Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nostalgia Theater: King Arthur and the Knights of Justice

As I've mentioned a few times here in Nostalgia Theater, barring a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, Batman: The Animated Series), action-adventure kidvid during the early '90s was a real big garbage dump, a veritable Dark Ages where even decent concepts mired in terrible animation and questionable execution. Today's entry, however, was terrible all the way around. I'm talking about King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, a show that proves they've been trying to crack the Arthur myth for modern audiences long before Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam came along.

Premiering in syndication in fall of '92, this one was created by Jean Chalopin (founder of legendary crap factory DiC) and Avi Arad (who'd also developed this show that same fall, and would go on to spearhead Marvel Entertainment for most of the decade). The premise had the legendary Knights of the Round Table taken captive at the hands of sorceress Morgana Le Fey, forcing faithful Merlin to scour the timeline for new knights to free them. Conveniently, he finds a group of high school football players called the Knights, with a quarterback named Arthur King. Guess what happens next?

For twenty-six episodes over the next two seasons, Arthur and his friends Lance, Tone, Wally, etc. fight the good fight in special armor while trying to acquire the 12 Keys of Truth to finally free the original Knights and send their replacements home to their own time. King Arthur and the Knights of Justice ended before they reached their goal. And despite there being enough faith in the premise to launch a Mattel toyline, a Marvel Comics miniseries, and even a Super Nintendo video game (which hit shelves in '95 -- two years after the cartoon had been cancelled), like so many stabs at modernizing Arthurian lore, this one was stuck in the stone.

One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Ten Years Without The West Wing

Two Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: AfterMASH Loses the War

Three Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Godzilla: The Series -- A Horrible Remake Spawns a Not-Bad Sequel

Four Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: A Final Farewell for Trek's First Family

Five Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Forever Knight -- Fangs for the Memories!

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