I've seen a lot of people hate on this movie and I find it weird that they complain about it in this movie but don't mind it in other movies. In this review I will be going through the movie and will every now and again make an argument and talk about complaints that people have made about the movie. Enjoy!
First we open up with the ocean, which is for some reason green. I guess they didn't hear about pollution back in medieval times, that's probably part of why it's the dark ages because of the morons destroying our earth. Now with that hippy moment out of the way, we meet our protagonist Kayley when she was a little girl. We see that she and her father are very close but he has to go to Camelot because he's a knight and they're meeting there to discuss dividing the land or something. But before he goes he tells Kayley about why he became a knight and how King Arthur became king with the sword in the stone, which is a story we all know and doesn't need explaining.
The knights come, the father leaves, and Kayley wants to come with him but can't because she's too young. She also wants to become a knight like her father. Well, at least she wants more than just a handsome guy and wants to show that she can be a bada**, which is more than you can say for a lot of animated heroines. We enter into a song called United We Stand, which is considered out of no where. More out of no where than Fathoms Below, Arabian Nights, Belle, Hail To The Princess Aurora, etc.? This song may not have too much of a point but it's pleasing to listen to and represents how the knights stand united and will do all they can to defend Camelot, King Arthur, the people, and everyone they love.
The song however is ruined by our obvious villain, Ruber. I know the Nostalgia Critic complains about the obvious villain thing but HELLO there are a lot of obvious villains! Frollo, Scar, and Jafar! They were trusted by people when they clearly shouldn't be so why is this a problem? Anyway the guy is power hungry, decides that he doesn't want to obey the king, thinks he should be the new king, and even tries to kill King Arthur. However Arthur saves himself by using Excalibur, Ruber claims one day the sword and everything will be his, he escapes, but before all of this the father is killed trying to save the King's life.
Kayley imagines being a knight and becomes the world famous hero who defeated the dreaded snowman. She sees that the knights are here so she's excited because her father is back but is of course sad to find out he is dead. We have the funeral, Kayley runs to hug her horse, and we get her musical number where she ages into a super hot and gorgeous young woman with just a tear drop and the wind. I actually used to throw pebbles into my reflection in the water to see if I would grow up, but it never worked.
Of course with this scene we start getting complaints that Kayley is just a copy of Belle from Beauty and The Beast in both looks and personality. Actually, she's really not. First of all with personality she wants to have adventure but to also save the day, she wants to carry on her father's legacy, and she wants to prove that she can be a great knight even though she's a woman. Plus her personality is really nothing like Belle because Kayley is rebellious and wants to leave but she doesn't because her mother won't let her, and actually plans on making something of herself instead of just whining about it, even though she does whine at the beginning.
As for looks they're similar but not so much that I would call it being just a cheap copy. I mean first Kayley has round eyes and Belle has almond eyes, Kayley has thin lips and Belle has full glossy lips, and Kayley has normal bangs. Their hair color isn't even the same, Belle's is just plain brown and Kayley's is brown with some auburn in there. Plus Kayley's hair is longer, doesn't have awful lines, and isn't greasy. Plus Kayley has a sexy body. Plus Belle has a nose that's fully drawn and Kayley's is barely drawn. In my opinion Belle has a prettier face but Kayley has a better body, hair, and smile. More importantly she's a better character.
With that out of the way it's a really amazing song about how she misses her father but somehow he's still with her. She plans on carrying on his legacy no matter what. The scene ends with a chicken flirting with other chickens but is caught by his wife.
We're back in Camelot where they're attacked by a griffin that steals Excalibur and hurts Arthur in the process. They try to stop it but can't. So Merlin sends a silver winged falcon after it and some how it actually takes down the griffin. How does that work? I guess it's a whole size over matter thing or whatever. The griffin loses the sword in the forbidden forest and can't get it because of the living plants. Maybe they know the talking trees from The Wizard of Oz.
Word is sent across the land that Excalibur has been stolen. Kayley hears about this and wants to go after it but of course her mother won't let it. She tells her mother how she wants to go on grand adventures, fighting dragons, rescuing damsels in distress, and the famous questioning what a damsel is. I love how she doesn't know what a damsel is! She wants to be a knight and back then women were expected to be damsels and she's just all like "what's that?" Plus it's kind of ironic considering the upcoming actions. Her mother tries to get her to try on her new dress but Kayley doesn't want a new dress, she wants to save Camelot. Could you imagine is Aurora told the three good fairies that she didn't want a new dress and she wanted to save the kingdom. First of all the kingdom would be doomed if it was up to her and the fairies would be in shock or even faint. Plus it would make the argument over the color of the dress seem pointless.
