King Arthur & the Knights of Justice is a Sunday morning, syndicated animated series which lasted for two seasons of 13 episodes each. The cartoon was produced by Golden Films, C&D Entertainment and Bohbot Entertainment. Jean Chalopin (co-founder of DiC Entertainment and the creator and writer of the series), Diane Eskenazi (Golden Films) and Avi Arad (Toy Biz CEO) were executive producers of the series. Its first episode aired on September 13, 1992, and the last episode was on December 12, 1993.
The show's premise had King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table trapped in the Cave of Glass by the evil enchantress Queen Morgana. The wizard Merlin, unable to free King Arthur and the Knights himself, searches the timeline for replacement Knights.
Merlin finds the quarterback of the New England Knights football team, Arthur King, as a suitable replacement. Merlin transports Arthur King and his teammates to Camelot after one of their football games and appoints Arthur King as their leader, with his teammates as the new Knights of the Round Table, and assigns them the task of freeing the true King and Knights. To do so, they must find the 12 Keys of Truth, one for each knight that only the knight in question can initially touch. Once all the keys are found, the real knights will be free and the team will return home. In the meantime, they pledge "....fairness to all, to protect the weak and vanquish the evil". The Knights are armed with special armor and are able to summon their respective creatures at any time when in battle armor. These animals, such as King Arthur's dragon, are emblazoned on their shields.
The series had a progressive story with both sides making progress towards their goals. Continuity was also established in the episodes which would be brought up in later episodes, along with some repeat minor characters, character relationships, and previously overcome weaknesses of the Knights. Despite the continual movement towards a resolution, the series is incomplete and ended abruptly during the second season.
The Knights of the Round TableEdit
- King Arthur (Arthur King) (voiced by Andrew Kavadas) – The quarterback of his football team, The Knights, in his own time, Arthur uses his natural leadership skill in battle against Morgana's Warlords. While seeking Merlin's counsel at times, Arthur usually comes up with clever strategies and battle plans when needed. His shield houses the Dragon of Justice (also called the Dragon of the Shield), a wyvern which can be unleashed to do his bidding when he needs it. The dragon was the family crest of the original Arthur of legend, Arthur Pendragon. He stores the great sword excalibur in his chestplate, rather than a sheath. His horse's name is mentioned once as being Valor.
- Sir Lancelot (Lance) (voiced by Scott McNeil) – Lance is the second in command of the knights and Arthur's best friend. Fearless and brave, Lance is usually the most serious of the knights. His emblem is a lion.
- Sir Tone (voiced by Scott McNeil) – Tone is the team's inventor and blacksmith. He invented many machines based on ones he's seen in his own time. This does not take away from his battling ability however. Tone's real name is Anthony, and he speaks with an Italian accent. His chestplate houses a hammer and chisel with which he can build almost anything.
- Sir Trunk (voiced by Scott McNeil) – The knights' strongman; he's featured heavily in the first two episodes, but after that he becomes more of a background player. His shield contains a giant ram strong enough to break down walls and carry several people on its back with ease.
- Sir Wally (voiced by Lee Jeffrey) – A guard for The Knights football team, as a true knight his job is now to protect Arthur during attacks. Good natured, but takes it hard when he makes mistakes. Sir Brick is his best friend. His shield emblem is a falcon.
- Sir Brick (voiced by Gary Chalk) – Like Wally, Brick is usually used as Arthur's bodyguard. He has unwavering loyalty to his friends, including his best friend, Wally. He is able to call an apparently unlimited supply of bricks out of his chest plate and create massive walls from them at will.
- Sir Phil (voiced by Gary Chalk) – One of the stronger knights of the twelve. Is very adamant about returning "to the land of cheeseburgers and fries". His chestplate houses a club, and his shield contains a black panther.
- Sir Darren (voiced by Michael Donovan) – The only one of the knights with a crossbow, Darren is the team's pretty boy. Now he has found a steady girlfriend in Lady Elaine. He is usually cool and confident on and off the battlefield, perhaps too much so. His shield houses a giant eagle, or Roc, capable of lifting multiple men in each talon.
