Quest For Camelot Reviews
Review by: Doug Nau
Directed by: Frederik Du Chau
Produced by: Andre Clavel
Written by: (Screenplay)
Kirk De Micco
Based loosely on the novel by: Vera Chapman "The King's Damosel"
Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig
Songs by: David Foster (Music)
Carole Bayer Sager (Lyrics)
Score composed by: Patrick Doyle
Based loosely on the novel "The King's Damosel" by Vera Chapman, In the days of King Arthur's Camelot, a renegade knight Ruber (Gary Oldman)plots to take the throne by turning his henchmen into formidable monsters, forcing the widow of a Round Table knight he killed to use her privileged access to the King's castle and, most importantly, stealing King Arthur's symbol of power, and the magical sword, Excalibur. When she kidnaps the widow, her young rambunctious daughter, Kayley (Jessalyn Gilsig), who dreams the seemingly impossible dream of becoming a Knight, escapes to both warn the King and try to recover Excalibur. Along the way, she meets up with a young blind hermit, named Garrett (Cary Elwes), a goofy two headed dragon, Devon and Cronwall (Eric Idle and Don Rickles),and a mysterious silver winged falcon. Together, they endeavor to find the sword to save the kingdom.
The story is basically a rip-off of Disney, but very uninvented and blend, although the story wasn't all to bad it has an interesting take on the Arthurian legend, but was so poorly executed, it really could have been so much better but its screenplay was the films ultimate downfall. The characters are really dull and uninteresting. Kayley looks a lot like Belle from Beauty and the Beast if she were in medieval time period. The most interesting characters are Garrett and Ruber, who is a great villain, thanks to the incredible voice works of Gary Oldman.
Speaking of voice actors there actually pretty good, I also like Don Rickles and Eric Idle as the two-headed dragon they are quit a funny pair. The thing I found odd were the chooses for the characters singing voices, while Andrea Corrs, Byran White, Celine Dions, or Steve Perry matched the actors voices. Here you have actors like Jessalyn Gilsigi (voice of Kayley), Cary Elwes (voice of Garrett), Jane Seymour (voice of Juliana), and Pierce Brosnan (voice of King Arthur), who most of them are British Actors with english accents and yet you pick american singers
to do the singing, its rather noticeable between the two voices.
The animation is best suited for a direct-to-video fare, but has some nice moments, especially the Rock Ogre was really cool piece of computer animation. I also like the the forbidden forest scenes were pretty awesome as well, that's one of the more interesting part of the film. The songs were single handle the best part of the film. Some of the best I've ever heard, but unfortunately are useless and doesn't help the film much, and songs like the villains song "Ruber" and "If I didn't have you" doesn't do any justice, they weren't very catchy or had and rhythm there were better off if they just cut the singing and talk during those numbers.
My favorite songs are "Looking Through your Eyes", "On my Father's Wings", and "I Stand Alone", but the standout and one of the best songs I've ever heard is "The Prayer". This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and fits perfectly with the "Quest" Theme of the movie, unfortunately the scene this song is used in the film didn't even fit well with especially since while the song is played you got an action/chase sequence going on is distracting to the essence of the song and its beauty. The score especially is one of the best I've ever heard, I especially really Doyle's Instrumental music for the songs are fantastic, some of the songs underscore works better than with its vocals.
So overall this is a very uninspired piece of animated film making but it wasn't all bad it had strong potentials but wasn't met to what it could have been, with a better screenplay it could have been so much better. The songs were already overall good with the exception of "Ruber", and " If I Didn't have you". The music was what kept me from giving this movie a "rotten" rating.
(Full review TBD)
Entertaining, light and memorable, and a good story with two Great songs - one was Grammy and Oscar nominated - so many seem to ignore this fact, oddly.
The slow beginning scenes can be off-putting, I'll admit, but it gets better if you are willing to let it.
The shaky start includes routine animation, an overly obvious villain and bland knights of the round table , but good things come to those who wait. The many looking for an initial wow will write it off there, but the incredible song The Prayer comes from this film soundtrack, and shows up early, and the film picks up nicely from there.
The next big boost is the introduction of the two-headed Dragon. Their hilariously entertaining first song of bickering about being better off without the other half is a hoot - imaginative, a bit unorthodox to be sure, but gives air to the underlying feelings of sibling rivalry in a playful and quite creative way.
