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YMMV / Quest for Camelot

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Sure, it's not one of the most well-known animated movies out there, but how many of you knew that it was originally supposed to be based on a book?
  • All Animation Is Disney: See Serial Numbers Filed Off. Not coincidentally for a movie notorious for shamelessly ripping off all of the Disney cliches from this era which also has very Disney-esque animation, it's often mistaken for a Disney movie. One of the film's editors was even quoted as saying that they couldn't find any merch for the movie at the WB Store because even the staff thought it was a Disney movie!
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Try rewatching the movie under the impression that Ruber is a huge Disney Villain fanboy. Suddenly his character will make a lot more sense.
    • After they retrieve Excalibur together, and Kayley has watched Garret being awesome any number of times, and saved his life, and they've sung a duet, Garret still thinks she'll compare him unfavourably to men who can see. You could say he's kind of an asshole for thinking so little of her when she clearly thinks so highly of him. Or he's so self-conscious about his blindness, he doesn't think he'll ever be worth her time.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The Stone magically healing everybody and vaporizing Ruber when Kayley and Garrett trick him into sticking Excalibur back in it, as it was still melded to his hand. Such powerful abilities are not alluded to in any way prior, and even more egregiously it doesn't even do a thing for Garrett's blindness. One might forgive it for the fact that it does kill Ruber, as he was not the legitimate holder of the sword.
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    • Kayley tending to Garrett's wounds earlier in the film by placing leaves over it as he rests, which cures him in a couple of seconds. Although Garret mentions briefly beforehand that those leaves had healing properties, he didn't hinted that they were that powerful.
  • Awesome Art: Though not everyone likes the film, Ruber's half-weapon, half-human monsters have some impressive designs.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Kayley. Plucky and active lead who just happens to be Overshadowed by Awesome? Or obnoxious and irritating Faux Action Girl who should know her place better? This film's Trivia page goes on at length about how not even the producers and animation staff could agree on what direction they wanted to take with Kayley's portrayal, which probably contributed heavily to her divisive status.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the fine tradition of musical numbers falling into this trope, we present to you "If I Didn't Have You". It's like they asked themselves "How many useless pop culture references can we stuff in for a comic relief song?"note 
  • Covered Up: "The Prayer" is regularly covered as a serious classical-crossover piece with no connection given to the film.
  • Crazy Awesome: Ruber. He kills a dragon by punching it in the face.
  • Critical Backlash: Though the film was poorly received by critics, it does have its fans and there is still fan art and fan fiction of it being created.
  • Damsel Scrappy: In spite of few of her strong moments in the film, Kayley is nevertheless poorly prepared for knighthood. This is annoying given how often she speaks of wanting to be a knight.
    Nostalgia Critic: Young lady, you DEFINITELY need a career change.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Having Garrett remain blind in the finale does send a good message about living with disability...but the fact that this is a fantasy setting where Excalibur's World-Healing Wave can literally separate conjoined dragons...
    • It would also be one thing if, perhaps, Garrett was blind from birth. But he tells Kayley he was blinded in an accident. Making the above with splitting apart conjoined from birth dragons but not curing his blindness even stranger.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The mechanical soldiers along with Bladebeak have a lot of fans for their comparatively shorter screen time than main characters like Ruber and Gareth.
    • The Round Table knights reacting to Ruber's outburst have gone memetic due to their utterly baffled expressions.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ruber, though not for the usual reasons, as he's a somewhat generic villain if it wasn't for Gary Oldman's lively perfomance and him Chewing the Scenery in every scene he's in. He's by far the most entertaining thing about the film.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Near the end of the "If I Didn't Have You" number, Devon and Cornwall briefly impersonate Sonny and Cher, Cornwall even sneaking in a quick few bars of "I've Got You Babe". A fairly harmless, if out-of-place, gag within a Disney Acid Sequence musical number full out Shout Outs but given Bono died in a skiing accident mere months before Quest for Camelot's theatrical release, it's in a bit of bad taste.
  • Ham and Cheese: Baron Ruber's shallow usurper character is salvaged by Gary Oldman's hamtastic performance.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Garret effortlessly living in the magic forest/swamp looks even cooler when compared to elderly Toph Beifong, a fellow blind badass, who also ended up living in a swamp when she wanted to escape from society.
