Quest for Camelot
Quest for Camelot (released in the United Kingdom as The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot) is a 1998 American animated musical fantasy film directed by Frederik Du Chau and based on the novel The King's Damosel by Vera Chapman. The film stars Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes, Jane Seymour, Gary Oldman, Eric Idle, Don Rickles, Pierce Brosnan, Bronson Pinchot, Jaleel White, Gabriel Byrne and Sir John Gielgud. Céline Dion, Bryan White, Steve Perry and Andrea Corr perform vocals. The film was released by Warner Bros. Pictures under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label on May 15, 1998.
|Quest for Camelot|
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
|Directed by||Frederik Du Chau|
The King's Damosel|
by Vera Chapman
|Music by||Patrick Doyle|
|Edited by||Stanford C. Allen|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$38.1 million|
Sir Lionel is one of the knights of the Round Table, and his daughter Kayley wants to be a knight like her father. At Camelot, one of the knights, Ruber - wanting to overthrow King Arthur - attempts to kill him, but Lionel intervenes and is killed. Ruber flees Camelot in exile after being rebounded by Arthur's sword Excalibur. During Lionel's funeral, Arthur tells Kayley and her mother, Juliana, that they will be welcomed should they come to Camelot.
A decade later, a griffin attacks Camelot, stealing Excalibur. Merlin's falcon Ayden attacks the griffin and the sword falls into the Forbidden Forest. Meanwhile, Ruber invades Kayley's home, holds everyone hostage and uses a potion he obtained from witches to create steel warriors from his human henchmen and a rooster, who becomes known as Bladebeak. He plans to use Juliana to gain entrance into Camelot.
After escaping and eavesdropping on Ruber and the Griffin's conversation, Kayley enters the Forbidden Forest where she encounters Garrett; a blind hermit, and Ayden. Kayley convinces him to help her find Excalibur and learns that Garrett was once a stable boy in Camelot, and was blinded by one of the horses that he was rescuing from a stable fire. Lionel still believed in Garrett, and taught him to adapt.
They enter Dragon Country and meet a comical two-headed dragon named Devon and Cornwall who do not like each other, cannot breathe fire or fly (the reason they are bullied by other dragons), and want to be two individual dragons instead of one two-headed dragon. Devon and Cornwall decide to join to the group; Garrett reluctantly agrees after Kayley manages to convince him.
Later, they found the belt of Excalibur in a giant footprint. Kayley's insistence of questioning Garrett causes him to miss Ayden's signal and is injured by one of Ruber's men. Kayley drags Garrett away as the thorn bushed creatures hold Ruber and his men captive, and escorts him into a small cave where the magic of the forest heals Garrett's wounds. While they are in the cave, Kayley and Garrett have a connection. The group goes into a giant cave where it lives an ogre who holds Excalibur; currently using it as a toothpick. Kayley succeeds in getting Excalibur and they escape before Ruber can get to it.
Exiting the forest with Excalibur, Garrett stays behind, feeling unwanted in Camelot. After he leaves, Ruber captures Kayley and takes Excalibur. Devon and Cornwall, who witnessed this, rush to Garrett convincing him to go save Kayley. By working together for the first time, Devon and Cornwall are able to fly and breathe fire. Meanwhile, Kayley is held captive in one of the wagons; Bladebeak releases Kayley from her ropes and Garrett comes to her aid and they enter the castle.
Inside, they find Ruber attempting to kill Arthur with Excalibur; now bonded to his arm with his magic potion. Kayley and Garrett intervene and trick Ruber into returning Excalibur to its stone, causing its magic to disintegrate Ruber and revert the mechanical men, including Bladebeak, back to normal. Later, with Camelot restored to its former glory, Kayley and Garrett become knights of the round table.
- Jessalyn Gilsig as Kayley
- Cary Elwes as Garrett
- Bryan White as Garrett (singing voice)
- Gary Oldman as Ruber
- Eric Idle as Devon
- Don Rickles as Cornwall
- Jane Seymour as Juliana
- Celine Dion as Juliana (singing voice)
- Pierce Brosnan as King Arthur
- Steve Perry as King Arthur (singing voice)
- Bronson Pinchot as Griffin
- Jaleel White as Bladebeak
- Gabriel Byrne as Lionel
- Sir John Gielgud as Merlin
- Frank Welker as Ayden
In May 1995, The Quest for the Grail was Warner Bros. Feature Animation's first announced project. Bill Kroyer and Frederik Du Chau were announced as the directors, with Sue Kroyer serving as co-producer. The initial story centered around Susannah who embarks on a dangerous quest for the Holy Grail to save her sister from a ruthless and powerful knight. The film was put into production before the story was finalized, but during the fall of 1995, animators were re-assigned to finish Space Jam. Meanwhile, in April 1996, Christopher Reeve was cast as King Arthur. During the interim, several story changes were made that resulted in creative differences between the Kroyers and the studio management, which forced the team to leave the project in February 1997. Du Chau eventually replaced Kroyer as director while Reeve was replaced by Pierce Brosnan when he became unavailable to record new dialogue.:217
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.":218 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.":218
Reportedly, "cost overruns and production nightmares" led the studio to "reconsider their commitment to feature animation." 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.
The film was mainly animated at the main Warner Bros. Feature Animation facility located in Glendale, California and London, England. In January 1996, the London animation studio was opened where more than 50 animators were expected to animate 20 minutes of animation, which would be sent back to Glendale to be inked-and-painted. Additional studios that worked on the film included Yowza! Animation in Toronto, Ontario, where they assisted in clean-up animation, Heart of Texas Productions in Austin, and A. Film A/S in Copenhagen where, along with London, about a quarter of the film was animated overseas.:218 The supervising animators were Athanassios Vakalis for Kayley, Chrystal Klabunde for Garrett, Cynthia Overman for Juliana, Alexander Williams for Ruber, Dan Wagner for Devon and Cornwall, Stephen Franck for the Griffin and Bladebeak, and Mike Nguyen for Ayden.
|Quest for Camelot: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||May 5, 1998|
|Singles from Quest for Camelot: Music from the Motion Picture|
On January 31, 1996, Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster were attached to compose several songs for the film. 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).
