STDVD: Dragons of Autumn Twilight

May 1, 2010

What the … ?

First of all, I didn’t know this existed until yesterday. Luckily, it was available in the “if you buy Into The Blue 2, we’ll give you this Dragonlance movie for free” bin at a certain video store I tell people I don’t go to.

This is such a bad film. Watch the trailer. You’ll agree.

And I had such high hopes. I loved the first Dragonlance trilogy, liked the second, read the third, and just now discovered there are 200 more books. I won’t seek them out. But that first set of books was a worthy entry-level fantasy series, something that surpassed its “let’s sell some TSR games” raison d’etre and gave us 80s fans a smart, fast series that touched all the bases.

Some questions I have about the movie:

  1. Did its creators not notice that animation has moved on from the He-Man and She-Ra look?
  2. Did they not think people would be a little weirded out by the odd mix of CGI dragons and hand-drawn, stupid-looking characters?
  3. How do you condense even one of these books into a single film without adding piles of suckness. Wait, the movie answers that question.
  4. Is it possible to make an animated movie without Michael Rosenbaum and Phil LaMarr? Nope to that, too. This is why Rosenbaum quit Smallville?
  5. Casting Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin was inspired, but after seeing this I think Kiefer phoned in his lines from under a pile of scotch bottles in the back of a limo crashed into a tree.

In short, this is beyond bad, beyond unwatchable, and ruins what is, I think, a fine fantasy book series for people who don’t normally like this sort of thing. Go read those first three books, folks. Meet Tanis and Tas and Fizban and Flint. Have some fun with swords and dragons and dwarves and elves. You can use this DVD as a bookmark.

  • Note: This is the return of an occasional series looking at movies that go straight to DVD. The first set of reviews I wrote last year stemmed from my own collection, but now we’re going to look at new films.

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