animated movie The King and I © Rankin-Bass / Rich Animation
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The King and I

It's the classic story based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musical of the spirited English widow, Anna, and the powerful King of Siam. The King, in an effort to modernize his country, has sent for an English school teacher for the royal children, bringing Anna Leonowens and her son, Louie, across the sea to Siam. The Prime Minister of Siam, Kralahome, sees this as a perfect opportunity to make his grab for the royal throne by convincing Anna that the King is a "barbarian" in the hopes that she will convince the English government to dethrone him. Anna has her own ideas though--mostly of teaching the royal children and helping the King through the twists and turns of the changing world. West meets East and change meets tradition, in this story of two people that find they have much to learn from each other.

koalabear2000's avatar
rated it:
This film is sort of a rip off. And it's like absolutely trying to copy another film. So in that case, I have to prefer Anastasia. Because Anastasia had better...
Wanderingshadow's avatar
rated it:
I'm sorry to say that the people at Rich Animation really screwed this one up. This movie is based on the Tony winning musical of the same name. Between bad...
athena's avatar
rated it:
Wow. What a lemon... a film that could have been decent but succeeds only in falling on its face. Many will likely compare this film to the famous 1956 live-action...
Created by: Rankin-Bass, Rich Animation
Language: English
Country of Origin: USA
Featuring the voices of:
Martin Vidnovic ... The King of Siam
Miranda Richardson ... Anna Leonowens
Ian Richardson ... The Kralahome
Darrell Hammond ... Master Little
Allen D. Hong ... Prince Chululongkorn
Armi Arabe ... Tuptim
Adam Wylie ... Louis Leonowens
Sean Smith ... Sir Edward Ramsay
Directed by: Richard Rich
Executive Producers: Robert Mandel
Songs by: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein
Based on: the play by Rodgers & Hammerstein, the novel by Margaret Landon and the memoirs of Anna Leonowens

animated movie The King and I © Rankin-Bass / Rich AnimationAll the "King and I" movies and musicals make the claim that they're based on the true accounts of Anna Leonowens as written in her diaries however exactly how much truth exists in there is quite debatable. The names of the people were certainly real. Prince Chulalongkorn is considered one of the greatest kings to ever rule Siam (now known as Thailand). During his reign, Chulalongkorn abolished slavery and worked hard to educate his people. Today the most prestigious university in Thailand is named in his honour. You'd think for all this the Thais would be enthusiastic about the "King & I" story however the 1956 live-action movie was in fact banned from theatres in Thailand. Why? Mostly for the portrayl of Chulalongkorn's father, King Mongkut (the King in "The King and I"), who spent much of his life as a monk and is considered to be one of Thailand's wisest and most revered kings. The movie's portrayal of him as a singing bufoon greatly angered the Thai people and does to this day. Try to imagine being a patriotic American and seeing a movie about the Founding Fathers with them line-dancing in pink dresses--about that level of disgust. And the English school teacher, Anna Leonowens? She existed too and was indeed invited by King Mongkut to teach his children except, according to the Thais, she was never the King's trusted advisor. The records in Thailand show that Anna had a total of two audiences with the King: one when she arrived and another when she left. If that's correct, Anna's close relationship with the King that she describes in her diaries is pure fiction.

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