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Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Reviews

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Luke B

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2010
A film that is technically awful, but has some interesting flourishes if you are prepared to look past the appearances. Apparently based on a series of books, Dragonlance is very popular. Unfortunately, all it could manage for a feature length film is this low budget animation. The animation is reminiscent of late 80's/early 90's cartoons such as Conan, and He-Man. It is all very jittery and clunky. Sometimes it looks as though characters are being pushed around the screen. The makers theb decide dto make the dragon CG, despite not having the budget for it. It mixes in an uncomfortable blend. On the surface, their are too many similarities to Lord of the Rings. There are Men, Elves, Dwarfs and Wizards. They make an unlikely team that join together to vanquish evil. There is more in terms of complex emotions and quirks, but they barely have room to breath. The hero is the product of a rape, one of the team has sacrificed himself for great power and is not trusted, despite being liked. There's even a mad dragon that comes into play.A lot of nice stuff, but the quality just isn't there to pull it off. Perhaps one day a more complete picture will form, but for now, these are the equivalent to the LOTR animated films.
Alexander W

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2009
I eventually for around to buy this as I am a D&D fan and played when I was around ten. I watched the cartoons on a Sunday morning and never read the novels but all the classic styles were there which I expect from classical D&D. You won't be impressed if you do not have a decent amount of knowledge about D&D and take your movie experiences too seriously. I've seen worse, which is basically saying that the animation wasn't up to current standards. Cult viewing at the most. One for the fans.
skactopus
skactopus

Super Reviewer

March 27, 2007
A film that has been long awaited for Dragonlance fans. Maybe fans could have waited a little bit longer.For the fantasy genre, the story is definitely there. It also moves at a really quick pace with a bunch of fade-ins and outs. This works well because it keeps things fresh by moving the characters from setting to setting without leaving them in one place for too long. The bad part about this is that there isn't enough explanation and backgrounds for characters, places, etc. While the film is still easy to pick up and follow, the lack of depth makes the film that much less interesting. Still, the essence of the story is there.One of the bigger disappointing features of this film is in the visual department. It's not that it is horribly drawn, but the fact that is seems outdated for its time. It truly is a letdown. There are a few aspects of the film that are in CG, like the dragons and draconians, which is nice, but in the end there is still room for improvement. As far as character design goes, it is done quite nicely.Probably the best part of this film is the voice-over work and it is not just because there are big names involved. The voices actually fit the characters. Kiefer Sutherland, Lucy Lawless, and even Michelle Trachtenberg are all nice selections for their parts. The sound effects aren't too bad either. A few of Raistlin's spells have a nice ring to them.This may not be the film that fans have been waiting for, but it still is something. If you are a fan of the book, then feel free to watch this at least once. It isn't no Lord of the Rings budget wise, but it isn't no Blood of the Samurai either, budget wise. If you have never seen Blood of the Samurai, consider yourself lucky.
_kelly .

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2008
I just couldn't get into this. Very traditional (read boring) and simplistic design. Annoying plot and even more annoying dialogue. Watch a Bakshi flick instead.
Drew S

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2008
When I was ten years old, I loved the Dragonlance books. I devoured those motherfuckers and I didn't care that they were cheesy, derivative fantasy pulp; to me they were like gifts from a really badass God.

Today I learned that they made a movie out of the first one and I knew it would suck right off the bat, especially when I read that the animation style was a blend of 80s cartoon and CGI and that Kiefer Fucking Sutherland was doing Raistlin's voice. But no, I was curious. I had to watch it. And while I concede that maybe the books aren't as great as I remembered them, they certainly did not deserve this treatment.

The first matter of business is the voice acting, which is by far the shittiest I've ever heard in an animation. Tanis's voice actor sounds like he is experiencing the most depressing time of his life (and really, I wouldn't be surprised if this was it). Raistlin, voiced as mentioned above by Kiefer Fucking Sutherland, sounds completely bizarre. I love the way he pronounces the spells too - he sounds like a schizoid speaking fake Hebrew. Everyone else is so boring that I've forgotten what they sound like already.

Second issue: the animation. Sure, I can appreciate that this was done on a shoestring budget (they probably spent all their money on Kiefer Fucking Sutherland), but there is no excuse for this bastardization of the cartoon image. Someone thought it would be a great idea to mimic the familiar 80s style of action cartooning; that is to say, cheap and styleless and done primarily in Korea. Think Thundercats or He-Man or basically anything made in that era. The characters all look like they have cerebral palsy, with their stiff-gaited walking and unmoving faces. Their expressions are truly terrifying, frozen into surreal masks that depict no emotions I've ever seen in real life.

I guess this was okay twenty years ago, but it obviously doesn't cut the mustard these days, so that same genius had the AWESOME idea to put CGI in the movie. Hideous fucking CGI. The result is this laughable cocktail of shit and lose, so ugly and sterile that it is unapproachable at any angle.

We all know that just because something is made on the cheap doesn't necessarily make it bad, but sadly, the final nail in the coffin: Dragonlance is just a poorly-done movie. It's unbalanced, cheesy, trite and directed with all the skill of an elementary school pageant. I love how the camera randomly zooms in on characters' faces for no reason at all; it really heightens the dramatic effect. Ugh, I can hardly bring myself to be sarcastically appreciative of this movie.

