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Am I The Only One Who Liked It
on 26 February 2008
After seeing everyone else's reviews, I seem to be one of the only people around who actually liked this movie.
Sure it wasn't a live-action 3D movie with lots of computer graphics, a five-star cast, and didn't include every bit of information from the books, but most people seem to forget that, although Dragonlanc is a mainstream product in the fantasy market, it is not, sadly, mainstream in the movie market. Very few fantasy films will make it onto the big screen (Eragon and Lord of the Rings being examples of exceptions), and as such there would never be chance to get a movie that everyone would like, and so we have to accept what we have been given and just be thankful that some people out there took the time to make us a movie.
I was at first very worried about the animated graphics. I was aware that most producers of fantasy films tend to draw their movies in 80s style cartoon animation, and being a child of that era I remember just how awful that kind of artwork was. I expected the lips to be stiff and somewhat out-of-sync with what was being said, and the movements to be a little jerky and traditionally stereotyped.
Therefore I was pleasantly surprised. I actually quite like the 2D graphics. They move well, speak well, and therefore, was quite pleased.
I wasn't so sure about the 3D animation. I wasn't quite sure that the 2D and 3D blended well. I understood that the animators probably thought that this blend of 2D and 3D would make us believe there was something more amazing and otherworldly about the dragons and the draconians if they were done in 3D, but I didn't really think it worked all that well. It would have been MUCH better if the whole thing was done in 2D. It was a nice attempt, but they would have turned out far better if it was just all animation. I still enjoy watching it despite this, but think it should just be left as 2D animation only. Just my opinion.
The only thing that really bugged me about the movie was that the scenes were incredibly short and clipped together. I can tell that this movie was made specifically for the existing fans--those who have prior knowledge and have already read Dragons of Autumn Twilight. The scenes are so short that only a reader would understand what was going on--a new watcher would feel overwhelmed by so much going on without them having the chance to understand it and just switch off. You really need to extend the film to over 2 hours to get everything in.
And because they have a time limit to work to, some scenes are eventually cut out or shortened. One of my favourite bits was cut out--that being Tas the Amazing Wooden Dragon. And also characters were cut--namely Berem and Eben (I'm assuming Berem will appear at the end of Winter Night when he starts to play a more prominent part), but anyone who really thinks about it will understand why this was done. Time limits and director's choice. Eben wasn't really necessary apart from comedic and suspicion value, and Berem isn't important at this time. Scenes like the one in Darken Wood with the Forestmaster really could have gone on a bit longer, and the scene where they meet Bupu, as there it seemed really fast.
And, and this is just a personal opinion, I think Lucy Lawless would have made a better Kitiara than Goldmoon. Though I will hold that judgement back until I hear who may play Kitiara if Winter Night is animated.
The best part of the movie is Tasslehoff. I'm an avid Raistlin fan, but Tas in the movie just wins. He was done absolutely SPOT ON. Looks wise, speech wise, etc. Tas was brilliant. Jason Marsdon had better keep on doing Tas all the way to War of Souls (if you decide to animate that far--I sincerely hope so--I'll buy them if no one else will!)
But overall, I enjoyed the film, and watch it often, and look forward to hearing about Winter Night being done.