Adventures of the Square Table and of dragon glory...
Blazing Dragons is a Canadian/British/French Animated Show that was the brainchild of Monty Python's very own Terry Jones and English screenwriter Gavin Scott, brought to life by Nelvana and Ellipse Animation in association with Carlton Television. Running for 26 episodes in 2 seasons (1996-1998), it originally aired on CITV in Britain, but was also shown on Teletoon in Canada and Toon Disney in the United States.
A parody of Arthurian legends, the series centers around the dragon kingdom of Camelhot, ruled by King Allfire, his wife Queen Griddle, and his daughter (Griddle's stepdaughter) Princess Flame. Allfire leads the Knights of the Square Table, which is made up of Sir Loungelot, Sir Blaze (Griddle's son), Sir Burnevere, Sir Galahot, and Sir Hotbreath. While Allfire is a good (if foolish) king, his knights, especially Loungelot, are varying degrees of lazy, greedy, and incompetent. In fact, the only halfway competent warrior in the kingdom is Loungelot's squire Flicker, a genius inventor far more virtuous than the knights he idolizes - something that nobody besides Princess Flame (who Flicker has feelings for) seems to notice or appreciate.
In most episodes, King Allfire and the Knights of the Square Table (more often than not with the help of Squire Flicker and Princess Flame) battle their mortal enemy, Dread Count Geoffrey de Bouillon, Oppressor Par Excellence of the Poor and Weak, who rules an impoverished neighboring kingdom of humans from Castle Threadbare. With the help of his henchmen, which include Evil Knights 1, 2 and 3, the witch Merle, and his personal spy to the dragons' kingdom (a man in a ludicrously cheap dragon costume), Count Geoffrey constantly schemes to take over Camelhot and oust Allfire from power. Fortunately, for our scaly, fire-breathing heroes in Camelhot, Count Geoffrey and his minions are, if anything, just as inept as most of the dragons are.
The second season made a few changes to the show, with perhaps the most obvious being a change in animation style that gave the characters thicker outlines and episodes being change from full 22-minute adventures to a Two Shorts format. Additionally, a few of the characters were either removed or Demoted to Extra, while Count Geoffrey and Princess Flame were redesigned to fit the new art direction. However, fans of the show generally agree that despite these alterations, the writing remained as sharp and witty as before.
A Licensed Game was also released for the Play Station and Sega Saturn, featuring entirely different character designs and American voice actors replacing the show's Canadian cast (although Terry Jones provided some voice work as well). It's a point-and-click adventure game, in which the player controls Flicker and helps him participate in a knight tournament so that he may win Princess Flame's hand in marriage. However, things are complicated by the evil Sir George (basically the game's version of Count Geoffrey) infiltrating the tournament as part of a scheme to take over Camelhot and marry Princess Flame.
Tropes used in the cartoon:
- Abnormal Ammo: Geoffrey uses peasants for catapult ammo, among many other things.
- Action Girl: Princess Flame. Among other instances of badassery, she enters a jousting tournament for her hand in marriage because she wants to be able to choose for herself, and she duels Count Geoffrey with her father's sword, which happens to be the show's equivalent of Excalibur.
- Acrophobic Bird: The dragons have wings that are shown in the opening to be more than usable, yet whenever they face a situation where the power of flight would be handy, they completely forget about it.
- Anachronism Stew: Played for Laughs. Merle is stated to be the sponsor of the "1096 Olympics", Flame refers to Griddle as "No Joan of Arc", etc.
- Ancient Grome: An episode set in Greece features Zeus, Poseidon, Atlas and Hercules.
- And Then What?: When they spend an entire episode finding the Holy Quail (Cue the Sun, the Holy Quail and the sacred music - It Makes Sense in Context), then don't know what to do with it when they find it. They eat it.
- Art Evolution: The second season has a very different look to it. Not to mention the use of Thick-Line Animation.
- Black Knight:
- One serves as a mentor to a washed-up villain.
- Parodied in "Tournament Day". Flicker is concerned when an unknown Black Knight enters a tournament to win Princess Flame's hand in marriage, as he thinks it could be Count Geoffrey's Evil Knights. To defeat them, he enters the tournament as the White Knight. Then he finds out Flame is the Black Knight; she hates the idea of the tournament and entered to win her own hand. Geoffrey's Evil Knights then actually enter the tournament as the Brown Knight.
- Boxing Episode: The Reign in Spain
- Breaking the Fourth WallLoungelot: "Have you seen the Wandering Minstrel?"Flicker: "No. I thought he was just a side character meant to be a bridge between scenes?"
- From the same episode as the above:"Try wearing a dress for an entire episode"
- Catchphrase: "Blazing Dragons!" is an exclamation used by the Dragons.
