The King and I | Chicago Reader

The King and I

Traditions in 19th-century Siam give way to Western influence when a British schoolteacher who's come to educate the royal children ends up schooling their father in this adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It's hard to be diverted by a tale whose emblematic romances and terminal cuteness serve an agenda that seems particularly dated today—the idea that a paternal relationship between two cultures is constructive if one “evolves” to resemble the other. This idea may seem incidental, hidden as it is amid the light drama, paint-box colors, and other confections of this animated movie, whose Siamese characters speak broken English not only to the English-speaking foreigners but to one another. But even if this cultural myopia is imperceptible to young children—apparently the age group targeted—this doesn't mean it's not affecting them. Richard Rich directed a screenplay by Peter Bakalian, Jacqueline Feather, and David Seidler; with the voices of Miranda Richardson, Christiane Noll, and Martin Vidnovic.

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