A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) Poster

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Entertaining and fun.
Travis_Moran8 May 2005
Hey, this is a kids' movie and a good one. I like time travel movies a lot especially when the traveller takes stuff with him (like inlines).

There a couple of real cool parts that I think stand out to make this movie appealing. The wooden bicycle is awesome even if it didn't last very long. The kid taking the knight's place in the jousting near the end was predictable but satisfying. And King Arthur and the princess coming to the future at the end made for a good windup.

Now I watch movies like this for pure enjoyment and never (on purpose) look at technicalities. I've spoiled several movies for myself that way. This is one of those movies that probably won't stand up to dissection very well. But, it made me laugh and it gave me a feel-good ending so I feel it did its job. People seem to dis a lot on predictability in movies, but if it works, why not use it. I like a nice happy ending. Movies are something I watch for pure enjoyment anyway. If I want reality, I watch the news.

This kid did two time travel movies that I know of (this one and "A Kid in Aladdin's Palace." I liked em both. Another nice time travel movie for kids was "Durango Kids".

This movie was in no way original as there have been a whole lot of movies based on "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Still, it had enough unique parts to make it worthwhile. Most kids should like this one.
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Dissect and find more than the obvious
AskewNerd2 April 2005
It sounds stupid to try and dissect a film like this that was made for pure amusement of children and families alike. But, it's not at all unreasonable. Sure it's quirky, stupid, and laughable. But, the manufactured King Arthur's Court supplies the setting for a young man's triumph over his battle with his own self esteem and lack of dignity. In an our era where we would call Calvin (Nichols) a geek, dweeb, etc. But, when he is transformed into another world where he is feared, respected, and set on a high honor for his vi rage of instruments, (Rollerblades, Mad Dog Bubblegum, Rock N Roll) and his curious language (cool is hot?). But, in the end he comes to grips with reality, and with himself. He comes to realize that he is more than what people may think of him. He gains courage and self respect. Now, even if that is done in a pop culture/bubble gum sort of way, it should be respected.

Plus Kate Winslet looks just as hot now as she did ten years ago.
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Charming blend of fantasy and comedy with a message
BrandtSponseller11 April 2005
Calvin Fuller (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a young teen from Reseda, California whose biggest problem is that he's lacking confidence. We join him as he's the next batter in a crucial baseball game. The pressure is on. He strikes out without even trying. An earthquake strikes as he's despondently walking back to the dugout, which isn't surprising for Northern California. Suddenly, Army of Darkness (1993)-style, Calvin "falls" to Arthurian England wearing his baseball uniform and his backpack. It seems that Merlin has pulled Calvin back through time "by mistake", perhaps misled by Calvin's clothing--his team is called the "Knights". Merlin was seeking help to vanquish a renegade courtier, Lord Belasco (Art Malik), who desires to wed Arthur's daughter Sarah (Kate Winslet) and take over Camelot for ill purposes. Will Calvin be able to help Merlin anyway, even though he's just a kid with low self-esteem?

The basic idea of the film is a modernization of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which was originally published in 1889 (why didn't they have Calvin be from Connecticut and name his team The Yankees? The "mistake" and delivery device could have been rewritten). There are also relations and references to the number of film versions that have been made of Twain's book over the years (including 1921, 1931, 1949, 1955, 1978 (A Bugs Bunny version), 1979 (The Spaceman and King Arthur), 1989 and even another 1995), a few other Arthurian films, such as The Black Knight (1954) and Siege of the Saxons (1963), and even F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (originally published in 1925), from which comes A Kid in King Arthur's Court's villain's name, "Belasco", which Fitzgerald meant as a reference to turn of the century playwright David Belasco; Fitzgerald used the name metaphorically to mean something like "illusionist" with a strong sense of "fakery" or "fraud".

This Disney version is quite a pleasant take on the tale. It's a funny but also surprisingly serious fantasy, with an appeal to families and a good message for kids. It helps to go into the film with limited preconceptions/expectations, as the film's tone takes many twists and turns.

Of course it's especially important to not expect non-fiction. Not a few reviewers have complained about the plausibility of certain scenes in Arthurian England, one saying that "Disney underestimated the intelligence of its audience" by showing implausible reactions on the part of the residents of Camelot to Calvin Fuller, and taking little care in making the historical setting more authentic (never mind that their notions of historical fact seem to be based on other fiction films rather than any historical research).

