Dragon Hunters [Blu-ray] [Import]
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From the Studio
Zoe is a little girl who believes in fairy tales. In order to help her uncle Lord Arnold get rid of a terrible dragon, Zoe decides she has to find some heroes. When she meets Gwizdo and Lian-Chu - a couple of two-bit, fly-by-night dragon hunters – she decides that she’s going to believe in them and set out on an adventure to bring peace to the land. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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To begin with the world of Dragon Hunters is simply gorgeous, a world of islands floating around in the sky, upon which gravity works oddly when it works at all. But this beautiful world is threatened to varying degrees by the dragons of the title, which range in degree of threat from annoying crop stealers to terrifying world devourers, thus the necessity for hunters of same.
Twenty years ago Lord Arnold lost his sight and his health trying to stop the World Gobbler's last rampage, now he impatiently and all but hopelessly awaits the return of the knights he dispatched to try and stop his pending rampage. So his fairy tale loving niece, Zoe, decides to lend a hand by sneaking out and finding some noble knights like those in her fairy tales, but what she finds are our two hapless heroes. Can a little girl's belief in them inspire a couple of two-bit, fly-by-night, down-on-their-luck dragon hunters into succeeding where a troop of noble knights failed, into stopping the most horrifying dragon this world has ever seen?
Well, the answer is obvious, but the fun is in how we get there.
Gwizdo and Lian-Chu make for a hilariously mismatched pair, whose widely differing reactions to Zoe, the dragon hunter groupie who is not quite as naive as she appears, threaten to tear their partnership apart,...
assuming of course that anyone survives this fiasco.
Note: Some retailers package this DVD with a free Dragon Hunters comic book, which is little to get excited about IMHO; Sergio Aragones did this sort of thing much better in Groo the Wanderer. The first 17 episodes of the first season of the animated TV show, which this movie is a prequel to, have been released on DVD: Dragon Hunters: Vol. 1 It's A Dragon's Life (ep. 1-4), Dragon Hunters: Vol. 2 Dead Dragon Walking (ep. 5-8), Dragon Hunters: Vol. 3 There's No Place Like Home! (ep. 9-11), Dragon Hunters: Vol. 4 Don't Look Now (ep. 12-14), and Dragon Hunters: Vol. 5 Unwelcome Guests (ep. 15-17).
Another thing in this movie is a great beating heart. Care is all over this picture. Most CG animated DVD movies get the job done, but there is not much to get attached to. This move is detailed even between the lines.
Forest Witaker did a great Lian Chu. His deep voice fit. This is an AWESOME movie. Not just for kids, anyone, open to it, would enjoy this movie to pieces. Absolute recommend.
We have a story of fantasy, peril, comic relief, bravery and action all set against a beautiful world where gravity has a much different outcome. The picture clarity looked amazing. There are brief blips in the motion here and there, but overall the quality turned out vivid, crisp and articulate. Reference the wide pan shots where the characters are extremely small; on the DVD they were little blips, on the Blu they were distinguishable with arms and legs.
The sound was outstanding. All five channels are used extensively, and it appears no imagination was spared on how to make these floating villages and action sequences surround you.
The special features are catered to the kids who follow stories like this with trading cards and such. The Universe of DH, Character Biography and Dragon Gallery options can be surfed through like reading a book on all the creatures and locations we just watched. The Interview With Forest Whitaker lasts less than five minutes and shows the production process of recording in studio.
I have not watched the original series, but I hope they continue with more films of this quality and story. For the parents wondering on content, the PG rating on language is for fart stuff, the fantasy action and scary images will most likely be scary for 6 and under. But between the music, scope of pictures and action I was noticing kids younger than that loving it as it played today.
P.S. I don't think this is for the kids (as in 10 and under). A lot of the dialogue are a little bit too mature for the younger ones, and the story line will probably bore them some. When I saw this movie, I had no distractions, therefore it helped me enjoy it a bit more than I normally would.
I am certainly purchasing this dvd for our family collection!
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