The King & I (1999)

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The King & I (1999)
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"This isn't art, this isn't even entertainment! This...blows!" - Lois Griffin
Genre: Fantasy
Starring: Miranda Richardson
Martin Vidnovic
Christiane Noll
Release Date: March 19, 1999
Runtime: 1h 27min
Country: United States


The King and I is a 1999 American animated musical film directed by Richard Rich and written by Peter Bakalian, Jacqueline Feather and David Seidler, loosely adapted from the Anna Leonowens story, and uses songs and some of the character names from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's stage musical of the same name.

The film was released theatrically in the United States on March 19, 1999 and grossed $12 million domestically on a $25 million budget.

Plot

Anna, an English schoolteacher, travels to the kingdom of Siam (Thailand) to teach children and finds her challenge with a stubborn king. But even as a wondrous friendship grows between Anna and the arrogant monarch, an evil sorcerer is conjuring up a plot to steal the throne.

Why It Sucks

  1. Poor grasp of the original source material. For example, the Kralahome was never a bad guy, he was simply an adviser to the King (then again, that was the case with all the other adaptations of the story).
  2. Very historically inaccurate. For example, in the beginning, there's a FRIGGIN' DRAGON!
  3. Much like Quest for Camelot, many of the visuals and the music do not match up to each other, resulting in some misfitting musical numbers.
  4. One-dimensional and uninteresting characters.
  5. Unneeded villain who has unbelievably weak powers that are defeated by lame things like whistling.
    1. Speaking of which, he is nothing but a pathetic rip-off of Jafar from Disney's Aladdin.
  6. Lazy writing, which results in a cliche-filled story.
  7. False advertising: On the theatrical release poster, it says "The all-new animated family spectacular", which is an outright lie.
  8. Countless animation errors. For example, there are several times where a character will barely interact with things or even be inanimate for a couple of seconds.
  9. The film barely focuses on the main characters. Instead, it shows more of their comedic sidekicks who aren't well developed either.
  10. Boring and pointless slapstick.
  11. It feels like a copycat of the Disney Renaissance movies, especially Aladdin.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Decent animation.
  2. The voice acting is decent, to say the least.
  3. Some of the songs, like "Getting to Know You" and "Shall We Dance?", are actually not bad.

Trivia

  • The estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein were so unhappy with the results, they have since forbidden any further animated adaptations of their works, much like Dr. Seuss on the future live-action adaptations of his works.
  • Martin Vidnovic, who voiced the King, expressed dissatisfaction with the film.
  • The film was made by Rankin/Bass, who are known for doing those classic stop-motion holiday specials.

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