Review of "Quest for Camelot" by Warner Brothers
The rating system used by the movie industry can make it difficult to determine if you'd really like your child to see the latest children's movie. Even if it is rated "G". So, I thought other parents might appreciate a break down of some of the movies available for children today.
Quest for Camelot is a Warner Brothers movie that was released on May 15, 1998. The movie is about how a young girl named Kaley (voice by Jessalyn Gilsig), a blind warrior named Garrett (voice by Cary Elwes) and a two-headed dragon named Devon (voice by Eric Idle) and Cornwall (voice by Don Rickles) work together to save Camelot.
The theme of the movie, working together, is woven throughout the movie beginning with the opening sequence about Arthur uniting Camelot. Kaley's father tells the tale of a land divided. Arthur is presented as the unifying factor and knights are seen to uphold that unity.
The first song of the movie, "United We Stand", is also very much on theme. The entire population of Camelot joins together to sing of unity. The comedic sidekick is even in keeping with the theme. He, or more accurately they, are a dragon that can only fly and breath fire by working together.
The two main characters are only able to fulfill their dreams of becoming knights by working together. They go from standing alone, a sentiment Garrett expresses in his solo, to working together for the good of Camelot.
However, while the theme is something that any parent would approve there are a number of elements that may be distressing. For instance, Kaley's father dies in the beginning of the movie, and there is a scene at his graveside.
Ruber, the movie's villain, (voice by Gary Oldman) mentions buying a potion from witches. This potion is later used to turn men into metal monsters that the movie refers to as iron men. This is done by having the men jump into a well of bubbling green potion.
Kaley's home is invaded by barbarians with burning arrows. She and Lady Julianna, her mother, are taken hostage by Ruber. After which he asks Lady Julianna for a kiss. Also, while he does not say the words, he does threaten to kill Kaley if Lady Julianna does not cooperate with his plans to invade Camelot.
At the end of the movie Ruber is dissolved by the magic of Excalibur. His body dissolves into green smoke, and only his mask remains.
The movie also contains adventure violence, sword fighting, dragons (not just the comedic one on the cover), ogres and griffins. There is even a rock monster that chews up one of the iron men, although it later spits him out.
If your child is prone to nightmare or has yet to deal with issues of death you may want to wait to show this movie. Some of the images are dark and may disturb a young child.
United We Stand
There are, however, a number of wonderful songs in this movie. As I previously stated, the movie begins with "United We Stand", a song by all of Camelot featuring the main theme of the movie.
The next song, "On My Father's Wings", is sung by Andrea Corr. It is Kaley's song about the dream that her father gave her of becoming a knight and her discontent with farm life. Very much in keeping with cartoon heroine before her Kaley expresses what is missing in her life, a dissatisfaction which will be resolved by the end of the movie.
"Ruber" is sung by Gary Oldman. It is Ruber's song about his desire to end peace and his plans to invade and take over Camelot. This song features the making of the iron men. Being a villain's song it is dark in tone and image.
"The Prayer" is Lady Julianna's prayer of protection over her daughter. It is sung by Celine Dion. It is a simple, sweet song but is paired with images of Kaley fleeing from the iron men. This song caused the movie to be nominated for an Oscar. Moreover, the movie won a Golden Globe for this song.
"I Stand Alone" is Garrett's song about how he doesn't need anyone to survive. It is later reprised as a sad comment on his lonely existence. Both songs are sung by Bryan White.
"If I Didn't Have You" is the introduction of Devon and Cornwall. It explains their dilemma of being unable to fly or breath fire and their inability to work together. The duet is sung by Eric Idle and Don Rickles and features many comedic lyrics and images.
The final song of the movie is "Looking Through Your Eyes". It is Kaley and Garrett's duet, sung by Andrea Corr and Bryan White. The song expresses their romantic interest in one another, and, in keeping with the theme, their new ability to work together.
I thought it was a delightful little movie (only 86 minutes long), but again there are elements that are not appropriate for all children. I hope this review makes it easier to decide if your child is mature enough to handle all the elements of this movie.