Making the Grades
Quest For Camelot is Warner Brothers Studios latest attempt to pull in some of the big profits that Disney has enjoyed from its never-ending line of animated features. Certainly Disney and their animation department has turned out some . . . may I say, performances of less than Herculean splendor. Yet after watching Quest For Camelot, it seems the home of Bugs Bunny is still no match for the mouse house.
This umpteenth adaptation of the Camelot story has teenaged Kayley (Jessalyn Gilsig) seeking revenge against Ruber (Gary Oldham) a wicked knight who killed her father and fled the kingdom. Not happy to stay at home doing unimportant stuff, like helping her widowed mother feed and clothe other family members, she instead desires a place at the round table where she can fight villains. When Ruber steals Excalibur (the famed magic sword of Camelot), Kayley is given the opportunity to show her might.
Violence takes a front seat during most of this film, when Ruber creates an army of mutated creatures from his black magic. These toy-style walking weapons may frighten the younger viewers this movie is aimed at.
Only one character, Kayley's blind friend and hero Garrett (Cary Elwes), breaks the typecast mold. It's great to see a hero with a disability, and the writers surprised me by not having his sight return before the happy ending. But in every other way, this Quest is flat out boring. Even the music fails, a surprise with the usually competent David Foster scoring the film. However, the story seems to be trying to fit the music instead of the other way around. Songs are used as clumsy transitions, and bring the plot to a grinding halt.
Unlike those wonderful classic Looney Toon shorts that we all grew up with, feature length animation requires far more attention to story. This movie certainly shows Warner's capacity to use computer effects, but now they need that wascally wabbit to put some character(s) into their work.