- Sir Gallop (voiced by Mark Hildreth) – The ladies' man, Gallop constantly thinks of women. In season 2 he dates the peasant girl called Katherine.
- Sir Breeze (voiced by Lee Jeffrey) – Breeze is the big trash talker in the group. He also uses a lot of slang of his time—appropriate for one whose emblem is the sphinx, since in Greek myths this creature was known for riddles. He is a bit of an egotist but knows where his priorities lie.
- Sir Lug (voiced by Michael Donovan) – Though originally the team's equipment manager, in Medieval times, Lug is in charge of Camelot's squires. Lug has low self-esteem and is usually picked on by some of the other knights, but he possesses great courage and can even hold his own against Lord Viper in a fight. His shield emblem resembles a kraken or octopus.
- Sir Zeke (voiced by Mark Hildreth) – A certified brainiac, Zeke is the least seen of the knights. His voice sounds like that of Woody Allen.
- Merlin (voiced by Jim Byrnes) – The great wizard who served King Arthur. He was responsible for bringing Arthur and his teammates into the past to fight the Warlords of Queen Morgana after the real King Arthur and his knights were imprisoned. Merlin is a great asset to the knights and uses his various spells, potions and advice to assist them when needed. He is also the only person from his time period to know Arthur and the others' true identities.
- Queen Guinevere (voiced by Kathleen Barr) – Camelot's queen and the real King Arthur's wife. Guinevere was initially captured by Morgana at the show's beginning, but she was rescued by Arthur King (posing as her husband), Lance, and Trunk. She often wonders about the change in Arthur's demeanor and manner of acting, unaware of the whole truth; however, in one episode it is implied that she knows Arthur King isn't the man she married, and is simply keeping up appearances.
- Lady Elaine (voiced by Venus Terzo) – Guinevere's attendant and Darren's girlfriend.
- Lady Mary – Guinevere's second attendant, and aunt to Squire Everett. In the season 1 episode "To Save a Squire", her and Sir Tone at first seem to resent each other, but in the end show affection for each other.
- Squire Tyronne (voiced by Michael Donovan) – A squire who looks up to Sir Lug and has a strong desire to be a knight.
- Squire Everett (voiced by Mark Hildreth) – Like Tyrone, Everett is very passionate about being a knight. Nephew of Lady Mary.
- Lady of the Table – The protector of the knights, her spirit can be seen as the knights are being equipped with their armor and weapons. The knights cannot see her, however, until the Season 2 episode "What the Key Unlocked" where she reveals herself to Lance.
- Lady of the Lake (voiced by Kathleen Barr) – The keeper of Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake gives the mighty sword to Arthur King after the imprisonment of the original King Arthur in the Cave of Glass.
Enemies of the KnightsEdit
- Queen Morgana (voiced by Kathleen Barr) – The evil sorceress and King Arthur's half-sister who serves as the primary antagonist of the series. She was responsible for sealing Arthur and his knights into the Cave of Glass. She despises Merlin and has great magical prowess. While she is unsure where they came from, she knows the new Arthur and his set of knights are frauds. Among other things, Morgana constructed the vicious Warlords out of stone. If the Warlords are broken or destroyed in battle, Morgana can reassemble them using her magic.
- Lord Viper (voiced by Gary Chalk) – The second-in-command and overall field commander of the Warlords. He seems to be the only human in Lady Morgana's army. Viper has a constant hatred for Arthur King and they have had several sword fights throughout the series. Viper's main weapon is a jagged-edge sword, but he also has a snake emblem on his armor which can attack Viper's opponent. He rides in a cart that doubles as a catapult. He leads Morgana's army on the front lines while Morgana remains back at her castle.
- Warlord Axe (voiced by Scott McNeil) – A warlord who is not too bright, Axe has a plethora of ax weapons and an ax cart. He also is the only warlord able to defeat King Arthur on two separate occasions.