On the soundtrack, "The Prayer" was performed separately by Celine Dion in English, and by Andrea Bocelli in Italian. The now better-known Dion-Bocelli duet in both languages first appeared in October 1998 on Dion's Christmas album These Are Special Times; it was also released as a single in March 1999 and on Bocelli's album Sogno in April 1999.
|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|
|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" (in Italian)||Andrea Bocelli||4:09|
The film was accompanied with a promotional campaign with promotional licensees including Wendy's and Kenner Products. It also partnered with Scholastic to produce children's books based on the film.
Quest for Camelot was released on VHS and DVD by Warner Home Video on October 13, 1998. The VHS tape includes a teaser trailer for Warner Bros. and Morgan Creek Productions' The King and I, while the DVD included several making-of documentaries with interviews of the filmmakers and cast and a music video of "I Stand Alone". To help promote the home video release of the film, Warner Bros. partnered with Act II, American Express, Best Western, CoinStar, Continental Airlines, Smucker's and UNICEF, which advertise its trick-or-treat donation boxes before Halloween arrived. Also included inside every videocassette are a free "Devon & Cornwall" pendant offer, a free main-in offer for a 14-inch "Devon & Cornwall" plush toy, and a Warner Bros. 75th anniversary booklet with over $150 (or in some cases $65) in valuable savings and special offers. Currently, a Blu-ray version of the film has yet to be announced.
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." Critical of the story, animation, characters, and music, James Berardinelli of ReelViews claimed the film was "dull, uninspired, and, worst of all, characterized by artwork that could charitably be called 'unimpressive.'" Stephen Holden of 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." 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.
Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle opined the film is "a spirited adventure with generous romantic and comic charms" that "aims to please a range of ages, with loopy gags, corny romance, an oversized villain and catchy tunes performed by Celine Dion and LeAnn Rimes, among others."
It grossed $6,041,602 on its opening weekend ranking third behind The Horse Whisperer and Deep Impact. The film ultimately grossed $22,510,798 during its theatrical run in North America. Cumulatively, the film grossed $38,172,500 worldwide. The studio lost about $40 million on the film.
Award and nominationsEdit
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
Prior to the release of the film Warner Bros. had plans to make a stage adaptation of the film that would travel around to different renaissance fairs, as well as to be performed at Six Flags parks. The shows was designed by SLG Design & Creative Talent and Steve Gilliam  The touring aspect of the project was cancelled due to poor box office performance. But an evening firework show did debut in 1998 at Six Flags Great Adventure themed to the film, and ran until 2000.
The video game was released in 1998 for Game Boy Color.
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- "THE MAGIC SWORD - QUEST FOR CAMELOT (U)". Warner Bros. British Board of Film Classification. May 27, 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- "Quest for Camelot (1998)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- Berman, Art (May 26, 1995). "Movies: Warners Does a Disney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Christopher Reeve signed to provide character voice for Warner Bros. Feature Animation's The Quest For Camelot" (Press release). TheFreeLibrary.com. Business Wire. April 1, 1996. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Mallory, Michael (November 17, 1997). "Warner Bros. searches for boxoffice grail". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1556525919.
- 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.
- "Warner to open London animation studio" (Press release). Burbank, California. United Press International. January 5, 1996. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "Durham College and Yowza Digital Inc. announce research agreement to create new transmedia production process". Durham College. August 19, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- Solomon, Charles (August 3, 1997). "Drawing on Talent Overseas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Quest for Camelot: About The Production". Film Scouts. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Quest for Camelot. Special Features: The Animation Process (text) (DVD)
|url=(help). Warner Home Video. 1998.
- Quest for Camelot at AllMusic
- "Sager Gets Animated About 'Camelot' Production" (Fee required). Los Angeles Daily News. January 31, 1996. Retrieved September 8, 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- Johnson, Ted (January 28, 1997). "'Camelot' put off by WB to '98". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Szadkowski, Joseph (March 1, 1998). "Toy Fair: A Flood of Animated Toys". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Partnership Launches with Scholastic's Quest for Camelot Publishing Program" (Press release). Time Warner. Time Warner. January 21, 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- ""Quest for Camelot" -- Animated Feature Film From Warner Bros. Family Entertainment Arrives On Home Video Oct. 13; First-Ever Fully Animated Theatrical DVD Release" (Press release). TheFreeLibrary.com. Business Wire. October 13, 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Quest For Camelot (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Kronke, David (May 15, 1998). "Warner Bros.' Animated 'Camelot' Hits Formulaic Notes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Berardinelli, James. "The Quest for Camelot". ReelViews. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Holden, Stephen (May 15, 1998). "Quest for Camelot (1998) FILM REVIEW; Adventures of Some Square Pegs at the Round Table". The New York Times.
- Harty, Kevin J. (2002). Kevin J. Harty, ed. Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays. McFarland & Company. p. 26. ISBN 0-7864-1344-1.
- Stack, Peter (May 15, 1998). "A Charming `Quest' / Animated legend finds right mix of adventure, romance". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Welkos, Richard (May 19, 1998). "Audiences Still Flocking to 'Impact'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Quest for Camelot (1998)". Box Office Mojo.
- Bates, James; Eller, Claudia (June 24, 1999). "Animators' Days of Drawing Big Salaries Are Ending". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-05.