Quest For Camelot (1998)

Directed By: Frederick Du Chau

Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes, Gary Oldman, Don Rickles, Eric Idle, Bronson Pinchot, Jaleel White, Pierce Bronsman, Jane Seymour, Sir John Gielgud, Gabriel Byrne, Frank Welker




What is this, a family photo?


Childhood memories can be such a bitch, can't they? You barely remember a cartoon show, television sitcom, or movie, and the only thing that you remember is that you loved it as a kid. Then, when you watch that childhood favotrite after, say 10 years, chances are you'll be disappointed.

An example for me would have to be the 1997 animated film Cats Don't Dance. It was still entertaining, but the characters were kinda annoying, which made it hard to feel sorry or glad for the characters.









But, I'm losing myself. ANOTHER Warner Bros. animated movie I saw as a kid was the critical-financial failure Quest For Camelot. I would rent this film on video many times when I was a kid and would eat it up like pizza. Years later, when I saw it on TV, it was still good. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago, as well, so I was scratching my head on whether the film was still as good as I recall, and it didn't help when I saw the Nostalgia Critic review not too long ago. So I picked up the film on DVD recently to give it another chance, and to be honest, it still held together very well. I guess you could say it's an inch better than Cats Don't Dance.






"Well, who IS that fine thang over there?"





True, it may shamelessly follow the Disney formula, but to me, it copies the formula well, and even makes fun of it a couple of times. It's no Lion King, but I'm sure that it wasn't intended to be. All it does is simply entertain.


WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

An evil knight (Oldman) plans to rule over Camelot with the magic sword Excalibur in his clutches. His pet Griffin (Pinchot) manages to steal it, but loses it in a forbidden forest shortly after.

It's up to a young, independent girl named Belle--I mean, Ariel--I mean, Megara--I mean, KAYLEY (Gilsig), a blind hermit (Elwes), and a two-headed dragon (Idle and Rickes) to retrieve Excalibur and return it to Camelot.







"Let's see if I can find Garrett's wallet in here....




WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?

The animation can be a bit uneven at times, like whenever Ayden, a silver-winged falcon, is flapping his wings in the air. It just seems sloppy and too fast.

The Griffin is too underplayed. Given more screen time and a more jucier personality, he could've been a more intimidating character instead of a "mythological moron with table manners".

Oh, and when Excalibur is put back into the stone and it turns everything back normal, DOES the blind hermit ever get his eyesight back?







Uhhh....Timber?





WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?

Everything else.

While the other songs are OK, there are only two good songs in the whole film. There's the comedic dragon song If I Didn't Have You, which has some lame lyrics here and there, but it's catchy as hell. The other is The Prayer, which was actually a huge hit and even got an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

The animation for the villian Ruber is quite interesting, as well. At times, his design reminds me of a Gerald Scarfe caricature, with jointed swervy lines and the twitchy eyebrows. He's not a GREAT villian, but his design and animation certainly stand out from the others.

As I said before, the film is just entertaining. I don't know why, it's just a really good film to watch. Understandably, people will hate it because it's one of many animated films that rip off the Disney formula too much, making it unoriginal. But really, isn't it better just to watch a film like this instead of films like this....







COUGHCOUGHbullshitCOUGHCOUGH




"Camelot! Is it only a model?"





"Gasp! I HAVE HANDS???"






"Say 'Uncle', dammit!"



BOTTOM LINE:

If you're the type of person who would rather wait for an animated film to take chances and be original...you're not alone. But if you're the person who just wants to give Disney clones a chance, check this one out. Good songs, good characters, and just a lot of fun. It's probably one of the best underrated non-Disney films of all time (in my opinion).


OVERALL SCORE:

4.5/5



See Ya!