The King And I

Garish, animated junk. Not even the scattered remains of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score helps make any of this depressingly careless adaptation of the classic musical worth watching. Anna Leonowens (voiced by Miranda Richardson), a strong-willed Victorian governess, is invited to Siam in order to bring Western-style education to the many children...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Garish, animated junk. Not even the scattered remains of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score helps make any of this depressingly careless adaptation of the classic musical worth watching. Anna Leonowens (voiced by Miranda Richardson), a strong-willed

Victorian governess, is invited to Siam in order to bring Western-style education to the many children of the Royal Family of the King of Siam. Anna is appalled by what she sees as repressive Siamese social traditions and is soon butting heads with the stubborn but charismatic King (Martin

Vidnovic), a man whose interest in science and culture is undermined by an even greater interest in maintaining the status quo. Revolution, however, is in the air as Anna allows the children to leave the palace and mingle with the common folk, and the young Crown Prince (Alan Hong) falls in

forbidden love with a Burmese slave girl, Tuptim (Armi Arabe). The rest of the familiar story is jettisoned in favor of a ridiculous adventure involving the evil Prime Minister Kralahome (Ian Richardson) and his rotund, buck-toothed side-kick Master Little (Darrell Hammond). At a time when studios

like DreamWorks and Disney pull out all the stops for such jewels as THE PRINCE OF EGYPT and the splendid MULAN, it's surprising that Warner Bros. would dare offer such a cheap-looking botch job under their auspicious imprimatur. The famous score has been mercilessly abbreviated (what survives is

smothered beneath ponderous arrangements), and the hideously colored animation looks more like a series of badly edited rough sketches. But nowhere is the film's carelessness more glaring that in its regrettable racial stereotyping: This dragon-filled Siam is so foreign it's actually enshrouded in

a thick yellow fog, and its inhabitants appear to be no more human than FANTASIA 's dancing mushrooms.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: G
  • Review: Garish, animated junk. Not even the scattered remains of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score helps make any of this depressingly careless adaptation of the classic musical worth watching. Anna Leonowens (voiced by Miranda Richardson), a strong-willed… (more)

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