Metascore
29

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 20
  2. Negative: 9 out of 20
  1. 63
    The animation itself is just OK. And the reworked script, despite some funny one-liners, is pretty much there just to pull the story along to its inevitable conclusion. [19 March 1999, Friday, p. A]
  2. It's doubtful that today's children would have any patience for the stagy 1956 version, so the current animated offering, despite its flaws, at least opens a door to the music.
  3. Animated version of the Rogers & Hammerstein musical.
  4. Still, it's almost impossible to entirely wreck this great chestnut of Broadway and film. Thanks mostly to the terrific songs, the new version has transporting moments. [20 March 1999, Daily Notebook, p.B1]
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    No abomination but forgettably mediocre. [19 March 1999, Life, p. 13E]
  6. 50
    It's hard to be diverted by a tale whose emblematic romances and terminal cuteness serve an agenda that seems particularly dated today.
  7. Shabby, nondescript hack job.
  8. Reviewed by: Nicole Campos
    40
    The tale has been tidied, buffed, waxed and polished into a harmless but relatively boring adventure.
  9. Reviewed by: M. V. Moorhead
    40
    For adults, the film does, at least, offer up most of the lovely, schmaltzy Rodgers and Hammerstein score. Even here, though, the pleasure comes with a wearying price tag.
  10. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    40
    The animation is done in rich, jewel-like colors, but it seems strangely flat. The overall film does, too, although the glorious Rodgers and Hammerstein music makes up for a lot.
  11. 38
    Unappealing for children and adults alike, The King and I will likely bring families together in their mutual boredom.
  12. A dismal pastiche of threadbare plot devices and not-so-comic interludes.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    30
    Broadway musical purists will shudder in horror, but parents will be whistling a happy tune that there's at least one acceptable pic out there for their kids.
  14. Reviewed by: Stephen Witty
    25
    Lacks genuine magic.
  15. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    20
    Garish, animated junk.
  16. 20
    It's hard to imagine a more ill-advised choice of source material.
  17. Even the Richard Rich-directed animation -- except for some nice but gratuitous computer-generated walking statues and dramatic ocean waves -- is not appreciably better than Saturday morning cartoons.
  18. It's a puzzlement how so many pros could have so wrecked one of the most beloved, hummably familiar movie musicals in the Rodgers and Hammerstein repertoire.
  19. An animated King and I? Now there's torture, especially in this wretched, lurid, absurd concoction which seems to have been conceived to annoy adults and bore children.

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