The adventure takes off and gets better from there nicely.
Light and fun, Reel Views related it to Saturday morning cartoons where adults would be left out of the loop, but it is notched better than that.
It's not to the level of Toy Story, but still very good, and the adults will laugh at the Dragons's quips and references.
3.5 glowy forest bugs out of 5
Produced by Warner Bros, The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot doesn't maintain the label of either Disney or Dreamworks, the two animation companies which consistently dominate the animated film market. It is clear because it lacks the charm of many films produced by the competing companies which stand out as being superior while this entry from Warner Bros is a derivative and lesser entry. Loosely based on the source novel The King's Damosel, The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot follows the formulaic animated film path of reducing the tale of the Arthurian legend to a child friendly tale of redemption and adventure. Unfortunately, it is one which has been told all too many times before. There is little in The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot that viewers can see which has not already been dealt with by superior animated films and with more originality and better quality animation.
The story in The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot has almost nothing in the way of originality. It centers the tale on one which is afraid to be anything but conventional and a protagonist who is anything but inspiring. The main character is the same one you would have seen a hundred times, a woman wanting to be more than a princess or a slave to the household. The problem is that her likability is limited due to the fact that she lacks a sense of heroism and she is irresponsible in respecting the lives of others around her, predominantly those of the animals she is left to take care of. This is implied to be a statement that she is not fit to do that and should pursue her ambition to be a knight, but it doesn't contribute to making her any stronger as a character. The characters in the film are archetypes and the tale is thoroughly predictable. Every moment of sudden realization, cheap sentimentality or ridiculous melodrama can be seen a mile away.
The story even has the signature lone hero Garrett who sings about how he stands alone as a hero. The stupid thing is that five seconds after he is done singing this song, he decides to team up with Kayley. He really doesn't have much consistency for a man who stands alone and it renders his entire song obsolete and a waste of time. Even then, that entire song is a generic and repetitive one which doesn't rhyme too well. In fact, the only song in The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot that really makes any kind of impact is "If I Didn't Have You" because despite its repetitive and cluttered nature, it stands out from the other songs as more successful in terms of comedy. The central source of comic relief in The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot comes from the presence of a dragon with two heads who both keep on getting into banter with each other, the two characters responsible for singing the song. While the rest of the film is centered with poor storytelling, Devon and Cornwall serve as a decent distraction. They manage to bring some level of successful humour to the film surrounding the fact that they are actually a ridiculous creation who clash on a personal level. It is mainly funny thanks to the chemistry between voice actors Eric Idle and Don Rickles who work off each other very well due to the contrast between the cocky nature of Eric Idle's British demeanour and the down to earth and gritty manner of speaking brought into play by Don Rickles. The two of them make a strong duo and render the characters a viable source of entertainment in the film with humour which makes up for some of the shortcomings in the film, predominantly Eric Idle and I say that as a fan of Monty Python as his snobby persona was really funny in the ridiculous context of being one head on a two-headed dragon. Still, the humour in the film is inconsistent and the characters Devon and Cornwall don't enter until far into the film so as a whole the comic value of The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot is severly limited even if it is one of the better elements of the film.
The animation in The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot evokes a mixed response from me. Mostly it does a good job, but the designs of most of the characters have little iconic about them and lack a sense of creativity. Also, there are some moments where the movements of characters or items are notably stiff and disrupt the general flow of the rest of the film. Most of the animation in the film generally has a better frame rate, but in animated films all it takes is a few bad moments to make the rest of the experience shaky which is precisely what happens with The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot. But still, most of the film gives good movements to the characters and plenty of colour in the scenery and everything. Though the animation may not tackle much in the way of exciting plot elements, the colourful detail is nice, particularly in the scenes that use 3D elements. The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot has animation which is decent and provides eye candy which should hopefully please the younger viewers. I just wish that there were more ways to make use of the animation budget because the familiar imagery in the film made it hard to find it much of a special feature.
So The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot maintains decent animation and a certain sense of comedy to it, but weighed down by a derivative story, repetitive songs and a general lack of creativity, it fails to stand out from the crowd all that much.