QUEST FOR CAMELOT, Warner Brother's first full-length,
fully-animated motion picture, is loaded with well-known stars doing
the voices. It retells the Camelot legend from the perspective of a
girl named Kayley, who says she wants "to be a knight, go on daring
adventures, and rescue damsels in distress."
Since Warner Brothers is probably hoping for another SPACE
JAM-sized hit, perhaps we should review for them a few of the requisite
ingredients of a successful cartoon movie. First, the animation needs
to be colorful and well drawn. Second, the story needs to be lively
enough to interest the kids while having enough intelligence to keep
the adults awake. Third, at least some of the songs have to be
memorable. Last, and certainly not least, the script must have some
genuine humor. QUEST FOR CAMELOT manages to fail all four of these
simple tests. Although not a bad movie, it is an almost terminally
Opening to flat two-dimensional drawings, the story introduces
Kayley, who is soon joined by a blind hunk named Garrett. Garrett,
like the blindfolded Luke Skywalker, can battle without benefit of
sight. The setup for the story is that Excalibur is lost, and, if it
is not found, Camelot is doomed. Our heroic Kayley and her side-kick
Garrett go in search of the lost sword.
Unlike the lively and funny trailer, the lethargic movie slinks
along at a snail's pace with the first half being sort of a dreary
history lesson and the last being a failed attempt at comedy. The
voices are done by Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Cary Elwes, Sir. John
Gielgud, Jessalyn Gilsig, Eric Idle, Gary Oldman, Bronson Pinchot and
Don Rickles, but the script by first-time screenwriters Kirk Di Micco
and William Schifrin, based on the book by Vera Chapman, doesn't give
them any to say worth hearing.
The songs by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager range from the
eminently forgettable to the truly awful. If you can remember any a
few minutes after leaving the theater, then you're probably a music
With literally hundreds and hundreds of animators listed in the
five minutes of credits, why did the animation have to be so boring?
The drab colors of dingy blues, browns, and grays are singularly ugly,
and the images are drawn with little detail or imagination. The only
exception to this rule is a very three-dimensional looking Ogre, who
was probably created with computer graphics.
The first part of the film is basically devoid of humor. In the
second half the comedy duo of Cornwall and Devon are introduced. They
are two heads of a smart-mouthed dragon - "Frankly we're the reason
cousins shouldn't marry." With only a few jokes and a couple of nice
visuals -- the best has them as Elvis impersonators -- their impact on
the picture is limited. In our theater, which was crowded with kids,
there was precious little laughter during the movie. And if there ever
was a movie in need of a little comic relief, it is this one.
QUEST FOR CAMELOT runs, thankfully, just 1:23. It is rated G and
would be fine for the entire family.
My son Jeffrey, age 9, was fairly unenthusiastic about the
picture. He gave it ** and said he liked the Ogre and the two-headed
dragon best. He pointed out that the Ogre has square feet but leaves
long human shaped footprints. He doesn't think the movie will do very
well at the box office.
Copyright © 1998 Steve Rhodes