'Dragonlance: Dragons Of The Autumn Twilight'
(Lucy Lawless, Kiefer Sutherland, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2007 / Paramount)
Overview: Welcome to the world of Krynn - a world on the brink of a dark age. While humanity slides toward fanaticism and war, a long-dormant evil begins to rise. Amid the chaos, lifelong friends who went their separate ways in years past are drawn together once again. When they accept a mysterious woman into their midst, it begins a quest that will either save Krynn - or doom it for all time.
DVD Verdict: 'Dragons of Autumn Twilight' was not only a great read but a wonderful new DVD to behold, trust me. I grew up with the original Dragonlance Chronicles (Dragons of Autumn Twilight / Dragons of Winter Night / Dragons of Spring Dawning) having an expectation that the film's animation would be at the same level or better than the original books - I was immediately left neither smiling or frowning!
Indeed, ever since the announcement was made about an animated Dragonlance movie, I’ve been extremely curious to get at least a taste of what the final product might be like. Again, I loved reading these books when I was younger, and had always hoped I would get to see them on the big screen one day. Unfortunately, the decision to go animated was a strange one, and to be honest, a little disappointing. Comparing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies to Ralph Bakshi’s animated version offers proof enough that live action should have been the ideal medium.
On the other hand, with a solid voice cast that includes Kiefer Sutherland, Lucy Lawless, and Michael Rosenbaum, I didn’t want to write this off completely. Well, after getting a final long look at it this past weekend I’m not feeling overly confident that animation was the way to go over CGI. In particular, the integration of CG elements with traditional animation seems downright terrible, and the fact that the film is rated PG-13 proves that it's garnered some tameness along the way.
So, for all you fans of the books out there, you have to watch it (of course) as we all loved the stories, but we can only hope that a crappy animated version is the pre-requisite first step to getting a proper future live action adaptation in development instead! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Original Test Animation
Initial Character Design