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The Flight of Dragons

An animated 1982 fantasy film, produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr..

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • Sep 9, 2011
The Flight of Dragons is one of the best animated fantasy films I've ever seen. Its combination of intelligent story and heartfelt characterization distinguishes it from the majority of animated films during the time it was released and has helped it to achieve a cult classic status.
Produced and directed by the Rankin/Bass team responsible for the 1977 animated film of The Hobbit and the 1980 film of The Return of the King, The Flight of Dragons has a similar visual motif and style as those other animated films, and like them it also includes a great folk soundtrack.

The film's script has a bit of a convoluted history.
The story is taken in part from the idea that dragons actually did exist in our world's prehistory and that they evolved from dinosaurs. This was a theory posited within a speculative history book by an author named Peter Dickinson. In his book Dickinson suggested the possibility of dragons having existed in reality and what happened to them. The book takes a pseudo-scientific look at what conditions would be needed for a dragon to fly, how they could produce fire, and what their physiognomy might have been. The title of the film comes from the title of the Dickinson's book, The Flight of Dragons, and the main character in the film is named after Dickinson.
The story is also taken in part from a series of fantasy novels by Gordon R. Dickson, the first novel of which is entitled The Dragon and the George, and tells of a man who is magically transported from the real world into a fantasy world of magic, where he is turned into a dragon. Most of the names for the characters and the adventure aspect of the film are taken from this novel.
Additionally, the script for the film adds new elements.

The film takes place between two worlds: our world, which is the rational world of science and logic, and the world of magic, where sorcerers and wizards are commonplace. The drama from the story derives primarily from the conflict between these two worlds and from the idea that in the world of magic people are becoming skeptical and the wizards and sorcerers are losing their powers as mankind turns to technology and begin looking to the powers of the future, rather than the belief in the superstitions of the past. This creates an interesting dichotomy thematically, but the film is careful to show that neither science/logic or magic/faith is complete unto itself and that there must be an inherent balance between the two lest the universe fall into disharmony.
Amidst all of this, a young man from our world is transported to the world of magic where he is accidentally transformed into a dragon and he must now learn to apply his knowledge of science to the world of magic uniting the two powers in order to become human again and to defeat the forces of evil which would conquer both worlds.

Another reason the film stands up so well is the voice cast which features John Ritter, James Earl Jones, Victor Buono, Paul Frees, Harry Morgan, and Bob McFadden. It's hard to expound upon what an excellent job these actors have done in giving the characters life. People often don't realize how important the voice cast is in making an animated film believable and emotionally involving. One of the things that Rankin/Bass did so well during this period was to assemble truly talented actors to give the characters depth and sincerity.

Featuring dazzling animation, a clever and involving story, and a great soundtrack by Don McLean, the film is for me one of the smartest nostalgia kicks out there. So often when I look back on my favorite movies as child I find that they are pretty disappointing or downright pathetic in retrospect, but The Flight of Dragons still shines as brightly as a beacon of quality fantasy storytelling in the dead of night.
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September 09, 2011
Dude, I need to really show you what a quick tip means....I mean this is better written than most reviews on it I've seen. Stop, you know this is a review. That said, I remember this as a kid but I can't say I would re-watch it.
September 09, 2011
It's a mini review. Had it been a review it would have taken me days to write rather than a few minutes.
September 09, 2011
whatever...that means I need to make all my reviews quick tips LOL! you should do "first impressions", "the plot", "bottom line" in your quick tips LOL! admit it you just like the way it sounds like 'cutey'.
September 09, 2011
I never say it like that, you do. Personally, I don't even like to use acronyms online since they all have double meanings. You do know that QT is gay-speak for "queer teen", right?
September 09, 2011
Dude, I am a divorced, uninvolved middle aged awesome dude....of course I don't know that it meant that LOL
September 09, 2011
LMAO! Okay, because some of us were beginning to wonder if you were leading a double life. It's okay, you know, we won't judge.
September 09, 2011
shit. I am not neat, I can cook, I dress badly and I like vagina. Just because my 'slang' isn't updated means that I am square. LOL!
September 09, 2011
I really don't see how you dress, cook, or whether you're neat or not is relevant. LOL! However, it's fun to make you squirm.
September 09, 2011
I know, I'm evil.
September 09, 2011
seriously, I have a few lady friends and some of them wondered why I never hit on them before LOL! I guess having another relationship is just not my focus right now. I have finally seemed to have gotten my life back together, so maybe, I will start seriously dating again. I am a little tired of the 'flings'....
September 09, 2011
I may need to get you a "PROUD TO BE A QT" shirt. You want one with a pink triangle or one with a rainbow? LOL!
September 10, 2011
I'll wear one if you wear a "I LIKE WAFFLES" shirt LOL! Seriously, dude, you need to chill on those kinda jokes. I don't want to get in trouble.
September 10, 2011
see? we have @ using "cutey" as in QT LOL!
September 11, 2011
Only shirt I'll wear with a waffle on it will have to say "Waffles: Innocent Breakfast or Lethal Killer?". LMAO!
And that was a funny joke. No trouble to be found in good humor.
More The Flight of Dragons (1982 fi... reviews
Quick Tip by . October 07, 2010
One of Bass and Rankin's finest feature length films and often overlooked. Good animation and a great family film.
Quick Tip by . October 28, 2009
posted in Awesomeness
Quite simply one of the most underrated & intelligent animated fantasy films for children. Features quality animation & a great voice cast.
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About this movie


Ever wish you could see a dragon? Or wonder how they fly or why they breathe fire? Journey back to a magical time when the skies were filled with these amazing creatures in The Flight of Dragons, a dazzling, feature-length animated version of Peter Dickinson’s acclaimed book from Rankin/Bass Studios. Victor Buono, James Gregory, James Earl Jones, Harry Morgan, John Ritter and Larry Storch provide voices for this wondrous tale set in the Dark Ages. The sinister Red Wizard Ommadon (Jones) threatens to destroy nature. The world’s hope is a man of science and magic from the future. That man is Peter (Ritter), snatched from the 20th century by the Green Wizard Carolinus (Morgan) to capture Ommadon’s empowering Red Crown. With a fire-breathing dragon, an outlaw elf and a noble knight as comrades-in-arms, Peter applies modern-day logic to battling ages-old evil.
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Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: August 17, 1982 ; August 3, 1986
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Romeo Muller
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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