Quest for Camelot

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"Ruber" redirects here. For municipality in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, see Rüber.
This article is about the film. For the video game, see Quest for Camelot (video game).
Quest for Camelot
Quest for Camelot- Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Frederik Du Chau
Produced by Andre Clavel
Dalisa Cohen
Zahra Dowlatabadi
Screenplay by Kirk De Micco
William Schifrin
Jacqueline Feather
David Seidler
Based on The King's Damosel 
by Vera Chapman
Starring Jessalyn Gilsig
Cary Elwes
Jane Seymour
Pierce Brosnan
Gary Oldman
Eric Idle
Don Rickles
Bronson Pinchot
Jaleel White
Gabriel Byrne
John Gielgud
Music by Patrick Doyle
Edited by Stanford C. Allen
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • May 15, 1998 (1998-05-15)
Running time
86 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $22,510,798 (USA)

Quest for Camelot (released in the United Kingdom as The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot) is a 1998 American animated musical fantasy film from Warner Bros. Animation, based on the novel The King's Damosel by Vera Chapman, it stars Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes, Jane Seymour, Gary Oldman, Eric Idle, Don Rickles, Pierce Brosnan, Bronson Pinchot, Jaleel White, Gabriel Byrne and John Gielgud, with the singing voices of Céline Dion, Bryan White, Steve Perry and Andrea Corr. The film received mixed reviews and flopped at the box office.


Kayley is a spirited teenage girl who wants to be a knight like her father, Sir Lionel, one of the knights of the Round Table who is tragically killed by the evil Baron Ruber, who wants to become king of Camelot against King Arthur's permission and misses the old days when Camelot was full of chaos, danger and fear, wishing to return Camelot to those ways once he is king. Ruber flees from Camelot after being beaten back by Excalibur. After her father's funeral, Arthur said she and her mother would be welcomed in Camelot.

Ten years later, Ruber's griffin attacks Camelot and steals Excalibur. Merlin's falcon friend, Ayden attacks the griffin and the sword falls down into the Forbidden Forest. Meanwhile, Ruber goes to Kayley's home, holds everyone hostage and uses dark magic to create steel warriors out of his human henchmen and Bladebeak. He then takes over the village and captures Juliana, Kayley's mother. He plans to use her in order to gain entrance into Camelot. Kayley runs away to escape the warriors and finds herself in the Forbidden Forest. Determined to find Excalibur, she winds up falling down a trap and meets Garrett, a blind hermit and Ayden. Kayley convinces him to help her find Excalibur with her. She then learns about Garret's past: he was once a young stable boy in Camelot. The stable caught fire and he was rescuing the horses when one of them hit his head; the result made him blind. Yet Kayley's father still believed in Garrett and taught him to adapt.

They travel to Dragon Country and meet the funny two-headed dragon named Devon and Cornwal who do not like each other, cannot breathe fire or fly (which is why they are bullied by other ones) and both want to be individual dragons. They decide to join to the group; Garrett reluctantly agrees after Kayley manages to convince him. Later, they discover that Excalibur is no longer where the griffin dropped it. Kayley is distressed and babbles on while Garrett warns her to be quiet. Because she is talking, he cannot hear the approach of Ruber and his cronies, one of whom shoots Garrett in the side and injures him. Kayley drags Garrett away as the thorn bushes grab Ruber and his men and hold them captive. Julianna worries about Kayley as Kayley drags the fainting Garrett into a small cave. She apologizes profusely as he lays there, but he tells her that it is all right and they realize that they are fallen in love as Garrett is healed by magical forest plants. Later, the group goes into a dark cave, where a ogre holds and uses Excalibur as a toothpick. Kayley succeeds in getting the sword, but she and Garrett get stuck in the way and the dragons have to save them.