- Warlord Bash (voiced by Gary Chalk) – A primitive warlord who wields a bone club and skull shaped shield. He likely represents the Saxon barbarians that raid most of Europe in legend.
- Warlord Blackwing (voiced by Scott McNeil) – The third-in-command and Viper's right hand man, Blackwing possesses pterodactyl-like wings and can fly, allowing him to attack his enemies with the mid-air dart attacks from his talons. He is also is equipped with a pike. He is responsible for capturing Guinevere early in the series.
- Warlord Blinder – A warlord who is able to blind his opponents by striking together his two dirks. He can also throw them with perfect aim.
- Warlord Hammer (voiced by Michael Donovan) – A super strong behemoth with two hammers as weapons considered to be one of the strongest among them.
- Warlord Lucan – A savage wolf-like berserker warlord with sharp claws, missile attacks and a wolf-head cart that breathes fire.
- Warlord Slasher – A warlord with many sharp weapons including spears, a serrated–spiked cape and a spear cart. Also his armor could be configured into a pair of deadly gauntlets.
- Warlord Spike – A warlord with a Guan dao style weapon that can shoot projectiles and a spear cart; he also seems to be one of the smartest, as he leads many missions and applies battle strategies.
- Lord Chang – Known as the Purple Warrior because of his armor, he leads an army of samurai-like warriors, known as the Purple Horde, who also menace the Knights in the second season. However, they are more neutral as sometimes they see the Warlords as both ally and enemy. They also hold a strict moral code of honour; such as one on one duels and repaying debt. Chang is also impressed with Arthur's taming of his dragon; as Chang's warriors are based on Asian factions, dragons are considered sacred to them.
Knights' weapons, items and vehiclesEdit
Each knight has at least one weapon through which Merlin can communicate. Some knight weapons appear out of the chest plates of their armor, others have weapons separate from the armor and have either items or more (rarely used) weapons that appear from their armor. Each knight also has a shield with an animal pictured on them; these animals can materialize out of the shields and aid the knights. Some of the knights also ride in horse drawn carts with giant weapons, as opposed to just riding a horse.
|Knight||Armor Weapon/Item||External Weapon||Shield Animal||Cart|
|Trunk||Battering Ram||Battle Axe||Ram||Ramhead Cart|
|Tone||Blacksmith's Hammer and Stake||Sword||Serpent||Large Wagon|
|Darren||Crossbow||Crossbow||Eagle||Giant Crossbow Cart|
|Brick||Brick Wall||Sword||Bat||Brick Tower Cart|
|||This section requires expansion.|
- "Opening Kick-Off"
- "A Knight's Quest (The Search for Guinevere)"
- "The Unbeliever"
- "Even Knights Have to Eat"
- "Assault on Castle Morgana"
- "Quest for Courage"
- "The Warlord Knight"
- "The Challenge"
- "To Save a Squire"
- "The Surrender"
- "Darren's Key"
- "Viper's Phantom"
- "The Way Back"
- "A Matter of Honor"
- "What the Key Unlocked"
- "Tyronne and Everett Alone"
- "The Dark Side"
- "The Quitter"
- "Camelot Park"
- "The High Ground"
- "The Island"
- "Quest for the Book"
- "Enter Morgana"
- "The Cure"
- "Winter Campaign"
- "Tone's Triumph"
In March 2010, after several various partial VHS and DVD releases, Image Entertainment released the complete series as a boxed set in the U.S. with all 26 episodes in a three-DVD set King Arthur and the Knights of Justice: The Complete Animated Series.
The whole series was available for free watching through Internet streaming at the Lycos' SyncTV service. As of 2011, it now available on Kidlet. Aas of 2012, it is available for instant streaming on Netflix.
- ^ King Arthur and the Knights of Justice - Action Figure Checklist
- ^ King Arthur And The Knights Of Justice (Marvel comic book) - 3 issues
- ^ Topless Robot - The 10 Most Ridiculous Adaptations of Arthurian Legend
- ^ 8 Mostly Forgotten '90s Cartoons - Topless Robot