Kayley tells about how she thinks she can get the sword all on her own like any other stubborn I don't need a man woman. Basically her mother says that women can't be knights in a subtle way and that she'll stay at the barn. Kayley runs off, the chicken continues to cheat on his wife, the wife beats the feathers out of him, and Kayley get captured by Ruber.
Ruber wants Juliana to help him get through the gates of Camelot, she refuses, he reveals he has Kayley, Kayley tries to fight back but fails, and we have out villain song. Before I go into the song, does anyone else notice that this guy's eye is always twitching? This guy must be on crack or something! Anyway the song is actually decently good, nothing special. There's the complaint that we don't get detail about how Ruber got a potion from some witches. Maybe he payed for is genius'! If you wanna complain about something how about asking where the Evil Queen got a magic mirror or how Gothel knew the freaking words to that flower song and that Rapunzel had the magic power in her hair instead of looking for the freaking flower itself? Anyway with it he makes some evil minions out of weapons, pretty cool, though I don't know why he'd want a chicken for a minion. The chicken should have been more of want of Kayley's sidekicks.
The evil minions stupidly set Kayley free without knowing. Stupid but not as stupid as Maleficent's evil minions looking for a baby for sixteen years. Why is it villains always hire such idiots? Juliana tells Kayley to go warn Arthur and try to get there before they do. Kayley was on her way to do so but spies on Ruber and his talking pet griffin that tells how he lost Excalibur. So Kayley decides she must go after the sword and Ruber sends his evil minions after her.
We get the obvious Oscar winning song, Mother's Prayer, sung by Juliana, also known as the amazingly talented, Celine Dion. The song is beautiful and there's the stupid complain that the setting isn't right. It's about a mother praying for her daughter to be safe and having to go through dangers that she's just powerful to help her with and all she can do is pray. I say the setting is absolutely perfect, minus the fact that the minions are riding pigs for some reason.
Anyway Kayley loses her horse and she runs into the forbidden forest where she loses her ribbon causing her hair to be loose. Honestly I think she looks even more gorgeous with her hair loose. Moving on, Kayley keeps managing to avoid them until she trips, falls into a lake, meets a blind man, and has to be saved by him. Blind people really aren't as useless are people think. So it's okay for Aang to be saved by a blind girl but when Kayley needs to be saved by a blind man it's bad? Double standard much?
After the blind man, named Garret, saves her, Kayley compliments him and the guy is rude and won't even acknowledge it. GEEZ! What a jerk! Even when he's being complimented he can't be polite. Kayley thanks him for saving her life, while putting her hair back into a ponytail because I guess she just has spare ribbons in her sleeve or something, and Garret basically says that saving her was a mistake. What a jerk! He's not likable AT ALL! Kayley discovers that Garret is blind and that his falcon, named Aden, has silver wings, meaning he knows were the sword is. Also the chicken says "WA!!!! MOVING BUSH! WOOO!!!", me and my best friend do that when we see a moving car and we love doing it!
Garret decides he's going after it and Kayley isn't because he knows his way around. This leads us to the song I Stand Alone, which shows that Garret is a loner. It's a great song and shows how, even though Kayley wants to be bada** she has a lot to learn, which is understandable because she's just starting out. However at the end of the song Garret decides to let Kayley come along because his falcon likes her and without him he'll be in trouble.
Meanwhile Ruber tries to find the sword and his Griffin can't find it because instead of flying through the sky to find where he dropped it he's looking for it on the ground. What sense does that make? The chicken reports that Kayley and Garret are following the silver winged falcon that knows where the sword is so they're going after them.
Kayley and Garret end up in Dragon Country where Kayley is being awkward and can't shut up. They think some dragons are around and they find our two headed comic relief dragons. Apparently they're the result of cousins marrying, which is something that's not okay under any circumstances. The one with the long neck is Kevin and the one with no neck is Cornwall. Some real dragons come after them and they run for their lives. Eventually they run into Ruber and his minions, to which the two headed dragon finds a way for them to escape.
The two headed dragons fight because they can't breath fire or fly and we get the musical number, If I Didn't Have You. Not really a necessary song but actually pretty entertaining. It does establish how they long to be separated from each other, it would be a real pain to share a body with somebody. It's kind of ridiculous but it's a comic relief song so what do you expect?
They get out of the cave, Garret acts like a total jerk and says the dragons can't come with them. They say they'll be banished for helping humans and Kayley convinces Garret to let them come with them.
They make camp, to Kayley's dismay because they haven't made much progress. Kayley says her father wouldn't be afraid to travel in the forbidden forest at night. It turns out Garret knew her father. He lost his sight when he tried to save the horses in a fire, a horse hurts him and somehow that makes him blind. How the heck does that work? Anyway everyone thought he was useless but Kayley's father actually believed in him but Garret's hope of becoming a knight died when Kayley's father died. Kayley thought the same but told Garret that he wouldn't want either of them to give up. After which, Garret shows Kayley how to listen, to which she fails because she moved to soon. Is that a rushed romance I smell?
