Quest for Camelot
Quest for Camelot (known as The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot in the United Kingdom) is a 1998 animated fantasy musical film directed by Frederik Du Chau and produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation. It is loosely based on the novel The King's Damosel by Vera Chapman, which is based on the Arthurian legend.
Kayley dreams of being a knight like her father, Sir Lionel. She teams up with Garrett, a blind hermit, his falcon and a two-headed dragon to retrieve King Arthur's lost sword, Excalibur, from an evil knight named Lord Ruber, who plans to use its power to take over Camelot.
- The writing is abysmal, as some of the plot details were never even explained, resulting to heaps of plot holes. There are so many of them that listing it will take forever, so here are just a few examples:
- Why did Bladebeak become good when he helps Kayley break free? There's not a single scene where he regrets working with the villain.
- During the scene where Ruber is preparing to turn his soldiers into weapon-fused monsters with a potion, he said that he obtained it from some witches. What witches?
- It doesn't explain why the trees, vines, leaves or any other plants are somehow alive other than being magical.
- When Lord Ruber dies after accidentally putting Excalibur back into the stone, the resulting burst of power heals everyone (including the dragons). If the sword has the power to heal, why didn't it cure Garrett's blindness?
- The film itself is an unoriginal Disney rip-off made to cash in on the company's Renaissance days. It also has extremely poor grasp of the source material.
- In fact, the movie was originally going to be rated PG-13, as revealed by Lauren Faust (who helped work on this film), but Warner Bros. decided to "Disneyfy" it in order to compete with its rival.
- A lot of the characters are bland and/or don't contribute much value to the movie.
- Kayley is not only a generic bland protagonist, she is also (as pointed out by the Nostalgia Critic) a rip-off of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, having a similar hairstyle, living on a farm with her one parent (which, in this case, is her mother), and having a similar motivation of wanting more out of her life.
- Kayley's mother, Merlin and Bladebeak are all bland and don't do much other than being filler characters.
- Lord Ruber is easily one of the worst movie villains of all-time, even by animated movie standards.
- Devon and Cornwall (the two-headed dragon) are not only unfunny comic relief characters, but they also throw in a lot of pop culture references such as Elvis and television in an attempt to be like the Genie from Aladdin and, during their song sequence, they even throw in a Lion King reference.
- The songs in this film are not only bad, but also come out of nowhere, like with Garrett's "Looking Through Your Eyes" and the Dragons' "If I Didn't Have You". Sometimes, they get played at inappropriate times, such as "The Prayer" (which plays during a chase scene) and the Superman Theme getting unnecessarily played when Devon and Cornwall fight the griffon.
- To be fair, a ballad song like "The Prayer" playing over an action-packed chase scene could've worked, only when the scene in question is set in slow-motion and the sound effects in the background are muted, because otherwise it'd result to a tonal disconnect.
- The CGI on the rock ogre has not aged well.
- The movie can't decide if it wants to be a Disney movie knock-off to cash in on their renaissance or a Warner Bros. film at heart, as the movie throws a lot of Warner Bros. cartoon references, such as the ACME name for the potion, a cameo from Red Hot Riding Hood and the brief Road Runner-like scene during the Dragons' song.
- Incredibly crappy dialogue, with a lot of bad lines such as Ruber's infamous "The ogre's butt!".
- The animation, even if it doesn't meet Disney standards, is good due to it being worked on the same animators of The Iron Giant a year later.
- Decent voice acting, despite the talents being ruined. Even Gary Oldman claimed that he had fun in his voice role as Lord Ruber.
- The musical score, composed by Patrick Doyle, is pretty good mostly.
- Even though it got started with this film and placed in the chase scene, "The Prayer" went on to become a really popular song, sung by Celine Dion in English and Andrea Bocelli in Italian.
The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics with a 45% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The websites critical consensus reads "Diminished by uneven animation and treacly songs, Quest for Camelot is an adventure that ought to be tossed back to the Lady in the Lake".