    • Also, the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in a movie whose soundtrack became far more popular than the actual film. 8 years later, the actual Sonic series would receive this when the soundtrack for Sonic 2006 became far more popular than the game, which wrecked the franchise.
    • When Kayley extols the virtues of knighthood (grand adventures, fighting evil, rescuing damsels in distress), the fact that she doesn't know what a damsel is is made funnier when you learn that the movie is based on a novel called The King's Damosel.note 
    • During the Disney Acid Sequence "If I Didn't Have You", Devon and Cornwall appear dressed as Elvis and engage in a routine that can almost be interpreted as twerking; fast forward fifteen years to when Miley Cyrus' infamous VMA performance made the dance an overnight sensation.
    • Devon and Cornwall's song "If I Didn't Have You" was about how they'd be better off without the other. Years later, a certain movie would have a song with the same name, only it would be be about how the two characters singing how much they value their friendship.
    • The Knights of Camelot going down very easily in the final battle is very amusing to fans of Merlin (2008) - where the incompetence of the knights and guards reached memetic status.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Kayley is rather popular in the Disney Crossover Ship Fan Vid community.
  • Love to Hate: Ruber, for being a badass who kills a dragon with one punch, as well as for his campy Large Ham portrayal. Gary Oldman was clearly having a blast.
  • Memetic Loser:
  • Memetic Mutation: Ruber and his ridiculous apparence and demeanour have become a stapple of image boards.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ruber crosses this in his first scene when he attacks the knights and kills Kaley's father, Sir Lionel.
  • Narm: We still would've been able to take Kayley's escape sequence seriously, had it not been for this:
    "Lead her to a place, guide her with your grace..."
    *human-weapon hybrids chase her on warthogs*
    "... to a place where she'll be safe..."
    *axe-headed chicken runs past*
    • Gigantic monsters are riding warthogs.
    • "The ogre's butt..." *cue dramatic music sting*
    • Big, scary Griffin opens his beak and out comes... Balki's voice.
    • Ruber's Song gets narmy when he says "Now watch me create MY MECHANICAL ARMY with pride," mainly due to the incredibly stupid looking dance he does, which looks kind of like "The Robot." Also, the way he adds pride at the end makes it sound he just remembered at the last moment that he had to complete a rhyme.
    • Ruber in general, because of his absurd Obviously Evil look and demeanor. Not only does it lead one to wonder why a guy like that even got to be a knight, he just drains any sort of seriousness out of every scene by being ridiculous. Just a screencap of the guy memorably sent an entire 4chan board into hysterics.
    • Don Rickles' snarky New Yorker voice as Cornwall just feels so grossly out-of-place in a movie where basically everyone else sports an English accent.
  • Narm Charm: Ruber's "song" is So Bad, It's Good. Actually, just Ruber in general since he sounds like he's trying way too hard to act like a Disney villain.
  • Never Live It Down: Kayley can never live down any time she messes up or gets in trouble - even though the point of her Character Development is that she's a Heroic Wannabe who's never been off her farm. She does several impressive things like hypnotising the ogre to grab the sword, keeping the villains at bay in the forest, breaking free of her bonds to warn Arthur's knights of the trap, knocking Ruber out of the throne room and ultimately defeating him. It doesn't help that Kayley's character was a major point of contention during the film's difficult production, and there was much fussing among the staff about how best to portray her. Given her polarizing reception over the years, it clearly shows in the final product.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The henchmen's transformations are accompanied by ridiculous cartoonish sound effects and a goofy chicken getting turned into an axe, which really sucks a lot of the terror out of the scene.
  • Older Than They Think: The concept of a woman wanting to become a Knight of the Round Table originates with the character of Rowanne from The Legend of Prince Valiant.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jessalyn Gilsig would eventually become more famous for Vikings. This makes the Nostalgia Critic's review hilarious - where he refers to her as "that chick from Heroes, several years before Vikings.