But in a sick sort of way, I actually am a little. It did have two subtle benefits:
a) It's good that Dragonlance is getting more exposure, even if it's in this form. Hopefully this will serve as a stepping stone to a badass live-action movie. What am I saying? There will never be one, and even if there is, it'll probably suck too. Fuck that.
b) I laughed so hard at this movie I woke up my dogs and brother.

So yeah. Uh. Do yourself a favor and skip this one unless you are so blindly devoted to the series that you can see past how shitty this movie is. In which case...I kind of envy you.
Beefy
Beefy

Super Reviewer

August 19, 2007
Well, I hadn't read the novel since middle school so I didn't remember much of it. It's amazing to me now how much of it feels like a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings. The 2D animation often looks and feels shoddy, and there is some inexplicable reason why they decided every dragon type creature in the film would be 3D, but I don't know what it is. And it isn't even good 3D. And how they got Kiefer to play Raistlin... well, who knows. All that said, it was a passable time waster, and scores a little extra interest to anyone who read the novel as a youth and wondered what it might be like as a film.
Sean S

Super Reviewer

January 18, 2008
I'm giving this movie a pass. I have waited for this movie since I was 14 because I loved this story and these characters. For the most part they stay true to that story so for that I gotta love it. Plus the voice talent is well chosen.
Where it falls down is the animation it looks for the most part to be animated like an '80's Saturday morning cartoon and personally I hate the mixture of traditional and computer animation. Choose one or the other, mixing looks like crap.
Still Dragonlance...COOL!
March 4, 2012
For what it was, this film could have been a lot worse. The cast was good, but the animation was just god awful.
May 22, 2007
The books are absolutely awesome! I really hope they don't screw it up...


Update:

They really screwed this thing up, BADLY... I didn't mind the animation to much. It sucked but I was still able to look past it, at least somewhat, and, being a fan of the books, hope that the story at least complimented the books and it did NOT!! When I first heard of the movie I was really hoping that what with the movie adaptions of all the other fantasy novels, that they've been doing for the past several years, that they would turn this into something at least decent. Thinking that it was going to be live action, I held my breath all for nothing.

When I heard that it was animation I knew that it was going to be a massive disappointment but, even then there was still some very small hope... They deviated from the original storyline, from the books themselves, so much that I just don't have the will power to sit here and list them all...

What a horrible joke!
November 19, 2009
Shitty, second rate animation, a very dervivative storyline, and sluggish in some parts, but not terrible, The impressive voice cast do alot here, and it helps.
frstrat
August 15, 2009
Aside from a pure nostalgia rush (I actually remembered playing the module) this animated adaptation from a fun book was terrible. A great cast was assembled but the writing and animation were so bad that it feels like a satire of a Saturday morning cartoon from the 80's. The flat looking characters engaging in graphic on screen violence makes the whole thing feeling a D&D version of Sealab 2021. Do yourself a favor, if you are tempted to rent this, just go find your old copy of the book. Then you won't be disappointed.
Saladin208
June 5, 2009
Oh, boy. I'm a Dragonlance nut and...yeah. Kiefer Sutherland was well cast! Does a great Raistlin.
September 19, 2008
Horrible animation. Yet another good book scarred by Hollywood. At least they stuck to the book rather than making their own stuff up....
vitchard
July 11, 2008
This was actually quite good. Interesting melding of anime/realisitic scenery/RP combat in many of the scenes. Most appealing for D&D gamers...
nosajeel
June 21, 2008
This movie made me sad, as I wasn't as good (even though it's anmiated) as it should have been. I'm a big fan of the book series and this movie did the series no justice. Although it was nice toi see the characters animated after reading and beeing a fan for over 20 years. Would love to see Peter jacskon get ahold of this and see what magic he could do.
February 17, 2008
Amateurish crap that murders a story that wasn't that great to begin with. Maybe the sequel will be better, much like the books.
thekingdollar1
May 31, 2008
I am a big fan of the books and the authors of the books, but I just don't think the poeple making the movie did as good a job as they could have. The movie just seemed rushed and it left ou may key part of the book. However, it was good to see how it kind of would look like if it were just a movie. It was still dissapointing with how much was left out.
July 8, 2007
I haven't read the books in nearly 20 years, so I'm not sure how accurate the story was, but it seemed to match with your standard Dungeons & Dragons style. It has some of the worst animation I've seen in quite a while - unacceptable in this high tech age. I had such high hopes for it as it has a great cast and a huge fan base, but alas... It seems to me that they spent too much on the actors and not enough on the animation. The film also seems to be targeted at a much younger audience than it should have been. Most Dragonlance fans are in there 30s now, so they really missed the mark on this one.

Young kids might enjoy it, but if you are a fan of the books, you'll surely be disappointed.
jimgar22
March 20, 2008
One of the first good D&D movies . Animation is not the best , but decent story. If you like D&D rent it at least once .
joyouskiss
July 24, 2007
The story is great, the old school animation sucked royally and the cgi they used on mostly the dragons and some landscapes, magic, etc is beautiful. too bad they had to ruin the Dragonlance this way. Had high expectations for it, it's still worth watching if you're a lover of the Dragonlance books or graphic novels. I'd recommend owning a copy of this or just rent it.
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