“The Kid Who Would Be King”: Taking England Back to Its Mythic Poetic Childish Self

I need to stop thinking that every kids movie set in England is a Brexit film.

Paddington and Paddington 2, Mary Poppins Returns, and Joe Cornish’s latest Arthurian revamping, The Kid Who Would Be King are not Brexit films. Even the Benedict Cumberbatch HBO Brexit is not a Brexit film.

The Kid Who Would Be King is so multicultural embracing; so intent on showing the Arthurian essence in every English child; the Lady of the Lake existing in every drop of British water; that chivalry, equality, liberty and honesty are not just French sounding phrases but English in their very essence; and that Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings may provide 100% of all Kid’s battle echoes but not it’s unequivocally British Arthurian soul.

I have no fault with movies that teach kids to look for the mythic and poetic in everything around them. A nation that is 1/3rd poets, 1/3rd scientists, 1/3rd politicians has a genuine harmonic balance that provides a hedge against the slide into chaos and the abyss.

Besides any movie that has the wisdom and sense of humor to cast Gollum’s son (Louis Ashbourn of Andy Serkis fame) as the Arthurian lead; the astounding hand magic and deadpan comic artistry of Angus Imrie as a young Merlin and Patrick Stewart as old Merl in a Led Zeppelin T-shirt is a beyond magical thing.

The Kid Who Would Be King is genial, round and appropriately British. This Camelot has charm.

All photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox Pictures.

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