Quest for Camelot
May 22, 2015
(Doug and Rob are sitting in two chairs)
Doug: This is our Real Thoughts for Quest for Camelot. Uh, this was, surprisingly, I get a lot of people, like, still talking about the review. I think it's a good review, but I think people just have this fascination with this movie, like they know it's bad, but it was such a strange...kind of like the same thing with Swan Princess. You know, it's like, yeah, they know it's bad, but it's...so...it was something that was so few that you saw back then, an animated film, a hand-drawn animated film that wasn't Disney. Uh, and yet, it was still kind of trying to look like Disney but be a little different, and, unlike Don Bluth, Warner Bros. can never quite pull it off.
Rob: At least it felt Disney-lite. There was something about the color schemes and the animation.
Doug: I actually like the color.
Rob: Really, it didn't do much for me.
Doug: I love the color. No, you know what? Whenever, whenever they were outside and there's a blue sky, I loved in both Swan Princess and Quest for Camelot. Actually, even Quest for Camelot, the color's okay.
Rob: It always felt kind of drabbed to me, and sometimes, the lines seem like a little too clean. (Sighs) I don't know. There's something off about it. I can't pinpoint what the problem is, 'cause I'm not an animator myself, but...
Doug: Well, I think because, you know, something we both really strongly agreed on in Swan Princess is that the opening song with the two kids is great, 'cause...
Rob: That was the only good part of that movie.
Doug: And 'cause it's doing its own thing, and it's playing to what Warner Bros. does best. It does slapstick comedy very well, and then, when they grow up into Diet Disney, it's like, "Oh, shit." And this, you know, it's funny, 'cause the slapstick is not very good. Um, but the story, honestly, you're telling the story, if you took out Arthur, like, "Hey, this is Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and stuff", storywise, I'd kind of be like, "Oh, okay, for that time period, this would kind of be interesting." Um, but it's...
Rob: The concept of the blind knight I think is...
Doug: Yeah, or even...at the time, a girl wanting to be a knight was like, "Huh?" You know, a little bit, so it's like...I mean, now it's like...
Rob: The funny thing is, on paper, it doesn't bother me. Like, the girl wanting to become a knight and the blind knight, I'm, like, "There's something there..."
Doug: Yeah, there's a good idea.
Rob: "...that could make this work." It just...
Doug: Even the two-headed dragon is not a bad idea. (Rob stammers) For a comic relief, if it was done right.
Rob: This is something about the execution of the way it all came together, I'm, like, "Huh, this could not work at all."
Doug: And here's the funny thing, too. I was looking at, I sort of bad-mouthed the songs in it, and, uh, the more I thought about it, I was, like, well, the one, The Prayer, is, like, a world-famous song now...not because of the movie, clearly, you know, but because Josh Groban and all those people went in and did it and sung it in Italian and stuff like that. The opening song is actually pretty nice, the one the knights sing and stuff. It has sort of this, like, nice Celtic feel to it. And even elements of I Stand Alone, even though, like, a lot of the lyrics aren't that good and the guy sounds like a pop singer and stuff, like, kind of isn't that bad. And I liked the idea of a song sort of glorifying the fact that sometimes, it's okay to do something on your own. Everything is teamwork and it's gotta be, you know, and it's great, but we've gotten such a big focus on it that once in a while, "You know what? If someone just wants to do something on their own, that's okay sometimes." And even in the movie, it comes around to, he goes too far and he's like, "I cannot be part of that world."
Rob: I just don't know why you needed songs.
Doug: It was thrown in at the last minute.
Rob: That's always my problem, particularly with...the Warner Bros. ones are trying so hard to be Disney, when I'm just like, you know, if you just focused on telling your story without trying to be Disney, without being like, "We need a two-headed dragon comic relief. We need songs." The film might've come out better. The one, the biggest weak link, as much as the comic relief doesn't do anything for me and the songs are OK, but I don't think it needed a...it's the villain.
Doug: Oh, the villain. What a waste of Gary Oldman! What a guy who can do so many great voices, and is such a great actor, and just... (Starts laughing) clearly can't sing! "So we're gonna have you sing in this!" Oh, dude!
Rob: (Imitates Ruber) "The ogre's butt!" (Normal) That's the only thing I remember from him in that movie. It was just saying, "The ogre's butt".
Doug: And, like, out of all the Knights in the Round Table, there's just this green giant monster. I'm like, "I wonder..."
Rob: I just look at it, and I was like, "Um, who invited him?"