- And "I Have A Plan" For Count Geoffrey.
- Sir Burnevere has "Hoot Mcgregor!"
- The Chew Toy: Nearly the entire the cast becomes this from time to time; mostly Cinder and Clinker, Count Geoffrey, and the Evil Knights.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: There's five knights in Season 1: Loungelot, Blaze, Burnevere, Galahot and Hotbreath. Galahot and Hotbreath vanish in Season 2 with no further mention.
- Which kind of makes sense, since they're one-joke dragons. In Galahot's case, that one joke happens during the opening theme.
- Demoted to Extra: Princess Flame in the later episodes of Season 2
- Disappeared Dad: Blaze's biological father, Sir Herman the Nearsighted, was lost at sea years ago.
- Disney Villain Death: POSSIBLY Count Geoffrey, in the second last episode when Sir Loungelot knocks him out of the highest tower of Camelhot. Highly debatable, of course, as he has survived quite a bit of punishment throughout the series, but he exits the series with this fall all the same.
- Dragons Versus Knights: Only in this case, the dragons are the heroes, and the knights are the villains.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Count Geoffrey never succeeded in taking over Camelhot.
- False Reassurance: Geoffrey assures Princess Flame he doesn't make a habit of fighting unarmed women. It just so happens Flame is holding her father's sword: "En Garde!"
- Fractured Fairytale: Several characters from famous fairy tales are featured. One example is that of Sleeping Beauty, who in the series is portrayed as a loud mouth who eats the denizens of Camelhot out of house and home. Things go to the point that several of the dragons wanted to Beauty to go back to sleep. The series overall can be considered this to Arthurian Legend.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Flicker.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Count Geoffrey, disguised as King Allfire, is water skiing and crashes into the drawbridge. For most of the crash, a CENSORED bar blocks most of him from view, including the impact, which seems to depict blood flying in all directions (the one time we see blood in the show).
- Henpecked Husband: King Allfire.
- Insistent Terminology: "Dread Count Geoffrey de Bouillon, Oppressor Par Excellence of the Poor and Weak."Flicker: (finds nail clipper) So that explains it! I didn't lose the sword Flame, Count Geoffrey stole it.Flame: How do you know that nail clippers is his?Flicker: It has D.C.G.O.P.E.P.W. monogrammed on it.Flame: Dread Count Geoffrey Oppressor Par excellence of the Poor and Weak!...Can we be certain it's him?Flicker: We'll have to chance it.
- Meaningful Name: Most of the cast.
- Missing Mom: Griddle is Flame's stepmother - the fate of her biological mother (Allfire's first wife) is never revealed.
- Multiple Head Case: Cinder and Clinker, the two-headed dragon servant. One head is sullen and gloomy, while the other is chipper and upbeat.
- Nice to the Waiter: Loungelot treats Flicker pretty badly.
- Noodle Incident: Geoffrey's threat to his Evil Knights to make them suffer the same fate as "Evil Knight #4."
- Only Sane Man: Flicker is usually the one who figures out the solutions to problems, as the other Dragons have too much in the way of ego and not enough in the way of common sense.
- And when that fails (usually due to Flicker trying too hard to follow the code), Princess Flame must act the voice of reason.
- Perspective Flip: Heroic dragons acting like Arthurian knights, while the knights are evil antagonists.
- Product Placement: Used as the basis for a joke revolving around the "Oil of Olenote ."
- Punny Name: A lot of the names in the series are dragon-themed takes on names from Arthurian legend (King Allfire, Camelhot, Sir Burnevere). Loungealot isn't dragon-themed, but still counts.
- Put on a Bus: the Wandering Minstrel closed and opened episodes in the first season with his songs. In the second season he vanished, but turned up in a single episode, now called "The Unemployed Wandering Minstrel", and made reference to Camelhot firing him from his job.
- Remembered I Could Fly: While sneaking out of her tower bedroom, Princess Flame's Bedsheet Ladder unravels and she abruptly falls out of frame. The camera then pans down to her flapping her wings, hovering in place and smirking "Oh, dash it, I forgot I could fly."
- Save the Villain: Flicker, who is bound to be Count Geoffrey's servant when Geoffrey accidentally saved his life, saves him from being burned by his pancake machine, which makes them even.
- Shout-Out: Sir Burnevere the Overly-Educated is a Shout-Out to Jones' character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sir Bedivere the Wise.
- Spiritual Successor: To Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In the theme tune. Immediately followed by: "That doesn't rhyme / That's OK / We're gonna sing it anyway!"
- To Be a Master: Flicker's ambition to become a knight.
