended for Madam Mim to usurp the throne of England by trying to kill Arthur (even before pulling the sword) and using a raven to keep surveillance. This was changed for an unknown reason.
- Madam Mim interacts with Merlin's wise owl, Archimedes, only once.
- It is learned that Madam Mim hates sunshine, believing it to be too wholesome.
- Despite her affliction, Madam Mim didn't die from her illness, unlike her counterpart in the original book.
- She transforms into a pig-faced woman and then into a beautiful maiden, mirroring a common theme in European folk tales of the 17th century.
- Much like Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, Madam Mim didn't made an appearance in her respective movie until the second half.
Characters: Merlin | Arthur | Archimedes | Madam Mim | Sir Ector | Sir Kay | Sir Pellinore | Scullery Maid | Sir Bart | Tiger & Talbot | Wolf | Girl Squirrel | Granny Squirrel | Pike | Merlin's sugar bowl
Objects: Sword in the Stone
Disney Parks: Sword in the Stone