UNIDENTIFIED FLYING ODDBALL
THE SPACEMAN AND KING ARTHUR
The previous film adaptations of the story relied heavily on the Vaudeville tradition, being comic in tone and usually having songs. However, in this Disney comedy, as the alternate title The Spaceman and King Arthur implies, the Mark Twain story gets a considerable overhaul for the post-Star Wars (1977) era. Now Mark Twains man of Yankee know-hows conventional arsenal of magnifying glasses and books of matches has been replaced with space shuttles, android doubles, laser guns, Moon buggies and rocket packs. Indeed, bar the basic setting and the court politicking, there is little of Twain that is recognisable any longer. Nevertheless, the annoyingly jingoistic tone of the previous film versions remains the wiggist notion of a technically superior wiseass conducting technological marvels before ignorant peasants, plus the tendency to reduce the characters of Arthurian myth to buffoonish figures.
It is all light and innocuous comedy in the Disney tradition that was in vogue in the 1960s/70s and entirely predictable. The effects are weak. The demonstration lecture about the planned Stardust mission at the beginning contains a surprisingly accurate detailing of the workings of a ramscoop drive what a peculiar film in which to find such an advanced idea spelt out.
Other versions of the Mark Twain story are: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (1921), A Connecticut Yankee (1931), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (1949), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (tv movie, 1978), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (tv movie, 1989), A Kid in King Arthurs Court (1995), A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (1995), A Knight in Camelot (1998) and Black Knight (2001). There was even a Bugs Bunny version A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthurs Court (1978).
Clip from the film here:-