- Tricking the Shapeshifter: An inversion occurs in "Newt For a Day" when the Hag of Gist transforms Flame into a toad. She comments that toad transformations are a tad cliched, and it would be more impressive for the hag to turn her into a "gigantic two-headed eagle with bat wings and the claws of a tiger". The hag, driven by ego, does just that...and is promptly carried away by Eagle-Flame.
- Two Shorts: Beginning in season 2. The first season was all half-hour stories.
- Villainous Rescue: Accidentally done by Count Geoffrey to Flicker. This sets up the episode plot in which Flicker is indebted to become Geoffrey's servant until Flicker saves Geoffrey and makes them even.
Tropes used in the game:
- Abnormal Ammo: A cat wearing a crash helmet serves this purpose.
Ambiguously JewishSo Jewish It Hurts: The guardian of the Cave of Dilemma.
- Alternate Continuity: The game seems to be a different take of the cartoon due to a many differences:
- Some characters from the cartoon are not present and has some new characters that never appear in the cartoon.
- The art style is more realistic.
- The dragons in the game are more centaur-dragons in the game.
- The voice cast is done in the United States.
- Bear Trap: Flicker encounters an ant who is stuck on a trap planted by a hunter.
- Body Horror: A brief sequence before Sir George kidnaps Princess Flame sees him transformed into various monstrous forms by Mervin before ultimately (and thankfully) regaining his normal form.
- Buffy Speak - Spoofed:Flicker: "Do you have one of those, you know..?"Information Lady: "Oh, you mean one of those... thingamabobs?"Flicker: "Exactly. But without the doo-hickey on the end."Information Lady: "Either you need a new drawstring for your crossbow, or I should slap your face! Either way, I can't help you."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the game the characters realize they are walking on an endlessly repeated loop and complain about lazy programmers.
- Cassandra Truth: Nobody ever believes Flicker when he says that the Black Dragon is a machine.
- Chekhov's Gun: Flicker's clicker.
- Dragon Hoard: All the dragons eat gems which annoys King George no end. However, they're not fixated on them, living lives just like a normal person.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: As is the result of predating the revelation that Loungelot is the son of the Lady of the Lake, the former is a dragon while the latter is a human-looking nymph.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: Dragons eat gemstones.
- Evil Chancellor: He's in league with Sir George to get King Allfire off the throne.
- Fire-Breathing Diner: Flicker needs to eat a special type of coal in order to breathe fire.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: Given a dedicated location with the Home for the Grimly Insane, where Flicker meets Rapunzel, the Pied Piper, and a man tranformed from a frog.
- Fusion Dance: By accident. Mervin uses King Allfire's scepter to attempt a harmful spell on Sir George, but only succeeds in merging him with the Black Dragon.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Trivet.
- Hypno Fool: Trivet demonstrates hypnosis on Flicker, making him think he's Princess Flame briefly. Flicker later reflects the hypnotism back on Trivet, and the effect lasts for much longer.
- Just Whistle: When Flicker uses the whistle he received from saving the ant, a herd of ants arrived to help Flicker lift a huge rock.
- Kissing Under the Influence - Trivet-as-Flame begs Sir Loungealot for "some action", which he happily obliges... causing his hypnosis to wear off.Trivet: "Lounge-butt?! I didn't know you cared."Loungealot: "AAAUUUUGGGGGGH!"
- Mundane Made Awesome - Several times. The juice bar run by a very enthusiastic human, the Test of Hand/Eye Coordination that has the player look into Flicker's eyes and clear them of nerve-induced tears as he has to pick which hat a healthy rabbit is under, the Test of
Unspeakable TerrorSomething a Wee Bit Scary where Flicker washes his dirty laundry, and the tournament for Flame's hand in marriage consists of a log rolling event followed by thumb wrestling.
- Our Dragons Are Different: In contrast to the more traditional appearance of the western dragon used in the animated series, the dragons in the game look more like dragon-centaurs.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Flicker disguised as Sir George.
- Red Herring: Flicker lampshades about it when examining the eagle poststamp.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Mervin.
- Rule of Three: Flicker takes out the Black Dragon three times. Four if you count when it's merged with Sir George.
- Schmuck Bait: The weird Stonehenge-looking device Sir George's men are building in a field; they even frequently consult Flicker's height for measurements. Naturally, all of King Allfire's knights get caught in it.
- The Tourney: It drives the main plot of the game, with marriage to Princess Flame going to the victor. Flicker needs to become a knight if he wants to compete.
- You Don't Look Like You: None of the dragons look like their television counterparts. Somehow the character designers forgot that two of those six limbs a western dragon is supposed to have is a pair of wings! Not two arms and four legs!