The King and I Picture image

The King and I

Sometimes a movie comes along and it makes you just ask yourself why? The 1999 animated movie version of The King & I is one such movie. It was made by Warner’s Brother in associated with Morgan Creek, Nest (our friends from The Swan Princess) and my old nemesis Rankin/Bass. This movie is based or rather somewhat based on the Roger Hammerstein musical “The King and I” which in turn was based on a novel by Margaret Landon called Anna and the King which was in turn was based off of Anna Leonowens’ memoirs which were over-extragted about her life, teaching the children of King Mongkut of Siam.

Now I don’t know much about the King and I or Thailand’s history but I do know that Thailand was never colonized because of the reforms of modernization undertaken by Mongkut a.k.a Rama IV and Rama V.

I have also seen The Legend of Suriyothai which is a movie about Suriyothai, one of Thailand’s most famous and beloved Queens. The movie was financed by Queen Sirikit, directed by a member of the Royal family and stars a minor royal and a pop star. But enough of that tangent and my clear stalling, let’s talk about The King and I.

Anna and the King about to get their dance on The King and I Picture image

Anna and the King about to get their dance on

Unlike other movies that just introduce characters and situations this one make the bold decision not to. The king’s advisor dude, The Kralahome wants to be king because all bad guys want to rule for no reason. He spies on Anna on route to Siam with  her son and thinks “I can use this lady to dethrone the king.” So what does he do? Sends a dragon with his BS illusion magic that is never explained to I think scare her, not sure what his plan is. Then Anna sings her whistling song and the dragon either finds the whistling or uptempo singing disagreeable and peaces out.

Anna docks and her son gets to keep a monkey whose name is Mushi, or Mochi, or Munchi, I couldn’t understand the kid and who cares (it seems to be Moonchee and I still don’t care). Anywho Kralahome and his overly offensive minion Master Little welcomes Anna and tells her she isn’t going to live in a house like she was promised which get Anna’s panties all in a knot. There is also a lame running gag where Master Little looses his teeth, charming.

Anna speaks to the King who getting a present from Burma, a girl named Tuptim who can read, OMG Shocks! Then Kralahome then decides to try and kill Anna’s son, Louis because the King will get blamed for it. Huh? What? How do you figure that? Kralahome is a massive dum-dum. That plan by Kralahome fails too like the dragon. But whatever his lame plans pads out the running time.

Then we see Tuptim meeting her cute sidekick, a little Elephant named Tusker and then she meets the crown prince, Chulalongkorn and voila they’re in love because they’re attractive, meh they’re teens.

Then Anna meets the nameless kids of the king and that pads out the running time for a little bit. Then Anna starts teaching and takes them outside the palace sings the getting to know you song while Mater Little and the Monkey cause antics, I really can’t remember why, probably another Kralahome master plan of dumbness.

Then Kralahome sends a letter to the Bristish saying that Anna is being treated badly and the King is a barbarian. The letter plan works as the Bristish officer heads to Siam to dethrone him. Yeah that is just dumb.

Kralahome then sends killer statues while the King sing-prays to Buddha but the King’s panther, Rama (everyone has pet/sidekick) defeats them before the King notices by roaring. I don’t get what Kralahome’s plan is.

Then the British come and Anna convinces the King to put on a banquest because the Bristish like dinner parties, but if Downton Abbey has taught me anything that is where the real fighting is really done.

Master Little learns that the crown Prince gave the royal pendent to Tuptim so Kralahome uses that info to goat the king into being a meanie pants at the banquet because when he learns this he wants to whip Tuptim to death but then decides to send her back to Burma which is also death. The Crown Prince and Tuptim run off. Kralohome decides that this is a good opertunity to kill the king or something but when that plan fails he just decides to use firworks (a la Mulan) to kill him. It doesn’t work so Kralahome is sentenced to clean up the sacred white elephant shit, The crown prince gets to marry Tuptim and Anna gets her house. I was just so happy when it was over.

The sidekicks The King and I Picture image

The sidekicks

One of the main problem with this anus of movie is that in order to make it friendly for kids they threw in sidekicks everywhere. These sidekicks come at the expense of the characters who are really there so that the production didn’t have to think to hard. The story, characters and songs were already established but the additions of the sidekicks just steamrolls over that.

The getting to know you sequence is a great example, the movie has Anna and the kids singing it but the focuses is on Master Little and that Monkey. After a while I just tuned it out as a coping mechanism.

The King's kids The King and I Picture image

The King’s kids

So we don’t get interesting or compelling characters in this, hell Disney Sequels have more interesting and compelling characters, at least Madeline in the hunchback sequel got more of a characterization then any character in this movie. The King wants technology and tradition, Anna wants a house, The prince and Tuptim want to get married and Kralahome just wants power. What is it with advisors wanting power?

Speaking of Kralohome, what the fuck? This guy is like Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. Like Cersei, Kralahome thinks he is like a genius and a master tactician but he is really just an idiot. On what planet do you think a King will get blamed for the death of a boy when your fucking minion is the last one seen with him? There so much fail with Kralohome, I would feel embarrassed for him, if I cared.

Tuptim The King and I Picture image


I have already mention Tuptim, who I would assume is the token Princess-like character. Tuptim was given to the king from Burma. She can read but never seems to want to read, that would have made her interesting. Instead she is in love with the Prince and whines about being a servant, never mind she is a stranger in a strange place no instead she has a elephant. See what I mean about the characters having next to no personality.

