Sunday, June 29, 2008
Never Laugh at Animated Dragons
Review by Christopher Coleman
The Dragonlance franchise has been around almost as long as Dungeons and Dragons. This particular world of the fantasy genre was first opened up by Laura and Tracey Hickman with their book DRAGONS OF AUTUMN TWILIGHT. From that were spawned nearly 200 novels, board games and video games. After decades of decent popularity with the D&D faithful, the world of DRAGONLANCE came to video in January 2008.
The animated feature, DRAGONLANCE: DRAGONS OF AUTUMN'S TWILIGHT was certainly shy of the sort of resources that many animated features get today, including those made for television or direct-to-video projects. Unfortunately, the producers were unable to hide this fact and as a result DRAGONLANCE is going to be, for most adults, a very difficult thing to watch. While children, who simply love anything animated, may find this presentation entertaining, most will find ample opportunity to cringe: whether it be from awkward 3D animated characters, stilted writing, uncomfortable, American accented-characters (forgive the stereotype, but British or some European accent is a must for these types of productions), or the painful combination of the lot. These were some of the most difficult 90 minutes of viewing I have had in years. If I were a drinking man, this would have been a much more enjoyable experience playing a Lord of the Rings Reference Drinking Game while watching. All of that negativity spouted, one thing the producers did do right - they hired composer KARL PREUSSER to lay down the musical score. It was Preusser's surprisingly robust score that convinced me to give them film itself a shot. Sadly, not even the composer's dynamic score could lift this feature off the ground, but as a stand-alone experience, DRAGONLANCE proves to be a surprisingly entertaining listen.
Read the full review here