The King and I (1999)

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The King and I (1999) Movie Poster Image
OK for kids, but classic movie version is a better bet.
  • G
  • 1999
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Gives a flavor of the culture of Siam (Thailand).

Positive Messages

There's more to advancing a civilization than learning; outdated traditions and customs must be changed to reflect equality for all.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Emma's a brave woman who's not intimidated by the king's authority.

 

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon violence. Early in the film, a boy nearly drowns after jumping off a ship to rescue his pet monkey. A black dragon sent to the ship by the antagonist breathes fire at two of the main characters. A boy punches an older boy and bloodies his nose. A character falls off a bridge into raging rapids. While taking a tour of the armory, a boy shoots a bow and arrow at another character. The arrow lands inches above the other character's head. This same character is then pinned down by a series of thrown knives that strike inches away from the outline of this body. Characters nearly fall to their deaths from an air balloon. Two characters kick each other into bags filled with elephant excrement.

 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this version this version of THE KING AND I is a 1999 animated feature based on the well-known Rogers and Hammerstein musical. While staying more-or-less close to the original production, this version does not shy away from cartoonish violence. Early in the film, a boy is rescued from drowning after jumping off his ship to rescue his pet monkey. Characters fight, throw spears, and a comic sidekick does a William Tell, where an arrow is shot and strikes a wall inches above his head. Shortly after, a series of knives is thrown at him and land around the outline of his body. This sidekick speaks in a "comical" pidgin English that flirts dangerously close to Asian stereotypes. Despite this, fans of Disney-style animated musicals from the 1990s should find much to enjoy in both the quality of the animation and in the arrangements of the musical numbers.
 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byadvocatewhat'sright December 30, 2012

Agree with 4kidshater

Who exactly would have thought this was a good idea? 4kidshater is right, this really was a stupid idea to begin with. Like he said, get Mulan instead. Or you c... Continue reading
Adult Written bynduns April 21, 2010

Feels more like 2 half-films than a full film

I don't think this movie could decide what its target audience was. The forbidden love story will come across as boring for kids while the evil sorcerer t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by4kidshater January 21, 2011

An Insult to both Thailand and to the makers of the Sound Of Music

THIS stupid movie is a grave insult not just to Both rodger and hammerstein, but to Thailand too!!! I like Thailand and THis movie doesn't praise it, It in... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this animated version of THE KING AND I, Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, leave their home in London for Siam, where Anna becomes governess to the King's many children. As in the stage play and the classic musical, the King and Anna don't see eye-to-eye at first, but the King begins to respect her worldly advice and listens to her when she tells him to throw a party for British officials instead of waging war on them. But Siam's dastardly prime minister, Kralahome, sets out to become ruler by ruining the King's reputation in front of the British bigwigs.

Is it any good?

Don't waste your time on this animated version -- rent the classic film version with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr instead. Some of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein songs remain, but extensive plot changes (mostly of the dumbing-down variety) remove most of the value.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this take on the story compares with the classic 1956 movie starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

  • Families can also talk about the history of Siam, which is now Thailand. How much was it influenced by Europeans? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animation

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate