Dragon's Lair: The Complete Series
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The legendary videogame Dragon's Lair was a blockbuster (and quarter guzzling) sensation when it first debuted, spawning sequels, imitators, and a beloved Saturday morning cartoon series. Developed by the powerhouse animation crew put together by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the Dragon's Lair cartoon made many contributions to the Dragon's Lair saga, from naming the Dragon "Singe" to rounding out the cast with such memorable supporting players as Bertram the horse (voiced by animation legend Peter Cullen) and Timothy the squire (voiced by Michael Mish). Mimicking the action of a videogame, Dragon's Lair pauses the action and asks the audience which action Dirk should take next in his never-ending quest to protect the kingdom of King Ethelred and his beloved Princess Daphne. But enough talk! Dirk the Daring faces doom throughout this 13 episode, 2-disc set and he needs YOU to help him decide what to do next!
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The show has good animation, voices and interesting stories for an 80's cartoon, and is remastered for this series on two discs. Disc two has a lot more episodes for some reason, but very welcome and it's an enjoyable extension of Dirk's adventures, even if this has been tamed down for kid's TV; so don't expect the violent sword slicing of the video game Dragon's Lair that sliced a Goon in two. Recommended for Dragon's Lair fans.
While the series tries its best to emulate the games it falls short in many places. The animation is well done but nowhere near the detail and luster of the Don Bluth game animation.
The action in the series is nearly constant as well as the slap-stick humor which is mostly provided by the hapless Dirk the Daring and his squire Timothy as well as the Giddy Goons employed by Singe the Dragon.
While the show's death scene aspect isn't nearly as violent or graphic as the games it still manages to make you feel bad or horrified if you chose the wrong course of action in the "What should Dirk do?" segments. Basically before each commercial break when the series originally aired on Saturday morning cartoons Dirk would find himself in a life or death situation and the narrator would ask you the viewer "What should Dirk do?"
Most times the wrong choice leads to a horrific death or some sort of injury for Dirk. Many happen off screen so it's not too violent for younger kids.
Also there are some "What should Dirk Do?" segments where they don't give you the full choices of what he can do so no matter what you pick you lose which seems vindictive or at the very least poor planning by the creators.
As is typical with many cartoons of the 80s the show usually tries to teach a moral like lying is bad or stealing is wrong so it does try to balance out the violence with a moral.
Still despite its few shortcomings its a fun show full of quests, knights, magic and damsels in distress. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of sword and sorcery tales.