Picks and Pans Review: A Kid in King Arthur's Court
This lame effort, Disney's latest live-action motion picture for children, owes a big, fat nod for its plot to Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In no way, however, does it improve upon the original, not to mention the two earlier film versions of Yankee—the first starring Will Rogers and the second featuring Bing Crosby.
A suburban California teen (Nicholas) is magically transported back to King Arthur's court, where he introduces to the Middle Ages such 20th-century necessities as mountain bikes, in-line skates, rock and roll, Big Macs and such vocabulary expanders as "dweeb" and "boogie." He also foils an evil lord (Malik) intent upon undermining the king. Kids may work up moderate excitement over these perfunctory proceedings (they already will have seen all the best jokes and bits in the TV ads and trailers), but accompanying adults, unimpressed by the cheesy sets and able to see the jokes and plot twists a jousting lance's length away, will want to bring along a Game Boy.
Kid is preceded by Runaway Brain, a new Mickey Mouse short in which a mad scientist switches Mickey's brain with that of a King Kongish monster. Brain has more good jokes in its seven minutes than Kid does in 91, and Minnie Mouse gets to do a swell Fay Wray impression. (PG)