A Kid in King Arthur’s Court
Genre: Kids & Family
Runtime: 1 hr 38 min
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Michael Gottlieb
Starring: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Joss Ackland, Art Malik, Paloma Baeza, Kate Winslet, Daniel Craig
The best parts of the movie are a few of the surprises at the end.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 8 years ago
Is there a market for bland and predictable children's films? Given the dearth of kids' movies, the answer has to be yes. Grown-ups get half a dozen new movies opening every week, but kids are lucky to get two in a month. With millions of kids hungry for movies, this means it is hard for kids' films to flop unless the producers are profligate spenders.
Into this tradition of non-offensive fare for our youngsters, Walt Disney Productions in 1995 gave them a present called A KID IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. Although it sounds like something from the great Mark Twain and they even give him a mention in the credits, the film is merely movie mush. It will fill the kids up, but little more. Do not get me wrong, there are the occasional good moments in the picture, but most of it is sleep inducing.
Things are not going well in Camelot. Our hero, Calvin Fuller, played as a wisecracking kid by Thomas Ian Nicholas, has been pulled out of his Little League game to be transported back in time to save the mythical kingdom. He has been summoned by Merlin (Ron Moody) to defeat the evil Lord Belasco, played with the requisite sneering by Art Malik. With that defeat will come the love of Princess Katey (Paloma Baeza).
Joss Ackland plays his part the same way in every movie only the character's name changes. Here he is called King Arthur. Calvin laments to him about all of the changes to Camelot. There isn't even a round table.
The only real acting interest in the film is Kate Winslet playing Princess Katey's older sister Princess Sarah. Winslet took the part before her fame spread from her roles in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, JUDE, and HAMLET. In everyone of these films as well as in HEAVENLY CREATURES she performed brilliantly. Although she does the best she can in this kids' movie, her part is hopelessly dull.
The movie comes alive periodically from some of the lines in script by Michael Part and Robert L. Levy. Most of the script however is leaden. Take for example the King's musing, "Camelot rots, and I play at being king. I want her great again."
The best line in the film happens as the king wanders among his people dressed in peasant's clothes. "Look your Majesty," explains Calvin to the king when the king tries to pick a fight with one of his subjects. "I don't want to insult you or anything, but are you nuts? This isn't the castle. This is the real, in-your-face, carjacking, drive-by-shooting, kill-you-for-your-Reeboks street life."
Back at the baseball field the interaction between Calvin and his sister Maya (Catherine Blake) has a natural funniness. She kids with him at the baseball game, "I get your room if you get killed." Although it sounds awful, it comes across as sweet humored sibling rivalry.
The best parts of the movie are a few of the surprises at the end. Are they worth waiting for? Hardly. The show proves to be an hour and a half video aquarium for the kids and little more.
A KID IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT runs 1:38. It is rated PG, but consider it a G. The film is unlikely to offend or scare anyone of any age. This show is not worth your time. I give it * 1/2, but just barely.