Dragonlance: Dragons of the Autumn Twilight

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Michael Rosenbaum as Tanthalas ‘Tanis’ Half-Elven (voice)
Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin Majere (voice)
Lucy Lawless as Goldmoon (voice)
Fred Tatasciore as Flint Fireforge / Fewmaster Toede (voice)
Michelle Trachtenberg as Tika (voice)
Rino Romano as Caramon Majere (voice)
Jason Marsden as Tasslehoff Burrfoot (voice)
Neil Ross as Fizban The Fabulous (voice)
Marc Worden as Sturm Brightblade (voice)
Phil LaMarr as Riverwind / Gilthanas (voice)
Dee Bradley Baker as Pyros (voice)
Nika Futterman as Takhisis (voice)
Mari Weiss as The Forestmaster (voice)
David Sobolov as Verminaard
Caroline Gelabert as Laurana (voice)
Susan Silo as Flamestrike (voice)
Ben L. McCain as Elistan (voice)
Jentle Phoenix as Bupu (voice)
Juliette Clair as Onyx (voice)

Special Features:
Original Test Animation
Initial Character Design

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“After 300 hundred years of peace, the world of Krynn has descended into darkness as the evil goddess Takhisis and her army of dragons threaten to dominate the lands. Can a small band of heroes, including the wizard Raistlin (Kiefer Sutherland), the priestess Goldmoon (Lucy Lawless), and the half-elven warrior Tanis (Michael Rosenbaum), save the world before all is lost? Based on the New York Times best-selling novel ‘Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight,’ the film is an epic tale of might, magic, and monsters!”

“Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight” is rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence.

Mini-Review:
As a kid I was a fan of “Dungeons & Dragons.” I watched the cartoon, bought the books, and attempted (but never successfully) to play the game. So I was somewhat interested in checking out this “Dragonlance” animated film. Unfortunately, the first 5 minutes completely turned me off of this movie and I had to endure the 85 remaining minutes for this review.

First off, the film features rather poorly animated CG dragons. They look terrible. Beginning animators could probably create better dragons. It’s that bad. Things aren’t helped when we’re blasted by a lot of fantasy history that is a bit convoluted. It leads to the 2-D animation which isn’t nearly as bad as the CGI. But while the characters look good, the animation of them is terrible. The character’s movements aren’t fluid and they jump around quite a bit. Actually, I take that back. One female character’s breasts bounce around as a male character stares at her. I wasn’t quite expecting that.

I liked the actors and actresses among the voice cast. Michael Rosenbaum, Kiefer Sutherland, and Lucy Lawless are all enjoyable in other productions. Here they are quite dull. Rosenbaum is flat as the human/elf hybrid. Sutherland acts with an overly gravely voice. Lawless is pretty much unrecognizable. In short, none of these name actors brought anything unique to their characters.

I came to a depressing realization after watching “Dragonlance.” After the “Lord of the Rings” films, all other fantasy films pale in comparison. It’s kind of like the numerous “Star Wars” copies that occurred after 1977. Everything else seemed like a ripoff and was a weak copy of the original. The same goes for “Dragonlance.” The fact that it has wizards, elves, and dwarves on a quest makes it come across as a cheap copy of LOTR (though the concept is hardly new). Can anyone besides the “Narnia” films make good fantasy?

Overall, I’d only recommend this film to die hard fans of “Dragonlance.” Nobody else would have the patience to endure this. Animation fans would be appalled at the animation and few people will be intrigued by the story.

The bonus features are almost non-existent. All you’ll find is Original Test Animation and Initial Character Designs.

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