Reviews: The Flight Of Dragons

Truly deserving of the description Cult Classic

I haven't seen this movie since I was a little child, no more than 7 or 8 years old, but I still remember it almost perfectly. This was arguably the film that smashed the Animation Age Ghetto to pieces when I was growing up, ensuring that I ALWAYS knew that cartoons could be more than wacky animals and trite moralising. Dark, well-animated, well-written, FANTASICALLY well-voiced, this 30+ year old film is still as good as or better than most of the productions of the modern animation industry. More than 20 years on I finally read the book the movie was based on and rather than overshadowing the movie, it only managed to give me an even greater appreciation for it (not that the books aren't great, but it lets you realise what a good, if loose, adaptation they were able to make).

The film is loaded with iconic scenes- the sandmurks' assault and Aragh's rescue, the battle against the ogre of Gormerly Keep (a famous Noodle Incident from The Dragon Knight finally captured on screen), the Wurm of Sligoth, Ommadon's flight of dragons, complete with Doomy Dooms of Doom and their single-handed defeat by Giles, the spine-chilling battle with Bryagh and its shocking conclusion, and Peter's final confrontation with Ommadon. While the movie isn't perfect (almost nothing ever is) with the odd animation error (cut them some slack, it was 1982) and, as the tropes page notes, WAY too many Hand Waves (especially related to Melisande) the sheer imagination and sincerity of the movie carries through. The movie does not talk down to kids, but doesn't try to be Fritz the Cat or Heavy Metal- it's just a fantastic fantasy movie, one of the formative films of my youth together with Willow and The Princess Bride.

If you can find this film, you must watch it at least once. Why? Because it is a DAMN GOOD FILM, by the standards of both the day it was made and today.