"There was time between the waning age of enchantment and the dawning age of logic when dragons flew the skies, free and unencumbered. Look down there Gorbash, my friend. On the top of the earth below us, confusion and chaos reign. All mankind is facing an epic choice: a world of magic or a world of science. Which will it be?"

Fantastic animated movie from 1982 and a cult classic. A shoe salesman (note the Gary Gygax parallel here) is transported by a tabletop game to an alternative world which debates between science and magic. This film does a very detailed explanation of dragons' breath and flight powers, and will appeal especially to role players and fantasy buffs.

It was the end of the Middle Ages - technology was slowly taking its foothold in everyday life and the power of magic was waning. Three of the four magicians lead by Carolinus (the green wizard of nature) seek to make a magical haven for enchanted beings to live while the Age of Reason prevails. However, their fourth brother, the red wizard Omadon instead seeks to destroy man's faith in science and thus allow magic to rule for all time. Unable to intercede the magicians seek to summon a champion.

Carolinus calls upon a man from the 20th century to act as the champion. However, that person must believe in magic and understand science. This leads him to Peter Dickendson (yes, the hero is named after the author), a shoe salesman and game designer (as jmra notes there is a strong correlation with Gary Gygax here).

As Peter is brought into the past a bungled kidnaping by Omadon results in a magical mishap that merges Peter with the dragon Gorbash. And the story continues from there.

Ok, call me nostalgic - this is one of the classics of 1980s animated movies that keeps reminding me the good old days of animated movies. The directors are well known for producing such other classics as The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit and The Return of the King and many holiday animated classics. The animation, while not being as precise and refined as that of Disney is much warmer and more enjoyable.

Most places define this movie as animation, kids/family and fantasy. Still, it has a larger appeal than just that - especially to those who remember the early 80s as a kid or enjoy light fantasy.

Music by Dan McLean and Maury Laws
Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr.

Based upon the books:

Voice casting

Produced in 1982 by Rankin & Bass Productions Ltd. Distributed by Warner Brothers. ISBN# 0-7907-2770-6
Length: 98 min.


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