Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

The King and I

Posted on

The King and I

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
G
performer:
Miranda Richardson, Martin Vidnovic
director:
Richard Rich
genre:
Animation, musical

We gave it an F

It’s a puzzlement how so many pros could have so wrecked one of the most beloved, hummably familiar movie musicals in the Rodgers and Hammerstein repertoire. But the blinkered team behind this abysmally unimaginative animated adaptation of The King and I has succeeded royally, turning the story of 19th-century English schoolteacher Anna (spoken by Miranda Richardson, sung by Christiane Noll) — who brings British civility to an exotic, autocratic, but open-minded king (Martin Vidnovic) — into a rude carnival of sub-Disney stereotypes. There’s the evil sorcerer and king wannabe (Ian Richardson, snarling with sub-Jeremy Irons unctuousness), his bumbling toady sidekick (Darrell Hammond, stooping to a stupidly offensive Asian caricature), the jabbering pet monkey, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. For good measure, the monkey regularly tortures the toady, resulting in lots of sub-Road Runner violence that would never have been tolerated by Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. In this kingdom, no one whistles a happy tune. F