- Alternate Character Interpretation: The King. Just... just The King. For one, the films establishes that Kato has been ruling with an iron fist for a thousand years, and that only a prince with a white horse and a single friend can defeat him. Well, the King is sure as hell a lot younger that, yet he never set out to kill Kato. Instead, he skipped town to go to Earth and boink Earth women. Then once he gets one pregnant, he goes back to The Land of Faraway and leaves her to die shortly after child birth. The baby is then adopted by uncaring guardians who frequently neglect and abuse him. Oh yeah, it gets even better! It turns out that the King has been keeping tabs on Mio this whole time and never once came to get him. Mio ends up having to get fed up with his guardians and go looking for him before the King makes any kind of effort to get him back. Then it get even better! Mio isn't there even a whole day before he finds out about the quest and has to go on it. The film treats the King like a kind and wonderful father, when every piece of evidence points to the contrary.
- In the book, at least, it is clearly stated the King did not know about Mio's whereabouts and searched for him high and low for nine years before Fru Lundin (who may or may not be the royal gardener's wife) realized where the boy was. Moreover, there is a case of Compressed Adaptation, since in the book, Mio lives in the Land of Far Away for a long time before even the earliest hints of the quest get dropped.
- Cliché Storm: Oh boy, where to begin? The entire movie plays like a Mad Libs where you insert fantasy and faerie tale cliches into the blanks.
- The entire first act plays every Changeling Fantasy plot point entirely straight right down to Rags to Royalty.
- Mio is The Chosen One who must go on a quest to defeat the ultimate evil.
- Mio gets a Cool Sword to do it with.
- Hell, the bad guy is played by Christopher Lee! Christopher Frikkin Lee!
- Let's not even start on the Tolkien plot devices is rips off. A young man (Frodo/Mio) recently comes into a rather sizable inheritance (Bag-End and the Ring/being the prince of Green Meadow Island), who finds out that he must embark on a quest defeat evil forever (kill Kato/destroy the Ring), WITH HIS GARDENER!
- The Mio novel was published in its entirety in 1954 (after first being published as a short story in 1950) while the Lord of the Rings was published in 1954-1955 (after being in Development Hell since 1950), so it's a safe bet Astrid Lindgren and Tolkien simply shared a coincidental fondness for the same tropes.
- Cry for the Devil: Kato's death is a curiously somber affair, with him stating he is 'free' of his heart of stone at last. In the book Mio wonders if anyone hated Kato more than Kato hated himself.
YMMV / The Land Of Far Away