I'm afraid that we'd be severely overestimating the intelligence of at least that section of the audience if we expect them comprehend that the film isn't intended as a documentary on Arthurian England, nor is it intended as a sociological dissertation on what would likely happen given such a clash of these particular cultures. It remains a mystery why it wouldn't strike the parties in question that perhaps the entire film is a daydream of Calvin's while he's waiting on the bench and as such would be far from accurate in its portrayal of Arthurian England. At least the film isn't intended as "realistic". However we interpret the visual information we're given, fantasy is surely intended. After all, the film literally concerns a teenaged boy traveling 1500 years or so (King Arthur is usually placed around the latter half of the 5th to the first half of the 6th Centuries) back in time through a crevice left in the wake of an earthquake. Did someone think that was plausible? That's a fairly large clue that you should switch your interpretational mode to "fantasy".

Like the other versions of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the novelty is the cultural clash. Calvin wows his historical audience with his strange dress, speech, behavior and most concretely, the technological gadgets he brings along. He arrives as King Arthur's men are pursuing the Black Knight, falling right on top of the fugitive so that he acquires the box the Black Knight was riding off with, saving the day. Shortly afterward, Calvin is taken to Camelot, where Belasco challenges him, asking him to choose his weapon. Calvin says, "combat rock" and pulls a CD player out of his backpack, which he ingeniously connects to a couple horns as earphone amplifiers, shocking and awing the crowd with blaring heavy metal. Later, items such as candy, bubble gum and a Swiss army knife prove fortuitous.

But the most important character arc is a developmental one. In Arthurian England, Calvin's self-consciousness isn't interpreted negatively. To Camelot's residents he is merely a strange foreigner acting with decorum--if he's even not threatening. The King's younger daughter, Katherine (Paloma Baeza) takes an almost immediate shine to him, which is important as Calvin is just at the age where he's strongly interested in girls. Even if he's not physically adept, he is clever, as demonstrated with the CD player gag. He further employs his ingenuity to instruct the royal blacksmith in making first a pair of roller blades, then later a "mountain bike", both of which serve important purposes. While at court, he's also giving knight training, which improves his physical abilities. Eventually, Calvin reaches his potential and sheds his self-doubt, fueling the climax and providing a denouement that is a Zen-like "return to the market" (from the oxherding parable), where Calvin proves successful and appreciated in his native environment.

This is an important message of confidence, not only for kids, but for adults, too. The point isn't the historical drama, although that's a lot of fun even if it's more like a medieval section of Disney World than 6th Century England. The point, at least in this particular instantiation of A Connecticut Yankee, is the removal of conceptual/environmental ruts that get in the way of self-actualization.
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Merlin's Reds
tedg26 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

The magic of the legend is that it is presented through the prism of Merlin's magic. It is the English thread of self-referential literature that balances the Spanish Don Quixote. In this thread, the teller is a magician and all of the "reality" we see is fabricated as the illusion, some of which sometimes exceeds the control of the teller.

Disney on the other hand is the great flattener, someone who squeezes all the subtleties and depth out of a story in order to appear to the lowbrow as lowbrow.

In between, we have the illustrious Mark Twain. I say Illustrious because his talent was in taking all sorts of literary devices and recasting them as scenes that have commonplace reality.

Here we have the magic of the legend (and the very root of English narrative) transformed into American vision by Twain and then flattened to cartoon by Walt's zombies. It is interesting if for no other reason than as a lesson in how the narrative form gets shaped.

But for me, there are two other features. This has Kate Winslet as the focus. She had just done "Heavenly Creatures," a project based on exposing the plastic nature of film reality. With that, she started a brilliant career. After this, she would be introduced to Americans through "Sense and Sensibilities" which tackles to other side of invented reality. Here, she figures in a odd way as the manipulator of events.

The other notable thing is the influence of Disney's fabled Character Lab. This is the lab that is -- among other things -- reinventing what it means to see redheads. Every female in this is a redhead of some sort: Calvin's Mom and sister: his girlfriend and HER sister (Kate).

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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A fairly awkward family adventure film
Electrified_Voltage9 February 2008
I remember seeing the trailer for this film back in 1995, when I was just under nine years old, and was interested in seeing it for a while, but never did for some reason. I guess I forgot about it after a while, and didn't think about it for a long time. Well, it's been over a decade now, and I've finally seen it, not that it was really worth it. I probably would have liked it to some degree back when it was released, whether in theatres or in stores, but unfortunately, it's too late for me now.

Calvin Fuller is a fourteen-year-old baseball player who lives in Reseda, California. One day, while up at bat during a game in the park and not doing so well, an earthquake hits! Calvin falls down a chasm in the ground, and after long fall, he finds himself in an unfamiliar place! It turns out he has been pulled back in time to the mythical Camelot! The now elderly King Arthur is losing his power, and the evil Lord Belasco is determined to to take over the throne, so the kingdom is in danger! The 20th Century baseball player doesn't know at first that he is here because Merlin has called for a worthy fighter from another time to save the kingdom, but was Calvin really the one he was looking for?!