  • The Scrappy: Few people seem to care much about Devon and Cornwall, for being pointless comic relief, with the villain already being Laughably Evil, and their jokes and song being more obnoxious than funny.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The Nostalgia Critic accused Kayley's image and opening song of being a ripoff of Belle from Beauty and the Beast (which wasn't even a decade old by this point), and also accused Warner of not even trying for originality. Years after the film's release, one of the animators also pointed out the similarities between Kayley and Belle, and also noted that Garret was apparently copied from the human form of the Beast. It's comparable to what The Emoji Movie would eventually do nearly 19 years later, this time with CGI movies from the 2010s.
  • Special Effects Failure: The CGI on the giant rock ogre and even several of the Camelot sequences haven't aged well since 1998.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Ruber's "Song". Despite the fact that it barely even qualifies as a song, Gary Oldman's scene-chomping performance and extremely over the top gestures make it gut bustingly funny to watch. Plus, it fits Ruber's loony personality.
    • The entire movie could count as this, owing to its clumsy attempts to copycat Disney and for the bizarre liberties taken with the source material to the point where it almost adopts an In Name Only quality. The inconsistent animation certainly lends itself to this, making for some unintentionally hilarious moments in a film that clearly attempts to tell a more serious story against all the aforementioned corniness.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: The film is not subtle in its attempt to emulate Disney, the exact opposite of what the original script had aimed to do before the executives stepped in. Audiences and critics were not fooled, and the animators have spoken critically of this decision since.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • King Arthur is mostly reduced to a background character in the story of his own legend; the fact that the griffin put him out of action early in the film doesn't help, and is an especially serious shame as Pierce Brosnan had lent his voice to the part.
    • An even more egregious case with Merlin, who gets barely three minutes of screentime.
    • Lady Juliana could've served a purpose beyond being Ruber's Living Macguffin. As Kayley's mother, she could've been her Foil, advising her not to become a knight since her husband died working as a knight. The movie even seems to set this up in the first act, before Ruber attacks, but doesn't bother exploring it at all.
    • Bladebeak's wife, and to a lesser extent Bladebeak himself. Appearantly, Bladebeak's Heel–Face Turn was because Ruber had crossed the Moral Event Horizon for him by imprisoning his wife in a cage. Why do we know that? Because it was shown in the movie... for about two seconds. The lack of focus on this character led to many viewers believing that him betraying Ruber came out of nowhere, the pieces were there, they just didn't use them.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • As Garret, Cary Elwes gives the best performance in the film.
    • Gary Oldman as Ruber, who manages to rise above the material he's given and makes an otherwise cliched villain entertaining to watch.
    • The singers hired to dub the voices. Andrea Corr absolutely nails "On My Father's Wings", elevating it far above the generic 90s "I Want" Song it was written as. Celine Dion likewise managed to make "The Prayer" into a Breakaway Pop Hit.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: "I Stand Alone" is a pretty good Establishing Character Moment for Garrett. But it puts the plot on hold for three minutes to explain that he's a loner by nature - and then once the song is over he lets Kayley come with him.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Aside from the songs, a good deal of the animation is one thing most agreed was one of the few redeeming values of an otherwise underwhelming movie.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Who in their right mind would have ever allowed an obvious thug like Ruber to become a Knight of the Round Table in the first place?note 
    • Ruber's henchmen clearly aren't the brightest bunch out there, literally letting Kayley go during their respective transformations and completely oblivious when she slips away from the farm.
    • The knights of Camelot allowing Ruber and his caravan into the city. To be fair, Lady Juliana had been brought along for the purpose of causing the guards to lower their defenses, but nobody notes the suspicious appearance of the black-hooded Ruber or of the fight in the wagon between Kayley and Ruber's thugs until Kayley spells out word for word that it's all a trap.
    • Ruber himself for melding the sword to his hand; as unlikely as his ultimate demise was, he clearly never considered the drawbacks of that move.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Balki from Perfect Strangers as a gryphon. Jaleel White as the comedic axe-chicken, Bladebeak. (Well, OK, that sort of makes sense.) But most especially, as the two-headed dragon (Devon and Cornwall), Don Rickles and Eric Idle, though at least Devon and Cornwall's casting could be defended, since both actors were comedians and the characters are supposed to be humorously mismatched.
    • The original choice for King Arthur was Christopher Reeve, who would have been a good one had this been live action. But they didn't realise until he was in the recording booth that hiring someone who was on a breather to do voiceover wouldn't have the desired effect.


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