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Western Animation / Camelot

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Camelot is Golden Films' version of Arthurian Legend.

During a war in England, Merlin finds a baby in a burning house. Escaped with the baby in a boat, Merlin returns to Avalon, and asks Vivian the sorceress to help him take care of the baby. They and the rest of the Avalon inhabitants raise the boy, whom they name Arthur, until he is prepared to save England. There, he is trained by Merlin and the people of Avalon, to become a righteous King. When his time goes, he must take out the Sword in the Stone, a powerful sword that would disappear if used with maliciousness.

This version provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Arthur's biological parents, Uther and Igraine, don't appear at all. Arthur was found by Merlin in a burning house.
    • Morgana is absent.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Vivian (better known as Nimue) betrayed Merlin in the original myths.
    • Morgause, who isn't related to Arthur here, acts as a genuine Love Interest for him... at least until Arthur goes to England. Mordred is still their son, though.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Mordred is a more heroic, albeit flawed, character who does not give Arthur his fatal wound.
    • Meliagrant doesn't kidnap Guinivere and is a neutral figure.
  • Animated Musical: This film has four songs.
  • Animorphism: Merlin transforms Arthur into several animals as training.
  • Badass Adorable: Arthur has a childlike face and an overall cute demeanor. He is also a talented swordfighter and an actively fighting king.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Arthur is enraged when Mordred tells him his suspicions about Lancelot and Guinivere, to the point that he nearly kills him.
  • Bookends: Both the beginning and the ending are set during a battle, and with the same song.
  • Coming of Age Story: The first third is about Arthur's growing and training.
  • Composite Character: Mordred also takes Bedivere's role, as Arthur talks to him when he is dying. Bedivere is mentioned, though.
  • Cool Old Guy: Arthur is still fighting when he becomes old.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-zagged. This version is darker than most of the Golden Films' library. It starts in a war, has some morally gray areas and does not have a happy ending. However, it's Lighter and Softer than the myths, which contain too much... sex and violence.
  • Decomposite Character: The classic role in which Modred kills Arthur is given to another soldier.
  • Disneyfication: It removed the incest and other sexual undertones to make the story kid-friendly. It left the adultery of Guinivere and Lancelot, but they don't have anything explicit, not even a kiss.
  • Easily Forgiven: Lancelot and Guinivere are cheating on Arthur, but the good king still considers both as good friends. When he is dying, he has no grudge against Mordred.
  • Good Parents: The Avalon women and Merlin are kind and supportive to Arthur. Merlin gives him moral boost before Camelot's downfall.
  • The Good King: Arthur. He is well-meaning to his kingdom.
  • Happily Adopted: Arthur lived happily with the Avalon people.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Arthur. His parents were nowhere to be found and he was found in a burning house.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Meliagrant learns about Lancelot and Guinivere's affair, Lancelot nearly kills him, but Vivian prevents that murder and calls both Lancelot and Guinivere out.
  • Hero Antagonist: Mordred becomes antagonistic when he opposes Arthur's refusal to prosecute Lancelot and Guinivere for adultery, but ultimately wants justice to be served.
  • Hot Witch: Vivian has the appearance of a beautiful, young witch.
  • Hunk: Arthur is very good-looking, rectangular-faced and well-built. He mantains his looks as he ages.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mordred's intentions to bring justice end up causing the war who ended Camelot.
  • Parental Substitute: Merlin is Arthur's father figure after adopting and raising him, and would also be a source of moral support for him after he leaves to found Camelot.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Camelot is ruined because of Lancelot, Guinivere and Mordred's actions, but Arthur is ready to fight when he is needed. This film is the only one by Golden Films without a straight happy ending. It is discussed before with Merlin, who states that while this Camelot would be destroyed, it is still a model to be rebuilt by other kings.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Arthur fights in the battles of Camelot.
  • Silver Fox: Arthur keeps his Badass Adorable, Hunky appearance when his hair turns gray.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The song during the final battle isn't very sad although said battle means the end of Camelot.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Merlin was "originally" betrayed by Vivian/Nimueh and sealed in a rock. Here, Vivian doesn't do so.
    • Mordred doesn't die at the ending, because he doesn't hurt Arthur to begin with.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Mordred is similar to his parents, Morgause and Arthur. When Mordred came to Camelot, his father mentions that he is similar to his mother.
  • Transflormation: In the sequence when Merlin trains Arthur, the former temporarily converts the latter into a tree.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Inverted. Arthur and Morgause are half-siblings in the myths, but here they aren't biologically related.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vivian rebukes Lancelot after he almost kills Meliagrant, telling him that she saved him for Arthur's welfare.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mordred, wanting to have justice, is willing to punish Lancelot and Guinivere against Arthur's will.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Merlin gives one to Arthur.
    Merlin: Nonsense. You are the one who built it [Camelot]. No one else could do that. The Lancelots can't build. They can only defend. And the Mordreds have good intentions but cannot see the whole picture... Because of you there is a Camelot to dream about, a Camelot to dream about, a Camelot to rebuild and rebuild over and over, and every time to come. It will fall again, each time, and return again. Only Avalon is forever. And you are part of Avalon... You are one with Avalon. Always, Arthur, always.