Jewel Kingdom: The Ruby Princess Runs Away (2001)

“While the great wizard Gallivant scours the Jewel Kingdom to find the Runaway Princess, the evil Darklings and their leader Princess Rudgrin plot to take over her throne. Only Princess Roxanne and her new friends (some loyal gnomes and a very special dragon) can stop them.”

– Anonymous, IMDB.

The Ruby Princess Runs Away is based on the first entry in the Scholastic book series Jewel Kingdom, written by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner. The series spans 13 books and all follow the adventures of the various Jewel Princesses. Beecham and Hillgartner wrote the movie themselves, with Beecham also acting as the director. The film is notable for being comedian Harvey Korman’s last acting performance. Korman had previously appeared on The Carol Burnett Show, Blazing Saddles, and The Star Wars Christmas special. 

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
Yet another Youtube find! This was one of those movies that 5 minutes in, I knew I wanted to add it to my collection. It’s delightfully cheesy, very much intended for a younger audience (Cue my crusty old self creeping out from the shadows to snark a ton at this movie). I get the impression there was an earnest effort in this one (Likely due to the director being one of the authors of the series).

I imagine there must’ve been plans to do other movies based of the rest of the books, but I’m going to hazard a guess that The Ruby Princess Runs Away didn’t sell great, which kibosh-ed any plans for sequels. Honestly it makes me kind of bummed! I wouldn’t have minded more dosages of scholastic cheesiness.
Fun fact, but the DVD contains some sing-a-longs as bonus features. You can bet that our viewing group consisting of 30-ish adults were making good use of this. The songs themselves are pretty terrible, both lyrically and vocally. Again, I don’t like to cast shade on the music in these movies too much because I’m not musically inclined, but I think even I could come up with some better lyrics than the ones in this movie. It adds to the incredibly cheesy nature of this movie though, so if given the chance I probably wouldn’t change a thing.    As an aside, during our viewing of this film my group of friends immediately started comparing Harvey Korman’s character, the dragon who appears on the front cover, to Fran from Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs. 

  Because it’s aimed at younger audiences this one is a big hoot to watch as an adult. There’s just something about the line deliveries, acting, and visuals that make me grin ear to ear. So I say, give this one a look! And mourn with me over the fact that we only got one of these amazingly cheesy films.   

References

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