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Justin lives in a kingdom where bureaucrats rule and knights have been ousted. His dream is to be become one of the Knights of Valour, like his grandfather was, but his father Reginald, the chief counsel to the Queen, wants his son to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer. After an inspiring visit to his beloved Grandmother and bidding farewell to his supposed lady-love Lara, Justin leaves home and embarks on a quest to become a knight. Along the way he meets the beautiful, feisty Talia, a quirky wizard called Melquiades, and the handsome Sir Clorex and is mentored by three monks; Blucher, Legantir and Braulio, who teach and test him in the ancient ways of the Knights of Valour. Whilst an unlikely candidate for knighthood, Justin must rise to the challenge quickly when banished former knight Sir Heraclio and his army, lead by Sota, return and threaten to destroy the Kingdom. Written by
The character "Sota" is inspired by one card of the Spanish deck, equivalent to the Jack in the international deck, from which Sota is given a very similar look. Also, the name of the villain, Heraclio, matches the best known publisher of card decks in Spain, Heraclio Fournier. See more »
Welcome to the kingdom of Gabilonia, once home to the bravest knights of all - but not anymore. Ever since knights were forced to leave the kingdom and justice officers took their place, we get a new law every day.
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Truth be told, I've never heard of this film before until I saw a trailer of it once. Then, sometimes later, when I was spending my five-day summer vacation with my cousins in New York this year, they had the whole movie for free and being a fan of the animation genre, I joined the group, watched it and... found it OK. Not exactly terrible or anything. It's a tad better than the trailer itself, but it's not as good as I hoped it would be.
The story did had some potential, but it has the same clichés we've seen before by other animated movies (a misfit who trains to become a hero, a villain who wants to rule the kingdom by force, a parent who forgets about the past and wants what's best for his son, you name it), the pacing is a bit sluggish, some of the characters aren't that interesting, the animation of the dragon looks like a crocodile than a real life dragon, and the writing is average at best.
That's all for the flaws. Now for the good stuff.
The voice cast is solid from Freddie Highmore, Mark Strong, James Cox, Rupert Everett, Antonio Banderas, Saoirse Ronan, and Alfred Molina. The main lead is likable, the side characters are fine, the love interest, while a bit forced, does have a sassy charm to her, and the villain is pretty good. The music score, while not the best I've heard, is pleasant enough and gives a medieval-feel to it; there are also two bits of funny moments. Aside from the design on the dragon, most of the animation is great with some nice backgrounds and some nice character designs with expressions.
That's all the stuff that I have to say about the film. It's not a good movie, but it's not horrible. I just wished it lived up to it's potential instead of falling to the same stuff we've seen before.
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