A Kid in King Arthur's Court
|A Kid in King Arthur's Court|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Gottlieb|
|Produced by||Peter Abrams
Robert L. Levy
|Written by||Michael Part
Robert L. Levy
|Starring||Thomas Ian Nicholas
|Music by||J. A. C. Redford|
|Edited by||Anita Brandt-Burgoyne and Michael Ripps|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$13.4 million (domestic)|
A Kid in King Arthur's Court is a 1995 Disney family film directed by Michael Gottlieb. It is based on the famous Mark Twain novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (previously filmed by Disney as Unidentified Flying Oddball in 1978 in which Ron Moody also played Merlin), transplanted into the twentieth century. Trimark later released a sequel, A Kid in Aladdin's Palace, in 1998, but without Disney's involvement. Since Trimark's dissolution, the sequel is now distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment.
Calvin Fuller is a nerdy young boy living in the Los Angeles suburb of Reseda. The gangly, unsure youth is first seen at a baseball game, standing at bat for his team, the Knights, ready for yet another strike out. Suddenly an earthquake hits; as the others run for safety, the ground opens up under Calvin's shoes and he falls through the chasm. Eventually he lands on the head of a 6th-century black knight. Upon hearing of his miraculous appearance, the elderly King Arthur, seeing him as the savior whose appearance Merlin has predicted, dubs the boy Calvin of Reseda and invites him to dine with the court.
Calvin begins his knight training to help Arthur retain his crown. When the earthquake hit, Calvin had just grabbed his knapsack, a fact that enables him to wow the Arthurians with his futuristic "magic", including an introduction to rock and roll via CD player, and a Swiss Army knife. The young wizard also shows them how to make inline rollerskates. His work wins him adulation and renown; but it also rouses the jealousy of Lord Belasco, who will use any means to take over the throne. Meanwhile, Calvin finds himself developing a crush on young Princess Katey. After he helps Arthur keep the crown, he is returned to the 20th century just before the moment when he struck out, and he steps up to the plate: this time, he is ready and hits a home run. He is greeted by his teammates – including a girl who looks like Katey – and is looked on by a spectator who looks like Arthur, who is whittling a piece of wood with a pocketknife – the same knife Calvin gave to King Arthur.
- Thomas Ian Nicholas as Calvin Fuller
- Joss Ackland as King Arthur
- Art Malik as Lord Belasco
- Paloma Baeza as Princess Katey
- Kate Winslet as Princess Sarah
- Daniel Craig as Master Kane
- David Tysallas Ratan
- Ron Moody as Merlin
- Barry Stanton as Blacksmith
- Michael Mehlnan as Shop owner
- Melanie Oettinger as Peasant woman
- Rebecca Denton as Washer woman
- Michael Kelly as Apprentice
- Louise Rosner as Lady-in-waiting
- Paul Rosner as Peasant boy
- Béla Unger as Head guard
- Shane Rimmer as Coach
- Tim Wickham as Ricky Baker
- Daniel Bennett as Howell
- Debora Weston as Mom
- Vincent Marzello as Dad
- Catherine Blake as Maya
- J. P. Guerin as Umpire
Most of the 6th-century portion of the film was shot in Budapest, Hungary, while the majority of the 20th-century portion was filmed in late September 1994, at the softball field of London Central High School (LCHS), an American institution at RAF Daws Hill, High Wycombe, England.
Upon its release the movie was universally panned by critics. It currently holds a rating of 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, aggregating 21 reviews. The consensus reads: "Disappointing even by the relaxed standards of live-action children's entertainment, A Kid in King Arthur's Court stands as a rare near-total misfire from Disney." Since its release, and since Kate Winslet and Daniel Craig went on to become major superstars in Hollywood, the film received slightly more attention. Despite the negative reviews, The Buffalo News replied "A must-see for the whole family!"
- Letter from LCHS assistant principal Deborah R. Folmer to pupils' parents, Friday, September 23, 1994.
- Thomas, Kevin (1995-08-11). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'King Arthur' Jousts With Young at Heart". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- James, Caryn (1995-08-11). "FILM REVIEW; Big Macs in Camelot (but First, Mickey)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "A Kid in King Arthur's Court". Washington Post. 1995-08-11. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "A Kid in King Arthur's Court". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Puig, Claudia (1995-08-15). "Weekend Box Office : 'Brothers McMullen' Starts Off Hot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Natale, Richard (1995-08-21). "Kombat' Captures Audience : Box office: Film based on a martial arts video game earns $23 million on its first weekend in release". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Welkos, Robert W. (1995-08-22). "Weekend Box Office : 'Mortal Kombat' Charges to First Place". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.