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Quest For Camelot

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Quest For Camelot

Starring: Cary Elwes, Gary Oldman
Director: Frederick Du Chan
Rated: G
RunTime: 85 Minutes
Release Date: May 1998
Genres: Animation, Kids, Music

*Also starring: Eric Idle, Don Rickles, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, Bronson Pinchot, Jaleel White, Gabriel Byrne, John Gielgud

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  MrBrown read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

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 bland one.

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 teacher.

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

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