Doug: (Chuckles) I mean, yeah. So, it's one of those things where it's, like, I kind of give them credit, even though, like, the girl...I call her a girl. I'm assuming she's supposed to be 16 in this.
Rob: I thought she was, like, that...'cause she looks like Belle, like they all look kind of like, they all look like that vague Disney style. It seems she was like Belle, and every time she's like anywhere from 16 to 20.
Doug: No, but that's what's funny. Even like Belle, to me, like, looked older, like...
Rob: Belle to me always looked like early 20s.
Doug: Yeah, that's what she looks like to me, too.
Rob: I always figured Belle was, like, 18, maybe.
Doug: But I think in this one, I'm assuming, you know, she's like 16 or something like that. Um, and, you know, even though it's clearly ripping off Belle, it was like, "It was a decent rip. Okay, that kind of looks like, you know, the Disney style. So, okay." She actually kind of moved and talked okay, and then, like...
Rob: I kind of, I kind of felt I was watching some off-shoot of Gummi Bears. (Doug chuckles) I mean, like, the medieval times setting, the vague Disney look.
Doug: Yeah, I would love that if they got it right. But then, like, Chris...uh, the Chris Elwes character, uh, like, I don't know. There's times especially...
Rob: Wait, wait, wait. Cary Elwes?
Doug: Yeah, what I say? Chris?
Doug: Sorry, my bad.
Rob: Ha! I stopped you before you created another comment disaster.
Doug: Yes. So, anyway, you know, when he's going up against, like, you know, the little axe chicken, played by Ving Rhames, (Rob chuckles) it's one of those things where he kind of looks at...
Rob: Shut the fuck up.
Doug: He looks at him straight-on, and, like, I can't explain it. The lips are kind of pointy, and the eyebrows are a little weird, and it's like, clearly, if they were looking to rip something off, they weren't ripping it off well. Um, and again, just the initial design of this guy, you know, like the long yellow hair, and sort of this cane and stuff like that, you know, is fine in thought. But then, when they actually draw it, they didn't quite get the face right, uh, from certain angles. And, yeah, you know, the biggest thing I think everyone's always like, you know, like the joke they remember the most is, honestly, kind of my smallest complaint in the movie, is that they don't explain enough. You know, I do the big "EXPLAIN!!" thing, and honestly, that's probably the least of the problems. It just sort of turned into a running joke.
Rob: I remember back in the day, though, so many people wasting so many words on forums, trying to explain it to you.
Doug: Oh, see, that's hilarious, 'cause everyone questioned that right now.
Rob: On our own forums, it was like, "You obviously didn't watch the movie!" There would be, like, 12 paragraphs. I'm like, "You obviously watched this movie way too much."
Doug: Way too many times. No, that's the same thing with It, though, like when I was talking about the problem, everyone was like, "You son of a bitch! This is everything wrong! Nobody's gonna watch this now! They're all gonna hate you!" And, like, I think on YouTube, it's like the fifth most watched Nostalgia Critic video.
Rob: What's always the ones that people complain about the most that get the most hits.
Doug: Yeah, maybe they're coming back to complain, I don't know. But, or...
Rob: (Imitates a black man) I'll show you! I'll watch it a second time!
Doug: Or, just really, the majority don't care, and they're just there to laugh and have fun.
Rob: You mean there's a very vocal minority?
Doug: Weird, right? (Chuckles) But, yeah, but that element of the, where not explaining how the enchanted forest really works or even, like, how little of, like, the ogre there is, and like, he's in there for a split-second, and he looks awful, and what's even his motivation or whatever? I mean, was there a motivation? All this stuff, honestly, did not bother me that much as much as, like, it just seemed like very clumsily recycled "Disney trying to be different".
Rob: You know what it is? It felt like the entire script was constructed of scenes cut from other Disney films. Like, this was Disney cutting room floor, and somebody from Warner Bros. snuck in, swept it up, and was like, "Let's construct the movie out of it."
Doug: (Chuckles) The deleted scenes of Disney.
Rob: Yeah. Every scene feels like a lesser scene in a Disney movie that would've been cut.
Doug: And I don't know what it...yeah, I say to myself, "There has to be..."
Rob: And there's been, like, I'm not saying, we've seen way worse.
Doug: Oh, yeah.
Rob: I don't know if this would be in my Top 20, but this would be in the upper echelons of things that I've watched and I'm like, "Okay, this isn't the worst thing ever."