88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2000
I have loved this movie since I was five and my father first taped it off TV for me. I watched that tape until it broke, sometime around when I was 14. I waited years without seeing it again. Figuring that I would never find such an obscure film online, I half-heartedly searched amazon.com for it, and voila! I was ecstatic! If you are looking for a fantastic movie for your children, I highly recommend this. It has a magical quality that I haven't seen duplicated in more than two or three films since (The Last Unicorn, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, maybe a few others). I can also guarantee that this movie will remain interesting even when you're a 19 year-old college student. :) PS. The cover art for this video is misleading - the real animation is stunning and lovely. If someone you know owns the movie, look at the still shots on the back for a more accurate representation.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2000
First of all, don't judge this film by its cover. I have no idea why the cover art on this looks so goofy when the animation is nothing like it. The cover might also give the impression that this is a cartoon for kids, but it's much deeper and more meaningful than that.
The story can be enjoyed on many levels. It's certainly entertaining enough to enchant any child who appreciates a good adventure/ fantasy story, but it also has some pretty profound thoughts about the presence and importance of magic and imagination in a world dominated by science and logic. Whoever wrote the dialogue on this is certainly very talented: Watch out for Carolinus' speeches in particular. It can raise goosebumps, it's so beautiful.
Like many other people who've sought out this VHS release, I first saw this years ago, when I was around nine or ten years old. This is my third copy, after wearing out the tape I made off've TV, and later lending out my second copy (a gift to me which I was overjoyed to receive) which never returned to me. I like it enough to purchase yet another copy for my permanent video collection. It has lost none of its appeal over the years.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2002
Flight of Dragons was on my list of favorite movies during my childhood, and it remained so throughout my teenage years. Such an absolutely delightful film, I just had the pleasure of experiencing it again as an adult (with an adult perspective this time). This film contains such fine characterization, intelligent and thoughtful storyline, and beautiful animation that one can't help but be captivated from beginning to end. It appeals to the child within us all without neglecting the adult part as well. It helps us to nurture our love for fantasy while reminding us to never forget the importance of science and reason. It reminds us that our dreams and fantasies have always served to inspire us in the real world. From dreams come reality...
In the film, a modern day man is drawn into a world he could only have imagined in his wildest dreams when he is suddenly spirited away into the service of a kindly Wizard, to help defeat the forces of darkness in a realm of fantasy. Although not exactly a new concept, it has a unique twist, for this is no ordinary man, he is a man of science and reason with a unique connection to this realm....
Visually the film was a feast for the eyes - filled with exquisitely designed characters - fearsome creatures, colorful wizards, dashing heroes, and beautiful ethereal maidens (and best of all, no cutesy Disney-ish characters for comedy relief). Although the animation lacked the type of enhanced visuals, hyperkinetic action, and 3-D realism of later works of animation, I think that was not such a bad thing in this case. Although the animation looked a bit flat, such careful use of elegant simplicity actually enhanced this film - like a beautifully illustrated fairy tale book brought to life. The film featured a fine voice cast of well known Hollywood actors (John Ritter, James Earl Jones, etc.) who really seemed to be enjoying their roles.
It's still a favorite after all these years. It's a shame that it never got the greater recognition it deserved, while lifeless formulaic Disney fluff like Snow White, Cinderella, etc. became classics. But I guess that's the power of big corporation and marketing. I bet things would not have been so if this film was produced and distributed by Disney as opposed to Rankin and Bass.
Although I now own a brand new copy of the latest tape, I must admit the childish and somewhat ugly cover art is a bit deceptive. Artistically it does this film no justice, but I guess from a marketing point of view, if it enhances sales and hence greater recognition, so be it. I guess there is a method to their madness.... Anyway, enjoy!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 1999
Flight of Dragons is by far my most favorite movie. I saw it for the first time some 10 years ago or so and I still watch it every now and then when ever I have the time. I am, as the shop keeper would put it, "a dragon fanatic." I love the way dragon flight and fire are explained and how, theoretically, they would work. I do however wish the dragons wouldn't have been portrayed as being so clumsy and awkward. If you have read much of dragons you would know that, for the most part, they are graceful and intelligent. The mix of fantasy and logic is captivating and the plot to save magic before it is utterly destroyed is awesome. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone, even if the cover art looks like a childs coloring book illustration. The actual animation is great, especially the dragons.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2003
...and it's almost inevitable that you'll enjoy this film.
Ignore the cutesy picture on the front of the box - the animation in this movie is actually done in a darkly excellent not-quite-anime style that fits perfectly with the outstanding voice acting (especially from James Earl Jones, who could write the book on "deliciously evil laughter"). The plot is a quirky variation on the usual quest-against-an-evil-wizard story, but the most striking feature about it is its intelligence. One reviewer felt that kids would find the plot hard to follow, but like all good children's tales, "Flight of Dragons" operates on multiple levels. I didn't appreciate the scientific description of how dragons fly until I was in high school, I *definitely* didn't pick up on the one or two sly flashes of sexual innuendo until then, and it's only now that I've come to see it as a powerful parable about science, magic and religion. Still, when my parents taped it off the TV back in the mid-80s, I watched it until the tape broke.
