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Over-analyzing kids tv
the fork of truth
Justin and the Knights of Valour was awaited with much anticipation in our house; mainly by a four-year old girl currently obssessed with All Things Knightly. So yesterday we cycled into town with our jammy new Yepp bike seat to watch some knights being valourous.

One of the things I did like about it was all the Euoropean accents - a Hollywood production without American-ness? Goodness gracious me!
The Hero is, obviouly, Justin, whose dad wants him to go to Law School and wear a dress, and presumably grow up to look a bit like Lord Vetinari. Sadly, Justin is a bit of a crap hero. He's the perfect sidekick - sweet, honest and a bit dull, inspiring in everyone he meets the desire to either protect or ignore him.

Somewhat better Hero material is Talia, the kickass barmaid  with a  Dublin accent. (Also, points for sad Sleeping Beauty name going to awesome character. That girl has such a rubbish time, her name deserves to go out and have fun.)

However my personal choice for Hero in this movie is Sota the Henchman. He has power! He has style! He has ambiguous morals, devilish cunning and a flair for the dramatic. He has Fatal Flaws of vanity and a dysfunctional relationship with his brothers. He's even ginger! He wants so badly to be an Evil Villain or a Dashing Hero with his own clothing range but tragically he is DOOMED to the role of Comic Sidekick.

The (slightly dubious)  premise is that knights are outlawed and replaced by lawyers. But now there are Too Many Laws. Also too many forms, policemen and health-and-safety regulations. The People want a return to the Good Old Days of martial law, when you could kill off as many endangered species as you liked and never have to do any paperwork. (Oookay...)

So off goes Justin, clutching his beloved Lara's sock as a token of her utter indifference to him, and meets Talia in Ye Olde Inne where they trounce some Scandinavian bouncers. She introduces him to David Walliams, his 1960's medium wizard guide, complete with eyeliner and painted-on third eye. He has two personalities. One reminds me of this guy:

The other reminds me of Graham Norton.

And so Justin arrives at the Tower Of Wisdom. Cue Hercules/Mulan-style training montage culminating in this scene:

ELDERLY MONK #1: We must test him! He shall defeat a dragon!
ELDERLY MONK #2: Aren't they endangered?
ELDERLY MONK #3: Don't worry! I have made one for the occasion. Behold: GUSTAVE
ELDERLY MONK #2:...Is that...a terrified crocodile strapped to some remote-control wings and a flamethrower?


JUSTIN: *clings pluckily to terrified airborne crocodile* *plummets to his death*

Not his permanent death, obviously, we're only halfway through the movie. He gets brought back to life with a magic plant.

ELDERLY MONK #1: Justin, being a knight takes many important qualities but first among them is the ability to perform Really Stupid Heroics and, in defiance of all laws of physics and probability, Not Die through the sheer power of awesomeness. CLEARLY YOU DO NOT POSSESS THIS. Please leave now.

That might have been my favourite scene in the whole movie.

The other rather good character is Justin's Gran, who is best mates with the Queen and who's son make all the laws. She basically runs the country, smiling beatifically behind her little wire-rimmed spectacles. Go Granny Gandalf!

So Justin triumphs, because he miraculously gains the ability to fight whenever someone insults his family. He becomes a knight. (Presumably if he ever intends to win any future battles he will have to hire someone to sit on the sidelines shouting "your mother was a hamster and your father has a ridiculous moustache!") Talia, oddly, does not become a knight, despite a)having encyclopaediac knightly knowledge and b) being a kickass fighter, even without Insults to the Family Honour. Possibly because the role of spunky sidekick and love interest is enough to delight her fragile maidenly heart.

As knightly movies for little girls go, it was no match for the likes of Brave or How To Train Your Dragon, which is a shame as neither of those contain any actual knights.

Luckily, she also discovered the awesomess that is Mighty Morphin Power Rangers today. (Total sidenote: why are sabretooth tigeres and mammoths classed as dinosaurs in that show? Were the writers like "okay, so we've got T-rex and triceratops...can anyone think of any more? No? Oh well, lets just use some other animals from a TOTALLY DIFFERENT time period...I mean it's all The Past, right? What kid knows anything about dinosaurs, anyway?"

Come on guys, the UNDER-FIVES can do better than that!)

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LOL fun review, thanks :-) I think I have to watch that now..
I checked it out on YouTube & was surprised to find characters from How to Train Your Dragon which adds to the need to watch it

Thanks! I'm not sure I'd actually recommend watching's definitely not as good as How To Train Your Dragon, despite the fact it has Saoirse Ronan in it.

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