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The King and I 1999 poster
Theatrical release poster
The King and I
Directed by Richard Rich
Produced by Peter Bakalian
Arthur Rankin
James G. Robinson
Written by Peter Bakalian
Jacqueline Feather
David Seidler
Starring Miranda Richardson
Martin Vidnovic
Ian Richardson
Darrell Hammond
Music by James Horner
Cinematography
Editing by Joe Campana
Paul Murphy
Production company(s) Morgan Creek Productions
Rankin/Bass Productions
Nest Family Entertainment
Rich Animation Studios
Distributor Warner Bros. Family Entertainment
Release date(s) March 19, 1999
Running time 88 minutes
90 minutes (extended version)
Language English
Budget $25 million
Gross revenue $11,993,021
Official Website
Preceded by
Followed by
External links

The King and I is a 1999 American animated musical film that is loosely adapted from the Anna Leonowens story, and uses songs and some of the character names from the stage musical The King and I.

Plot

In 1862 Siam, the King of Siam rules with traditional beliefs and refusal to change. With the arrival of Englishwoman Anna Leonowens and her son Louis, his evil, but villainous Prime Minister, Kralahome, plots to have the King overthrown with deceit. At the same time, the Crown Prince Chulalongkorn falls in love with Tuptim, a servant given to the King as a gift from Burma, but their love and friendship must remain a secret as such is strictly forbidden.

Voice cast

  • Martin Vidnovic as King of Siam
  • Miranda Richardson as Anna Leonowens
    • Christiane Noll as Anna's singing voice
  • Ian Richardson as Kralahome
  • Darrell Hammond as Master Little. A running gag is that he somehow loses a tooth.
  • Allen D. Hong as Prince Chulalongkorn
    • David Burnham as Chulalongkorn's singing voice
  • Armi Arabe as Tuptim
    • Tracy Venner Warren as Tuptim's singing voice
  • Adam Wylie as Louis Leonowens
  • Sean Smith as Sir Edward Ramsay
  • J.A. Fujili as First Wife
  • Ken Baker as Captain
  • Ed Trolla as Sir Edward's Captain
  • Anthony Mozdy as Burmese Emissary
  • Alexandra Lai as Princess Ying
  • Katherine Lai as Prince Narmi
  • Mark Hunt as Steward
  • B.K. Tochi as Soldier

Musical numbers

  1. "I Whistle a Happy Tune" - Anna, Louis, Chorus
  2. "Hello, Young Lovers" - Anna
  3. "Getting to Know You" - Anna, Children
  4. "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" - Anna
  5. "A Puzzlement" - King
  6. "I Have Dreamed" - Chulalongkorn, Tuptim
  7. "Prayer to Buddha" - King, Anna
  8. "Anna Remembers/Shall We Dance Fantasy" - Anna
  9. "Shall We Dance? (Finale)" - Anna, King
  10. "I Have Dreamed/We Kiss in a Shadow/Something Wonderful" (end credits) - Barbra Streisand

Soundtrack

A soundtrack album was released on March 16, 1999 by Sony Classical Records. It was released on both CD and cassette formats. All the songs on the album were composed by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers. William Ruhlmann of Allmusic.com gave the album a rating of 3 stars out of 5, describing it as a "surprisingly adequate" soundtrack to a "badly received" film. He adds, however, that the "overly effusive vocal performances" and "overly busy arrangements" make it "by far the worst version of this music ever recorded", and cites the use of "nine different orchestrators" as a possible factor. He concludes by conceding that there is good singing on the album. John Kenrick in his article Comparative CD Reviews Part III, describes the 1999 recording as a "total disgrace" that sees "superb Broadway singers...labor against mindless cuts and gooey orchestrations". In a relatively negative review of the animated adaption, the book The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia does say that "some of the songs survive nicely, and the singing vocals throughout are very proficient".

Release

The King and I was released theatrically on March 19, 1999 by Warner Bros. and produced by Morgan Creek Productions, Rankin/Bass Productions, Nest Family Entertainment, and Rich Animation Studios.

Box office

The film was a box office bomb. It took in $4,007,565 in its opening weekend, taking the #6 spot at the box office, but only managed to gross just under $12 million at the box office, and was overshadowed by the release of Doug's 1st Movie.

Critical reception

The film received mainly negative reviews with a 13% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Historian Thomas Hischak wrote that it was "surprising to think that the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization allowed it to be made ... children have enjoyed The King and I for five decades without relying on dancing dragons". Hischak, in his work The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television, says the film is "easily the worst treatment of any Rodgers and Hammerstein property". The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia says "whether or not one agrees about the 1956 film of The King and I being the best R&H movie, most would concede that [the] animated adaption is the worst". It notes that it is surprising that the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization green-lit the project, and adds that it is shocking how the source material could be made into such an "awful" movie, saying "geared towards children, the story is reduced to a carefree singalong with annoyingly superficial characters, cuddly animals, a forced love story, and a wasteland of scenes without wit or intelligence". It notes that the film seems to be a The King and I for kids, though points out that the original film has been "a kid-favourite for generations already, without the addition of supernatural elements such as dragons." Roger Ebert gave it 2 stars out of 4 and felt that animated adaptations of musicals have potential but found the film rather dull.

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