The King & I (1999)

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The King & I (1999)
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Genre: Fantasy
Running Time: 1h 27min
Country: United States
Release Date: March 19, 1999
Directed by: Richard Rich
Written by: Oscar Hammerstein II
Arthur Rankin Jr.
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Starring: Miranda Richardson
Martin Vidnovic
Christiane Noll


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.

Bad Qualities

  1. Poor grasp of the original source material, for example the Kralahome was never a villain, he was just 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. Many of the visuals and the music do not match up to each other, resulting in some misfitting musical numbers.
  4. Wastes the talent of Richard Rich, the same person who directed The Fox & the Hound and The Swan Princess.
  5. One-dimensional and uninteresting characters.
  6. Unneeded villain who has unbelievably weak powers that are defeated by lame things like whistling.
  7. Lazy writing, which results in a cliche-filled story.
  8. On the poster, it says "The all-new animated family spectacular", which is an outright lie.
  9. 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.
  10. The film barely focuses on the main characters. Instead, it shows more of their comedic sidekicks who aren't well developed either.
  11. Boring and pointless slapstick.
  12. It feels like a copycat of the Disney Renaissance movies, especially Aladdin.

Good 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.
  4. It was actually made by Rankin/Bass, who are known for doing the classic stop-motion holiday specials.

Trivia

  1. 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.
  2. Martin Vidnovic, who voiced the King, expressed dissatisfaction with the film.

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