The grandly restored New Amsterdam opened with this Disney dramatization of the Hebrew ruler's life, a production originally commissioned by a European film producer as part of a commemorative ceremony for Jerusalem 3000. Indeed, this clunker from the creators of the Little Mermaid and Pocahontas harnesses an ungodly amount of biblical information but fails to tap any divine inspiration. The tireless cast, most notably Vidnovic as the suspicious King Saul, Samuel (the actor) as Samuel (the prophet) and Ripley as a glamorous, Gilda-esque Bathsheba make the best of their occasionally catchy numbers. In one high point, Kuhn, better known as the voice of Pocahontas, exhibits remarkable vitality with a rather unremarkable tune, “Never Again.” Overall, however, for a Disney production, the land of King David is no magic kingdom.
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