Around the beginning of the film, before the earthquake, I already noticed some cheesiness, especially with Calvin's younger sister razzing him by saying if he dies, she will get his room. Secondly, I don't think I have EVER seen a movie rush into the story so quickly! "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" certainly doesn't take much time to introduce the main character and his life at all. After that, more problems definitely follow, including some rather cheesy quotes and/or scenes. Also, this movie is supposed to be a comedy, but nothing made me laugh or even smile! Now, there may be some reasonable moments in the film, and I would be lying if I said I never felt any suspense throughout. It definitely could have been worse. However, it is still a fairly unfocused family movie overall, and I MIGHT be able to give it a 6/10, but no higher.

"A Kid in King Arthur's Court" was aimed at kids, and since I was in my childhood when it came out, I'm obviously not anymore. If it wasn't for my interest in seeing it all those years ago, I highly doubt I would have ever ended up seeing it at all. Watching it in my childhood may have been a missed opportunity for me. Since I see a fairly low IMDb rating for this live action Disney fantasy, but one that doesn't suggest that it's generally considered abysmal, I'm sure many kids would enjoy it, and maybe their parents as well. However, if you don't fall into either of those categories, I suggest you skip this movie and watch a more widely appealing fantasy film (if you're into that kind of thing).
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Bearable; sends a positive message; funny
mathhater4life30 December 2001
I've owned this movie on video for quite sometime. Unlike some other Disney disasters from the nineties, this one does a suitable job. Its funny (if not always historically accurate; there was no King Arthur) and the actor who plays calvin is so clueless you gotta love him. Thumbs up to the boy toy. Very cute. Warm.
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Good adaptation of Mark Twain's story
MR_Maxx8 August 1999
I just finished watching this as a Sunday night Disney movie on TV. I found this to be a pretty faithful to the IDEA of Mark Twain's original story. Granted it didn't even TRY to follow the original plot, however I don't think that was ever the intention.

Taking it as a new work, based on the theme of the original, and not as an adaptation of the original, I think this was well done, and the identity of the black knight SHOULD have been obvious, but it took me by complete surprise.

Kate Winslet does a very good job as the Princess, and Patrick Macnee does an excellent job as Merlin.

All in all a very enjoyable FAMILY movie with no bloody violence and not a single bad word that I can recall.
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Shockingly awful
Stephanie K9 November 2001
I watched this movie during the school holidays at my grandparents, solely for the reason that it had the very cool Ron Moody in it. Poor guy. He must have been desperate to star in this shocker of a movie. The only reason I finished watching this was so I didn't have to talk to my grandparents. I mean, honestly, you'd think that the producers would just be a little bit more worried about setting the medieval scene as opposed to having modern day attitudes with some cheap old costumes thrown in. When that kid played his music to the court, anyone who knows any vague something about that period would know that they probably would have KILLED him, thinking he was the devil or something. Plus the fact that women were allowed to fight, to talk to young men alone, to marry who they wanted to... I know this is meant to be a kids movie, but Disney has really underestimated the intelligence of the younger generation with this shocker. It's a miracle Kate Winslet became a star after this.
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The Vidiot Reviews....
capone66628 May 2018
A Kid in King Arthur's Court

Children make the best time travelers because no one believes the crazy things they say.

However, the fish-out-of-water in this family movie is wearing a modern baseball uniform.

Little leaguer Calvin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is thrust back to medieval times when an earthquake causes a chasm to open up on the baseball diamond and swallow him up. While in the dark ages, the regularly overlooked Calvin becomes the star of King Arthur's court. But if Calvin hopes to return to his time he must keep Lord Belasco from usurping Arthur.

Besides pre-celebrity cameos from Kate Winslet and Daniel Craig, Disney's 1995 re-imagining of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court doesn't have much else to offer viewers. Moreover, the customary frivolity of time travel feels perfunctory, even for a goofy kids' movie.

Incidentally, things get real when the shortstop shows the Knights of the Round Table how to dope. Yellow Light

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if only...
tieu_yeu_nu_1231 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
if Kate Winslet wasn't in this film i would have never bothered with it.

the main kid Kevin is such a loser with the softest voice i wonder how anyone can ever imagine him being a threat.

Princess Katey has a horrible accent, not to mention they ruined her character.

the only good thing about this film is Kate Winslet, Daniel Craig and Ark Milk. and if only the story was focus on them and their almost love triangle, it would score much higher.

Kate Winslet looks every inch the princess and is obviously the best fighter in the film, and the most useful character.

Daniel Craig has a head full of blonde hair and a British accent. nuff said.
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Kate Winslet at her hottest!
mr_twist9 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
If you get your kicks from medieval, lesbianic sex than this is not the movie for you. Princess Katey is plenty cute, but this is the hottest you'll see Kate Winslet: when she was young and fresh, before her state of perpetual pregeancy.