In the morning they find where the Griffin had lost the sword but it wasn't there. Kayley blames Garret for this because he made them stop. Because of her talking Garret gets hurt from an attack by Ruber. But thankfully Kayley saves them from both Ruber and the evil living plants. Oh yeah, she's a real useless damsel in distress, NOT!
Juliana prays for her daughter to be safe but also at the same time believes in her.
It rains and Kayley finds everyone shelter, she begs Garret not to die because she can't do this on her own. She places from kind of purple leaves on his wounds. She blames herself and claims she's no help to anyone, to which Garret tells her she's wrong. This leads to the movie's signature number, Looking Through Your Eyes. The song is absolutely amazing, even though the couple isn't good at all. I love this song and think it's underrated. Yeah it comes out of no where and while one of them is possibly dying but I don't care. No one minds when the characters from Les Miserable sing when they die so why should they with this? Also at the beginning of this song Garret's wounds are healed by the purple leaves that are apparently magic.
They go into an ogre's territory and discover that the ogre has the sword. They figure out a way to get the sword while the ogre is sleeping by using themselves as a human and dragon rope. Ruber and his minions escaped the trap that Kayley imprisoned them in and found there way there thanks to the Ogre's giant footprints. The Ogre wakes up but Kayley saves them by having them swing her back in forth to get the ogre to fall back to sleep and grabs the sword.
The ogre while sleeping crushes the minions against the wall, while sitting on Ruber and The Griffin, and farts. Was that really necessary? GROSS! During this Kayley and the gang try to escape but there's no way out, except to fly. Kevin says they can't fly, they explained that before their song. So instead Kayley decides to use them as a sled to help them escape and they rejoice to their magnificent accomplishment in escaping and getting the sword.
They reach Camelot at long last and Garret decides to leave saying he doesn't belong in that world. You just helped get the magic sword back, though Kayley and Aden did most of the work, I think you'll be accepted you whiny little twit. Kayley decides she's going back for Garret but is captured by Ruber, who takes the sword and merges it with his hand. The dragons see this and go after Garret for help. They discover that the reason they can't fly or breath fire is because they can't agree on anything but decide they both care about Kayley.
With Kayley as hostage, Ruber disguised in a black cloak uses Juliana to get into Camelot. However they hit a bump in the road and Kayley uses it to help herself escape by knocking her guard over and having fall out of the carriage. This proves she saved herself, the chicken didn't! Sure he cut her loose but that wan't have done her any good if she hadn't knocked out the guard. She saved herself! Besides all the chicken did was cut the ropes and he has an ax for a beak, it's not like the normal chicken saved her, that would be pathetic. If you wanna talk heroines being saved by farm animals let's talk Esmeralda being saved by a freaking goat.
Kayley warns everyone it's a trap and goes to help the king. However she falls off the castle but is saved by Garret and the dragons. Ruber is insides ready to fight the king. Kayley and Garret find a way inside, Aden distracts the griffin but is captured by it, the dragons save it and barbecue the griffin, and the chicken helps the good guys.
Ruber almost kills Arthur until Kayley saves him by knocking out Ruber with a large piece of wood tied to rope. They crash through the window, Ruber decides to kill Kayley because she's in the way just like her father, she gets an idea, Garret tries to help but his stick is cut in half, and Kayley gives Garret the single when to move so Ruber would get the sword stuck in the stone. So Kayley saves the day and defeats the villain but for some reason is considered a damsel in distress. I'll never understand why. In my opinion she's one of the most heroically bada** animated characters. Anyway Ruber dies and all the magic his potion did was undone.
Kayley and Garret are knighted and will sit as knights of the round table. They dance, kiss, and ride off on Kayley's horse with a sign that says "Just Kighted."
Overall Thoughts On The Movie
I absolutely love this movie! I know it has it's problems but every movie does. I know it steals some of the Disney formula but it's not like Disney owns the copyrights to that formula, if it did most non-Disney movies wouldn't be very good. The songs are amazing, the characters are great (minus Garret), the protagonist is well-developed, the animation is pretty to look at, it's a wonderful adventure, and doesn't deserve all the hate it gets. Kayley does have her damsel moments but she was just starting off and ends up saving the day and being a real bada**, I say she's pretty awesome! It shows if you really want something you'll have to work really hard and know it's not just gonna come naturally to you, so Kayley is actually a pretty good role model. The romance isn't very good and actually would've made the movie better if Kayley didn't have a love interest. It's a fantastic movie and I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.