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YMMV / The King and I

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Musical and 1950s film

  • Ear Worm: "Shall we dance? One, two, three, and... On a bright cloud of music, shall we fly? One, two, three, and..."
  • Fair for Its Day: The Asian characters may seem slightly stereotypical today, but in 1951 (compared with the usual caricatures of Asians of the time), they were decidedly anti racist.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The March of the Siamese Children is a very warm fuzzies inducing moment, especially watching the King react to his children. He shows pride in them, playfully chides one when she makes an innocent mistake, even gently guides one over to properly greet Anna. Even as he's trying to look professional and keep his children on track, he never comes off as cold to them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
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    • The King studying the Bible and telling Anna, "I think your Moses shall have been a fool." Five years after The King and I's Broadway premiere, Yul Brynner would play both the King in the movie and Ramesses (Moses' adversary) in The Ten Commandments. And both films would be released in 1956.
    • The King suggesting he'll send War Elephants to help Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War. Becomes amusing if you've seen Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven where he personally acts as the cavalry.
    • In the film, Deborah Kerr's Anna being shocked at multiple wives. Years earlier, Kerr had starred in Young Bess - playing Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.
    • Anna protests about her son being raised among a harem. Very amusing if you're familiar with Black Narcissus - where Deborah Kerr played a nun who tried to establish a convent in a harem house. She failed.
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    • Prince Chulalongkorn knows nothing about the west and refuses to believe in a lot of facts. This is hilarious considering Patrick Adiarte's other role in a Rogers & Hammerstein musical - Flower Drum Song - where he plays a second-generation Chinese kid in San Francisco who is wholly Americanized.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!" (The real King Mongkut used this in his English versions of official documents all the time, but add in Brynner's accent and it sticks in the mind.)

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1990s animated film

  • Fridge Logic: The hilariously racist butchered English. All of the royal family seem to conveniently know the exact same amount of English, none know more or less, and none of them ever speak their native tongue, even when they are alone in a room they talk in fractured English. But the main villain is fluent.
    • If Kralahome's plan is to make the king look like a barbarian to Anna, why does he summon a dragon to scare her away, or try to kill her son?
  • Idiot Plot: The vast majority of it stems from the heroes being brutally oblivious to Kralahome's Obviously Evil nature and dark magic, which proves ineffective anyway despite his best efforts.
  • Narm:
    • Anna and the crew warding off the dragon by singing and whistling. Made even more incredulous by the fact that it works.
    • When the king finds out about his son's relationship, his "Who, who, who?" is hilarious.
    • Kralahome's many acts of sorcery, all resulting in an Epic Fail due to one absurd interruption after another.
    • Anna constantly complaining of how she and the King's subjects must bow before him "like a toad"; not helping is her actually hopping like a toad while singing about her many complaints towards the King.
    • Really, the character animation as a whole is really something to behold, what with their over-the-top gesturing on top of their frequently Large Ham performances.
    • Anna describing the scene of a British gala to the King, and then she begins dancing with the ghost of her deceased husband. It wouldn't be so hilarious if the king wasn't watching her as she began dancing with herself!
    • Anna coaching the king on his table manners during the dinner party with the British and Siamese dignitaries is also an incredibly awkward scene, with said dignitaries playing along with their antics.
    • Sir Edward venturing off to Siam to dethrone the King and save Anna after a very vague letter from Kralahome arrives, not sparing a second to consider the consequences.
      The Nostalgia Critic: (As Sir Edward) We got a random letter! LET'S DESTROY A NATIOOOOON!
    • On the other hand, it didn't take the British Empire a lot of convincing to attack a poor Asian/African nation. What's more, Britain had coveted the idea of adding Him to British India for years; it took a LOT of diplomatic maneauvering and not a little luck to keep it from happening.
  • Never Live It Down: Its obvious attempt to copycat Disney backfired so spectacularly that the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein have refused to let any more of their works to ever be adapted into animated films.
  • Padding: Plenty to go around between all of the comic relief characters, who unfortunately steal a lot of the focus in the story. Their antics during iconic song numbers such as "Getting to Know You" stand out as especially egregious moments of this.
  • The Scrappy: Most of the comic relief, namely Master Little and the monkey, along with most of the other animal characters are regarded as this due to them constantly interrupting the flow of the story with their antics.
  • What an Idiot!: Kralahome, who constantly contradicts his own plans to take the throne and ultimately outs himself in attempting to kill the king and his son.
    • Arguably, the rest of the cast for not recognizing such an obvious villain or even his magical machinations.
    • Prince Chulalongkorn giving the sacred pendant to Tuptim. How did he fail to see how much this would backfire on him once his father found out?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A downplayed example, though many were baffled at the attempt to adapt this particular story with a much younger audience in mind. The fact that this film is almost exclusively written for said audience ended up being a major criticism towards the movie, with many calling the kid-friendly approach unfaithful to the original tale.


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