When they arrive in Camelot, Kayley wants Garrett to go with her, but Garrett refuses. After he leaves, Ruber returns and steals the sword from Kayley. Devon and Cornwall, who see what's happening, run to Garrett for help, finally convincing Garrett to go save Kayley. By working together for the first time, Devon and Cornwall are able to fly and breathe fire. Meanwhile, Kayley meets her mother and tries to escape from her ropes. Bladebeak releases her and she runs to find Ruber. Garrett finds Kayley and they go to King Arthur's castle. There, Ruber meets King Arthur and tries to kill him. Kayley and Garrett stop him and trick Ruber into returning Excalibur to its stone. A blue wave strikes Camelot. It turn the mechanical men back to normal, including Bladebeak and destroys Ruber. Kayley and Garrett get happily married and become knights of the round table, before riding a horse with a sign saying: "Just Knighted".


Musical numbers[edit]

  1. "United We Stand" - King Arthur and Knights
  2. "On My Father's Wings" - Kayley
  3. "Ruber" - Ruber
  4. "The Prayer" - Julianna
  5. "I Stand Alone" - Garrett
  6. "If I Didn't Have You" - Devon and Cornwall
  7. "Looking Through Your Eyes" - Garrett and Kayley
  8. "I Stand Alone (Reprise)" - Garrett


In May 1995, The Quest for the Grail was Warner Bros. Feature Animation's first announced project, and the studio put the film into production before the story was finalized. Animators spent considerable downtime waiting for management to make up their minds. Bill Kroyer (FernGully: The Last Rainforest) was originally going to direct with his wife, Sue, producing, but creative differences forced the husband and wife team to leave the project in February 1997.[2] Kenny Ortega served as the film's choreographer. CGI was used for a few scenes, such as to create the rock ogre.[3] According to Kit Percy, head of CGI effects, the software they used was designed for use with live-action.[3]

Chrystal Klabunde, leading animator of Garrett, said in an article in Animation Magazine, "It was top heavy. All the executives were happily running around and playing executive, getting corner offices—but very few of them had any concept about animation at all, about doing an animated film. It never occurred to anybody at the top that they had to start from the bottom and build that up. The problems were really coming at the inexperience of everyone involved. Those were people from Disney that had the idea that you just said, 'Do it,' and it gets done. It never occurred to them that it got done because Disney had an infrastructure in place, working like clockwork. We didn't have that."[4] Effects supervisor, Michel Gagné also said, "People were giving up. The head of layout was kicked out, the head of background, the executive producer, the producer, the director, the associate producer---all the heads rolled. It's kind of a hard environment to work in." Dalisa Cooper Cohen, producer of the film, said "We made this movie in a year, basically. That was a lot of the problem. We worked around the clock."[2]

Reportedly, "cost overruns and production nightmares" led the studio to "reconsider their commitment to feature animation."[5] Filmmaker Brad Bird (who helmed The Iron Giant, Warner Bros. next animated film) thought that micromanaging, which he said had worked well for Disney but not for Warner Bros., had been part of the problem.[5]



The film was heavily promoted by Wendy's, who offered themed Kid's meals that included toys and discounts on theater admission. Warner Bros. also teamed up with UNICEF to promote the home video release of the film by advertising trick-or-treat donation boxes before Halloween arrived.

Several posters of the film are featured in a movie theater in the season two episode "Innocence" of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The film was slated for a 1997 holiday season release, but was pushed to May 1998, to avoid competition with Anastasia, Flubber, Alien Resurrection, Titanic, and the re-release of The Little Mermaid. Kids WB did promo spots for the film in May 1998.