A final side note: I'm also convinced (based largely on the ending, which is NOT to be missed) that "Flight of Dragons" played a small but significant role in convincing me to become a scientist. It really is that good.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2005
Along with The Dark Crystal and The Last Unicorn, Flight of Dragon completes my childhood fantasy movie triumverate. I just wanted to add my voice to the clamoring throng -- realease this gem on DVD ASAP!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2000
For children that are interested in fantasy, there is perhaps no better example of a movie to quench their thirst than this magical journey. But don't just limit this as being child's play, "Flight of Dragons" is not the kind of sickly sweet tale associated with animation geared for the younger audience, there is depth here, and a story that has a darkened edge. The dragons are as beautiful as they are believable and the entire tale plays out like a page out of 'lite' Dungeons & Dragons. There's magic, there's mystery and an animation style that is as medieval as it is fantastic.
It has been years since I have personally watched this flick, but I remember it very sharply since it was one of those I had on tape and watched so many times. I'm itching to see it again, but don't let the cover fool you, the movie is nothing like what is on this cover, marketing probably thought they could compete better with the dumbed down kid's movies with something silly like that.
This is an animated movie that should appeal to all ages and is simply timeless. Even with our advanced technology in the field of animation which allows the animators to use more graphical pizzazz, they really don't make them like they used to anymore.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The great age of magic is coming to a close as the lives of men become more and more involved with science and technology. Good wizard Carolinus decides that he and his wizard brothers must create a sanctuary for magical beings to coexist through time, always able to be an inspiration to mankind without being destroyed by the intellect and reason of the outside world. Unfortunately, evil wizard Ommadon doesn't want to cooperate, and instead chooses to make war on mankind with his great army of bewitched dragons. It is up to Carolinus to inspire a quest to steal Ommadon's crown, the source of his evil power, so that the magical sanctuary can be made before time runs out. However, his quest must be led by a very special individual; a young man from the future whose knowledge of science is only equaled by his fascination for magic, wizardry, and especially dragons. That young man is Peter Dickinson, and, brought back to the past from the 20th century, he soon finds himself in allegiance with the good wizards, a great wolf, some friendly dragons, a noble knight, a lovely archer, an elf, and a beautiful princess with whom he falls instantly in love. Complicating matters is that Carolinus's failing magic mistakenly transforms Peter into a dragon himself!
Made by Rankin/Bass, the studio famed for its classic holiday television specials, and released in 1982, a time when fantasy films of all kinds were fantastically popular, "Flight of Dragons" is a high-flying adventure that is more enjoyable than you might expect. Rankin/Bass's strongpoint was never its traditionally-drawn animation (always more appreciated for their "animagic" works using stop-motion puppetry), but this is one of their better efforts. It is, for example, more engaging than their more popular "The Last Unicorn," as high action and twists in the story keep the viewer involved. John Ritter, Harry Morgan, and James Earl Jones are among the talented cast, and the music is just as you'd expect from a Rankin/Bass medieval fantasy. The film may play better to the Dungeons and Dragons/Lord of the Rings crowd, but anyone who enjoys fantasy and animation should get some pleasure from this story based on the book by Peter Dickinson and on "The Dragon and the George" by Gordon R. Dickson.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2002
This movie came out when I was a senior in high school and Rankin-Bass productions were no longer on my "must see" list, even though I was still a big SF/Fantasy fan. Finally rented this tape up at the video store about 2 years ago for my son and it became an instant hit with him. It has everything he requires: Dragons, wizards, magic, and an exciting quest. The animation is typical Rankin-Bass, a little stilted and the magic creatures all have exaggerated features. The story follows the path you would expect, but is entertaining nonetheless.
As an adult and TV junkie, what really cracks me up about this movie are the voices: Carolinas the Green Wizard is voiced by Harry Morgan (Col. Potter on M*A*S*H), Omadon is performed by James Earl Jones (who during the same period played cult leader Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian and was voicing Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy), Peter Dickinson is done by John Ritter (who I will always remember as Jack from the 70s sitcom Three's Company and who does the voice of Clifford the Big Red Dog on PBS), and finally, for you big TV junkies, the Green Dragon, Gorbash, is voiced by Larry Storch (who peaked as the inept Corporal on the sitcom F Troop).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2005
Love this animation. Watched it when I was a kid. Still remembered many of the scenes from the story, and fascinated by the story. I'm writing this review hopefully to add to the interest that many reviewers are looking for the DVD version/release.
I'm still hoping and waiting that someday the DVD would show up in the stores.
Everyone! The DVD is finally out, released by Warner Brothers! Stumbled upon it today at Amazon buy it quick before they're snapped up.