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Film: A Kid in King Arthur's Court
What would Mark Twain have thought?
A 1995 film based loosely on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

A young kid, Calvin Fuller (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is playing a baseball game when an earthquake opens up a rift in the ground and transports him to the 6th century, where he meets up with King Arthur. He also encounters the spirit of Merlin, who confirms that it was his magic which pulled Calvin back to Camelot. There are a lot of problems afoot, and Merlin will only send Calvin home if he puts things back to rights. Along the way, he falls in love with one of King Arthur's daughters, tosses off a lot of anachronisms in failed attempts to be funny and ends up getting transported back to his baseball game.

Has a rather forgettable direct-to-video sequel entitled A Kid In Aladdin's Palace.

Tropes present:

  • Adipose Rex: King Arthur
  • A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll": Played straight with Calvin's Discman.
    • Then subverted later when he pulls it out again, only to use the lens inside to reflect light and blind a guard.
    • What does he use when challenged to combat? "I choose... Combat Rock!" Cue guards holding their ears while Calvin rocks out.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Calvin claims that he knows about Arthur's sword Excalibur because "I watch a lot of CNN." CNN did have little trivia tidbits back in the 80's and 90's before commercial breaks.
  • Anachronism Stew: Attempted for laughs and failed miserably.
  • Arranged Marriage: What Arthur is attempting to put together for his elder daughter Sarah.
  • Badass Grandpa: Arthur
  • Badass Princess: Princess Sarah. Princess Katy starts out this way before suffering one of the most ridiculous cases of Chickification you'll ever see anywhere.
  • Bamboo Technology: Calvin ends up making "medieval" flavored versions of 1990s technology.
  • Black Knight: He's a master jouster and gives to the people.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Inverted with Princess Sarah's two known suitors, as the nasty Lord Belasco is dark haired while the good Master Cain is blond.
  • Call Back: At the start Calvin's coach tells him to remember three things but then lists four things instead. When Calvin starts training with Master Cain, he says the same thing.
  • Chickification: See Faux Action Girl below.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Luckily, right before the earthquake swallows him whole, Calvin grabs his backpack. Even more luckily, said backpack just happens to contain a number of items he will need on his adventure, like a flashlight and a Swiss army knife. You know, stuff that most kids bring to ball games.
  • Dead All Along: Queen Guenivere. Katy says she died years ago.
  • Disneyfication: Of Mark Twain's original novel. The book was a satire and Genre Deconstruction of Arthurian lore that ended on a pretty depressing note, with the protagonist having all his achievements undone, then losing his friends, family and mind before finally dying. In this film, almost the entire plot is thrown out in favor of a more conventional children's film with a hip, young protagonist, a Camelot that wouldn't be out of place in a theme park, and an unambiguously happy ending.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Both Calvin and Princess Sarah. Calvin, of course, earns the right to go home. Sarah, by defeating Lord Belasco and winning the tournament for her hand in marriage, has - in her father's words - "won the right to choose," and of course opts to marry the man she loves.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Lampshaded and subverted: The title character cuts the rope attached to a chandelier, but it doesn't fall, causing him to comment that "this always works in the movies". How the chandelier isn't falling even though its support is cut is never explained.
  • Faux Action Girl: The film provides us with a very ridiculous example of this trope with Princess Katy. In the training sequence she is shown to be an excellent swordswoman, archer and horse rider, thus she should be "of course, able to take care of herself". Except, then she gets kidnapped by some mooks, in broad daylight and needs to be rescued by Calvin and King Arthur. A fight begins. Now on the good guys' side we have Arthur (a very old man), Calvin (a nerd who fails at baseball and has only trained in swordplay for a couple of days) and Katy (who is young, fast and has trained in swordplay all her life). Arthur and Calvin fight and kill the mooks while Katy, who really should be "...able to take care of herself," gets kidnapped again.
    • The same film also subverts the trope, however, with Katy's older sister Princess Sarah. The viewer spends the entire movie believing that tomboyish Katy is the tough one of the pair, only to find out that Sarah is the secret identity of the Black Knight, who has been fighting the enemy all along.
  • First Kiss: Calvin gives Katy hers, a happy moment which is unfortunately followed immediately by her abduction.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Excalibur, which Princess Katy refers to as "just Father's old sword," has been left to molder in the filthy castle dungeon.
  • Groin Attack: Calvin gets one in while fighting.
  • Heroic BSOD: According to Princess Katy, Arthur suffered something like this after Guenivere died; she says that her father has never been the same since.
    Katy: I miss my mother deeply, but I miss my father even more.
  • I Have Your Sister: Katy is abducted on Lord Belasco's orders, so he can both make Arthur get rid of Calvin and force Sarah to agree to marry him. Of course, when Arthur and Calvin show up with the unharmed Katy, this doesn't work.
  • Idiot Ball: Once Arthur learns Belasco schemes to usurp the throne; rather than have Belasco thrown in the dungeon. Arthur lets Belasco go free until the tournament.
  • The Lady's Favour: Not quite played straight. Sarah and Calvin are initially the only ones who know that Katy has been kidnapped. Sarah urges him to go to Arthur and tell him what's happened and who is responsible, as she feels Arthur is Katy's only hope. She gives Calvin her handkerchief to give to her father, so that he will know Calvin was sent by her and is telling the truth.
  • Loser Protagonist: Calvin starts the film this way; at the baseball game just before the earthquake, he is so intimidated by the flying fastballs that he doesn't even swing, and strikes out without moving a muscle. It's implied that this is not unusual for his character. Naturally, during his time in Camelot, he takes a level in badass and returns to his own time to lead his team to victory.
  • Obviously Evil: Lord Belasco. When a character is first introduced as the king's trusted and loyal adviser, and the very first shot of the movie that he's in shows him as a tall dark man with black robes, a black horse, black hair with white streaks, a sinister smile, and ominous background music, it's just insulting to our intelligence. He's like Jafar, except he's not hypnotizing the king, so the king really has no freaking excuse for trusting him.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: The subplot of the film is that Princess Sarah has refused to choose a suitor, so a tournament must be held to find a husband for her. She refuses to choose a suitor because the man she loves, Master Cain, is not of high enough rank to ask for her hand.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Sarah is the Black Knight.
  • Save the Princess
  • Self-Proclaimed Knight: The master jouster Black Knight is revealed to be Princess Sarah!
  • Spirit Advisor: Merlin, who appears only as a reflection in a well and only speaks to Calvin. It's not clear what happened to him or if he's dead; he's just said to have disappeared a long time ago.
  • That Poor Cat: When Calvin fires an arrow through a window by accident
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The two princesses.
  • Totally Radical: Some of Calvin's dialogue.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Used inconsistently. Arthur frequently speaks this way, but almost no one else in his entire court does.

JabberwockyFantasy FilmsKrull
JumanjiFilms of the 1990sKids

alternative title(s): A Kid In King Arthurs Court
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