Story

When 12-year-old Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) unexpectedly finds King Arthur’s sword in a construction site, his life is quickly turned upside down. Suddenly he must fend off undead beings that break into his bedroom, unite friends and enemies, and work out how to defeat the growing evil underground – all without his mum finding out.

With the help of his round table of knights – Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) – and the changeable and extremely odd Merlin (Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart), Alex must form an army and defeat Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) before she brings about the end of the world.

Themes

Absent father (alcohol dependence); bullying; children at risk; magic

Violence

The Kid Who Would Be King has some violence. For example:

  • An animated sequence of an Arthurian battle scene shows people fighting with swords. Blood is shown.
  • Two bullies, who are older and ‘cooler’, frequently pick on Alex and Bedders, who are smaller and ‘uncool’. The two smaller boys are pushed over, held upside down and grazed in scuffles with the bullies.
  • Alex tackles one of the bullies to protect Bedders. This is presented as something the bully deserves and a courageous act on Alex’s part.
  • Alex stabs a sword through Morgana’s chest and later beheads her while she is in dragon-form.
  • School children engage in sword-based combat with zombie skeletons. No child appears to be harmed by these fights.

Sexual references

There are no sexual references of concern in The Kid Who Would Be King.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There is no substance use of any concern in The Kid Who Would Be King.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in The Kid Who Would Be King. For example, Merlin walks into a grocery store naked. He’s shown from the back with his buttocks obscured.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in The Kid Who Would Be King: smartphones including iPhones, Lego and Mario Kart.

Coarse language

There is no coarse language of concern in The Kid Who Would Be King.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Kid Who Would Be King is a well-made, modern retelling of the Arthurian legend from director Joe Cornish.

Although the central performances are strong and the visual effects are exciting, the story tends to drag in the middle section. Nevertheless, this movie is likely to entertain children under 15 years, but we recommend parental guidance for children under 10 years. Children under 8 years might find some scenes distressing because of their fantasy themes, scary imagery and violence.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include responsibility, courage and friendship.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • skipping school
  • running away and not letting a parent or guardian know where you are
  • trying to drive a car based on experience playing Mario Kart
  • physical and social bullying – for example, Alex discourages Bedders from speaking to Merlin because he thinks Merlin is even less ‘cool’ than they are.