Calvin Fuller is your average Californian teen, who just can't catch a break. After another dissapointing baseball game, the Big One hits California. As all the spectators and players run for their lives, Kevin runs back into the dugout to get his backpack. The ground opens up, and Kevin plummets into a neverending hole, retaining miraculous composure considering his situation. He lands in King Arthur's Court and quickly adapts to his new surroundings. Rather than wondering, "Where the hell am I?" his mind is peoccupied with thoughts such as "Who is the Black Knight?", and "Where is the bathroom?" Soon Kevin must contend with evildoers within the kingdom to win the affection of the woman he loves. A hilarious fish out of water movie, "Kid in King Arthur's Court" is well worth your time and all of your money. Run down to your local rental store and 'joust' rent "A Kid in King Arthur's Court", for a 'knight' of medieval fun!
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fantasy too off base
nowhozdisiz10 November 2003
I thought this movie was cute when I was about 10, but now that I look at it i realize how stupid the whole thing is. there is not an educated person alive that can honestly say that they could walk back into the middle ages and save an entire kingdom all by themselves, theyd get there ass kicked. First of all, if this kid managed to survive the first 5 minutes without getting an arrow put through him or beheaded by a broadsword, and he managed to avoid being taken prisoner and made a gay soliders plaything, he would most likely die of many diseases that his body wasn't accustomed to. Also, even you do have a magical place to plug in a stereo you play rock and roll for guards at a middle age castle, youll be labled as a heritic and executed. but dying aside, the middle ages just werent that cool, disease and warfare were everywhere, people lived in disgusting conditions that even mother theresa would run away from, and there was no place for the weak, you either fought or you died and if you werent tough, you were probably killed. But enough about that, what i have to say is for young kids that enjoy the "kids outsmarting the stupid grownups" genre, like home alone (that ones off the hook though, still entertains me even at 19 and will continue to) go see it, but for older people that know what the middle ages were really like, dont bother.

If you want a closer to real life version of what a person time traveling would be like, read the scottish highlander book series (highlander, the fiery cross, etc) or listen to the recorded books tape or cd
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A sad excuse for a movie, plot wise, but the acting was okay, with a few exceptions.
krazykutie3181 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A Kid in King Authurs Court is just about the worst Disney movie I have ever seen. The plot was fairly predictable, except for Princess Sarah being the black knight. I mean, come on, a Disney movie where the princess doens't marry her true love? Puh-lease! The acting was okay, Thomas Ian Nicholas was okay, but seemed to be there mostly for eye candy. I thought Paloma Baeza did a good job as princess katy, but wasn't as fantastic as I think she could be in other roles. Kate Winslet, as usual, did completely fantastic as Princess Sarah, as in all her other roles, she added a lot to the movie. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't even have watched the movie anyways. Art Malik was quite good as Lord Belasco, and Ron Moody was a great choice for Merlin. So, mostly good acting, but a not so story.
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It's a good movie !!!
johnng454 December 2002
I spent my time on this movie when the last Christmas began,I felt it was good,but the story was weak....it's a good movie for kids :-) Ian thomas nicholas was funny !! He made lots of funny things on the movie !!!! And Arthur the king was nice !!! Joss was a good actor !!I'm gonna buy the next part of this movie. If people don't too serious on Kid movies, they could have a lot of fun ! Watch it with your family !!!
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A good movie for kids who seem to have seen everything new!
famteachers24 May 2006
This movie is best for 9-14 year old kids. I use it in my middle school history class to see what life was like in the middle ages. If your looking for a movie for adults, or an accurate version of the King Arthur story, this is NOT the movie for you. This is a great movie, very funny! The Jokes are timeless and the story is cute. Even boys who can't stand "history" movies like this because of it's jousting and swordplay scenes. It is an adventure without being grotesque or scary. The girls like the underlying love story. I have shown this movie to over 400 students and they all had positive comments about it. These days it is hard to interest kids without video games or swear words. This gets the job done.
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Kate Winslet in a Disney movie!
Sherazade19 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
sounds good right? Hmmm! If only it weren't the cheesiest of all Disney movies you would ever hope to see. I'm sure this film dropped off of her casting call resume years ago! She plays Princess Sarah, daughter of an ailing King who is being pressured to give her hand away in marriage. But like many of Winslet's characters, Sarah is headstrong and refuses to marry for anything less than love. Okay, you're reading this and wondering, wow! cool right? Well, it would have been perfect if the film were about Princess Sarah's love troubles but it's not. Kate's part is actually a supporting-supporting role and a side story. The main story is the story of a boy called Kevin, in present day California, who gets hit on the head by a fly ball during baseball practice and wakes up in the age of King Arthur. No, I am not making this up. You will have to see the film to verify. It's cheesy but watchable and carries several good messages within its many sub-plots.
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