The King and Rama the panther with stupid CG killer Statues The King and I Picture image

The King and Rama the panther with stupid CG killer Statues

Seeing as the songs where not original to the movie, I’m not going to talk about them but they are fine on the whole, I guess. To be honest half the songs don’t bother to focus on the singer or the subject matter so if the movie doesn’t care why should I?

The animation on the other hand is a train-wreak. It’s bad in the sense that it’s trying really, really hard to be good which makes it bad. It’s not even bad in that special bad way, it just off-putting. The dialogue is also really off-putting with it’s on and off again broken English.

Kralahome with Master Little The King and I Picture image

Kralahome with Master Little

The King and I is just a lame-duck of movie. It has nothing going to for it, I found the coldness in my feet far more entertaining than this puke of movie. One final piece of trivia, this movie made the Roger and Hammerstein estate have a no animated movie stance on any their musicals in the future, Good Job movie commend your lameness.

The Last Unicorn picture image

The Last Unicorn

I have been aware of  The Last Unicorn for many years but till now I had not seen it or knew anything about it. Heck, I thought it was an anime since the most exposure I had to it was cosplayers and the 80’s was a weird time for anime imports.

The Last Unicorn is actually a 1982 American movie done by my old nemesis Rankin/Bass Productions with Japanese animation and it’s a weird movie, very weird.

The Unicorn and Schmendrick The Last Unicorn picture image

The Unicorn and Schmendrick

The plot goes is a unicorn hears that she is the last one of her kind. She learns that a Red Bull herded the unicorns to the ends of the Earth. She decides to leave her enchanted forest to find them. She then get kidnapped by Mommy Fortuna and is put on display at a carnival. The carnival boosts that it has mythological animals however aside from herself and an immortal harpy the attractions are just illusions.

The Unicorn is helped by Schmendrick, an incompetent magician who works for Mommy Fortuna. Schmendrick frees the unicorn and the other animals and the harp kills Mommy Fortuna, it’s ok though because literally Fortuna is asking to be eaten by the harpy, bitch is crazy. We then learn that unicorn being immortal creatures are not capable of love or regret. We also learn that the Red bull maybe a servant of a jerk-face King named Haggard. Schmendrick and the unicorn are then kidnapped by thieves and they pick up another companion Molly, a woman who loves Unicorns.

As they near Haggard’s castle, the Unicorn is assaulted by the Red Bull, Schmendrick uses magic to help and turns her into a human. The party heads to Haggard’s castle and  Schmendrick names the unicorn Lady Amalthea. They meet the King and his son Lir. Lir becomes infatuated with Amalthea but she is confused because of her mortal body but she think she is falling in love and  abandoning her quest.

Haggard tells her that the Unicorns are all in the sea and kept there by the Red Bull. Molly learns the location of the Red Bull’s den. In there Schmendrick tells Lir about Amalthea’s identity and Lir is unswayed, he still loves her. In the end Amalthea is transformed back to a unicorn and she pushes the Red Bull into the sea, the unicorn come back to the land and Haggard’s castle crumbles and he falls into the sea and our fair former Last Unicorn is the only unicorn to know love and regret.

The Unicorn and Mommy Fortuna The Last Unicorn picture image

The Unicorn and Mommy Fortuna

Not going to lie, I enjoyed this movie but it has some issues. Unlike some other movies this one doesn’t feel like it is insulting your intelligence but on the flip side, I think it’s trying way too hard to be smart and thoughtful.

In many ways, it is a nice intelligent tale of identity and love but in many more ways it’s very convoluted like the part with Harpy. It was interesting that Unicorns and Harpies are two sides of the same coin but nothing more was done with that idea and the whole scene with Fortuna’s death or those who can see unicorn are those who seek them out are never fleshed out.

Things are talked about but not really explain because of the overall quest to find the unicorns which in it of itself is quick. I mean they meet with few obstacles on their quests.

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn's Human Form The Last Unicorn picture image

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn’s Human Form

The characters are both interesting and very flat. Let’s just take our main character the Unicorn a.k.a Lady Amalthea. Her motivation is to find out what happened to the other unicorns, admirable, although she seems to really only want to prove those two random guys at the start of the movie wrong.

Outside her identity crisis, she doesn’t have much of a character, which I think is the point as part of her noble immortal persona and that would have worked if the rest of the character had personalities. Schmendrick sort of has one but it’s bland.

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn's Human Form The Last Unicorn picture image

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn’s Human Form

Speaking of bland, the songs and animation are quite bland. There are some cool shots and interesting designs but on the whole it’s bland. The songs are nice but forgettable. Though Amalthea’s song about being a woman was a little silly in it’s unintentional subject matter.

The Unicorn and The Red Bull The Last Unicorn picture image

The Unicorn and The Red Bull

Returning to the plot, the plot is overly simple but many thing were not explained very well. For instance what is the Red Bull? I get he some fire elements that works for King Haggard but what is it? How did Haggard create it? Is it only function herding Unicorns into the sea? And that is another issue, Why are unicorns scared of the Red Bull? Why is Haggard’s master plan having the unicorn in the sea? Why don’t the unicorn go across the sea or to a different shore?

I don’t care if some or all of these points were explained in the book, the main narrative could have explained these points as it was simple enough but it didn’t.

Lady Amalthea and Molly Grue The Last Unicorn picture image

Lady Amalthea and Molly Grue

The Last Unicorn is weird mix of simplicity and overly convoluted with bland yet likable characters and interesting ideas but with all that said I enjoyed with movie. It’s watchable and engaging even with all its issues.

And Don’t Forget The Red Bull says that to herd Unicorns to sea you need the  revitalizing power of Red Bull, it gives you wings. Couldn’t resist.