The film received mixed reviews from critics; it grossed $6,041,602 on its opening weekend and $22,510,798 during its theatrical run in North America,[6] and the studio lost about $40 million on the film.[7] The film was largely overshadowed by Deep Impact and the opening weekend debut of The Horse Whisperer, the latter of which also starred Jessalyn Gilsig,[8] and the following week by the hyped release of Godzilla.[9]

David Kronke of the Los Angeles Times described the film as "formulaic", and wrote that it was "a nearly perfect reflection of troubling trends in animated features," called Kayley "a standard-issue spunky female heroine," and said that "Garrett's blindness is the one adventurous element to the film, but even it seems calculated; his lack of sight is hardly debilitating, yet still provides kids a lesson in acceptance".[10] Kevin J. Harty, editor of a collection of essays called Cinema Arthuriana, says that the film is “slightly indebted to, rather than, as Warner publicity claims, actually based on” Chapman’s novel.[11] The New York Times wrote "Coming on the heels of 20th Century Fox's lush but silly Anastasia (a much better film than this one), Quest for Camelot suggests that Disney still owns the artistic franchise on animated features."[12]


Quest for Camelot:
Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released May 5, 1998
Genre Various
Length 45:07
Label Atlantic
Producer Daniel A. Carlin
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[13]

The soundtrack was released May 5, 1998, ten days prior to release. Although the film was not a critical or commercial success, the soundtrack did receive a certain level of praise. The album peaked at #117 on the Billboard 200, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "The Prayer", and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, also for "The Prayer" (though it lost the latter to "When You Believe" from DreamWorks' The Prince of Egypt).

The soundtrack is quite well known due to the celebrity vocals present on it, such as Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli singing "The Prayer", LeAnn Rimes singing her single version of the film's romantic duet, "Looking Through Your Eyes", Andrea Corr singing "On my Father's Wings", "Looking Through Your Eyes" and Steve Perry singing "I Stand Alone", which is also featured on his "Greatest Hits + 5 Unreleased" album. Gary Oldman is also on the soundtrack, singing Ruber's theme. "The Prayer" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 71st Academy Awards and won the 1999 Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture. One of the Celtic Woman members, Chloë Agnew covered "The Prayer" in full English. A former member of the same group, Deirdre Shannon, and her brother Matthew, one of The Celtic Tenors, covered it for her solo album. Another rendition of "The Prayer" was performed at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church.

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Looking Through Your Eyes"   LeAnn Rimes 4:06
2. "I Stand Alone"   Steve Perry 3:43
3. "The Prayer"   Celine Dion 2:49
4. "United We Stand"   Steve Perry 3:20
5. "On My Father's Wings"   Andrea Corr 3:00
6. "Looking Through Your Eyes"   The Corrs and Bryan White 3:36
7. "Ruber"   Gary Oldman 3:56
8. "I Stand Alone"   Bryan White 3:26
9. "If I Didn't Have You"   Eric Idle and Don Rickles 2:55
10. "Dragon Attack/Forbidden Forest"   Patrick Doyle 3:14
11. "The Battle"   Patrick Doyle 2:49
12. "Looking Through Your Eyes"   David Foster 3:57
13. "The Prayer"   Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli 4:09

Video game[edit]

The video game was released in 1998 for Game Boy Color.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE MAGIC SWORD - QUEST FOR CAMELOT (U)". Warner Bros. British Board of Film Classification. May 27, 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Beck (2005), pp. 217.
  3. ^ a b Quest for Camelot. Special Features: The Animation Process (text) (DVD). Warner Home Video. 1998. 
  4. ^ Animation Magazine, May 1998[title missing][author missing][page needed]
  5. ^ a b Miller, Bob (1999-08-01). "Lean, Mean Fighting Machine: How Brad Bird Made The Iron Giant". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Retrieved 2008-12-09. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bates, James and Eller, Claudia. "Animators' Days of Drawing Big Salaries Are Ending" Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1999. Retrieved on October 4, 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kronke, David (1998-04-15). "Quest for Camelot: Warner Bros.' Animated 'Camelot' Hits Formulaic Notes". South Florida Retrieved 2008-12-09. 
  11. ^ Harty, Kevin J.; in Kevin J. Harty (ed.) (2002). Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays. McFarland & Company. p. 26. ISBN 0-7864-1344-1. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Quest for Camelot at AllMusic

External links[edit]