Quest for Camelot

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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
Production
company
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 $22.5 million (domestic)

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. It was released on May 15, 1998 by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment to help Warner Bros. celebrate "75 Years Entertaining the World".

Plot[edit]

Kayley dreams of becoming a knight like her father Lionel, who journeys to Camelot to meet with King Arthur as a knight of the Round Table. While there, one of the greedier knights, Baron Ruber attempts to usurp Arthur and in the fray, Lionel is killed while Ruber escapes. Ten years later, a griffin attacks the kingdom, stealing Excalibur. Merlin's falcon, Ayden forces the griffin to release Excalibur and it falls into the dark forest. Word is soon sent of the missing sword, falling on the ears of Kayley; still as spirited as always, and still dreaming of becoming a knight, she desires to find Excalibur, but her mother Julianne forbids it. Ruber pays them a visit and forces Julianne to agree to give him and his men safe passage into Camelot as part of a plan to take control. Kayley escapes and enters the forest, losing Ruber's men and encountering Garrett; a blind hermit who is assisted by Ayden. He decides to go after the sword, but Kayley insists on following him to his chagrin, as he works better on his own.

They enter Dragon Country and encounter a two-headed dragon; the gruff Cornwall, and the intellectual Devon, who are bullied by their fellow dragons as they cannot breathe fire or fly and they dream of a time where they could be separate, each believing the other is holding them back and they do not get along. They narrowly escape being attacked by other dragons and Ruber and his men; who have been melded with weapons thanks to a potion Ruber had bought. Thinking they lost them, Kayley will not remain quiet at a crucial moment and Garrett is injured by an arrow after discovering a giant has made off with Excalibur. Kayley manages to lose Ruber and his men and they flee to a cave where the magic of the forest heals Garrett's wounds. They make their way to the giant's cave and try to hypnotize the beast to sleep in order to steal the sword back. Ruber and his men arrive again and try to steal the sword back, but they trick the giant into falling on them and they get away with the sword.

Returning to the main road, Garrett insists that he will never be able to fit in with the normal world and returns to the forest. Kayley is captured by Ruber's men and Devon and Cornwall rush to tell Garrett. Kayley is held as insurance for safe passage into Camelot, but Kayley manages to warn them in time to rouse a defense. Meanwhile, Bladebeak; a chicken transfigured with the beak of an axe, turns on Ruber and begins to aid Julianne and Kayley while Ruber tracks Arthur in his throne room. Devon and Cornwall, finding that by working together they can fly and breathe fire, fend off the griffin and save Ayden from being killed. Kayley goes after Ruber and encounters him about to kill the injured Arthur with Excalibur; now bonded to his hand with the magic potion. Defiantly, and using the same words as her father, Kayley faces off against Ruber, and they find their way out to the courtyard where the Stone and Anvil that once held Excalibur are held. Garrett comes to Kayley's aid, and together they avoid Ruber's attack, causing the sword to be inserted back into its stone. The conflict of magic causes Ruber to evaporate into nothingness, leaving the sword whole in the stone. Bladebeak and Ruber's men return to normal and Devon and Cornwall are briefly separated before deciding they prefer being together after all. Arthur removes the sword, thanking Kayley and Garrett for their help.

Sometime later, Kayley and Garrett dance at an elegant ball at the castle. When they leave, they do so on a horse with the sign "Just Knighted" tied to them.

Cast[edit]

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

Production[edit]

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]

Animators[edit]

Promotion[edit]

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, The Fearless Four, Alien Resurrection, Titanic, and the re-release of The Little Mermaid. Kids WB did promo spots for the film in May 1998.

Reception[edit]

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, Quest for Camelot suggests that Disney still owns the artistic franchise on animated features."[12]

Soundtrack[edit]

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]

References[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. ^ "Quest for Camelot (1998) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. 
  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. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 15-17, 1998 - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. 
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 22-25, 1998 - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. 
  10. ^ Kronke, David (1998-04-15). "Quest for Camelot: Warner Bros.' Animated 'Camelot' Hits Formulaic Notes". South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com. 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. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F0CE0DF1330F936A25756C0A96E958260
  13. ^ Quest for Camelot at AllMusic

External links[edit]