Well, let's face it. Crap nowadays isn't getting any better, and we wacks from the past can only turn back to the past to entertain us. But, when we look back at our childhood, we think to ourselves....was it worth it? Well, that's what were gonna find out with the article I like to call....well, you know.
Arabian Knight (1995)
Directed by : Richard Williams
Starring: Vincent Price, Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Beals, Jonathan Winters, Eric Bogosian, Toni Collete, Clive Revill, Kevin Dorsey, Windsor DaviesNOTE:
The following is a review for the version against the director's wishes. During the production of this film, which started in the mid '60s and is considered as a passion over the years, the famed animator Richard Williams sadly had to detatch himself from the product due to deadline issues. What ensued after this was a resurfacing of sorts on The Thief and The Cobbler and several different versions. New voice-acting and musical scores were brought in to add some new elements to the film. The original version that Williams intended to release has yet to be shown to the public and this is the only version available. I have seen the original version, but I wish to review the version more people have tended to grow up with.
OK, so now that we got THAT out of the way, let's continue.
We all love Disney's "Aladdin", don't we? It's one of my favorites of all time. But when a box-office smash comes out, there's always someone trying to imitate that film and fails at making it a better effort.
Those two pictures above would be an example.
"Arabian Knight" came out 3 years later after "Aladdin", but only in limited theaters. and it grossed just about $600,000. The budget was $25 million. This was intended to be the greatest animated film of all time, and looked how it turned up. But whether it was a hit or not, I still like it. Yeah, I liked it this movie. In fact, I love it. I don't care if it's butchered or not. Williams complained about how his vision was never seen, but I think he should be lucky that the movie was even shown, whether it was butchered or not.
This movie is truly captivating and wonderful in every way. The look of the film reminds me of a M.C. Escher painting. It's like watching an optical illusion, and a darn good one at that.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The film takes place in Baghdad, the "golden" city (Last time I checked, Baghdad wasn't exactly so "golden" in the news.). High atop the tallest minaret, sit three golden balls, which protects the city from the forces of evil.
According to the prophecy, if the balls were taken off the minaret, Baghdad would fall to destruction and death. But the prophecy also foretold that a simple soul (also known as the "Arabian Knight") would save the city.
As you would've guessed, a nameless Thief (Winters) steals the balls (sounds kinda dirty.). The balls eventually fall into the hands of the evil sorcerer Zigzag (Price, in one of his greatest roles), who wishes to marry the princess Yum Yum (Beals) and rule the kingdom. It's up to a lowly cobbler named Tack (Broderick) and a group of monsters to save the city from Zigzag and an army of one-eyed warriors.
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?
Everything. Just everything. The animation is just awesome, (with NO HELP FROM COMPUTERS WHATSOEVER.), the characters are likable (Zigzag the evil sorcerer is the best one), it's all good. The best scene is when Tack must save the Princess' shoe (?) from the Thief, and the result is a scene inspired by the works of M.C. Escher, one of the only scenes not cut from the original.
WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?
If I were to find something BAD about it, it would probably be the way The Thief talks. He doesn't talk, we can just hear his thoughts. He always makes a cheesy joke every time we see him. Here are some examples of what he says:
- (while he's inside Tack's house) "What a dump. Nobody lives like this except college kids."
- (while he's swimming in the palace's stinky moat) "I can't help but question the color of this water. I'm gonna stink for days."
-(his very first line in the movie) "Good Morning, Arabia!"
The songs are pretty cheesy, and yet they're all written by an Oscar-nominated songwriter named Norman Gimbel. They don't really move the story forward, but I guess they're merly "pasted" on there just to either make it a musical or to entertain kids who don't care whether a song is well written or not. If I were to pick my favorite, it would be the "It's So Amazing" song at the end credits.
"Arabian Knight" is a visually captivating film that should've been shown the way it was mean to be. The Thief's dialogue can get a bit cringy and the songs aren't Oscar-worthy, but it's still worth watching. A real treat for the kids and the kids at heart.
The only question is, will we see the true version that Richard Williams wanted us to see? Only time will tell, but for now, I'm fine with this one.
If you have any suggestions for any movies/TV shows for me to look at, just reply at the bottom of this page or on my profile. No negative comments.