Does anyone else remember The Flight of Dragons? My sister and I used to watch this film all the time when we were very young. It's one of the best dragon related films and also just a great story. The animation isn't so beautiful like Studio Ghibli and isn't quite traditional like Disney but I just love the dragons.
Made in 1982, and released by Warner Brothers, the film was released on VHS the film has never been released in the UK on DVD and the US DVD cover is just hideous. The other posters are just as peculiar. The film is based on two sources, The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson and The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson.
The story is set in medieval times, where magic is fading and science is beginning to take over. Carolinus, the green wizard, wants to create the last relam of magic before all his powers and his fellow wizard brothers' fade and to provide inspiration for mankind for all his inventions. But the evil red wizard, Ommadon (voiced by Vader himself, James Earl Jones) wants to destroy the world.
Carolinus is instructed by Antiquity to inspire a quest to journey to Ommadon's lands to capture his red crown, the source of all his power. Along with Gorebash and Smergol, Carolinus' dragons, a knight and later on an archer, a rebel dwarf and a resurrected wolf join the quest. But before the quest begins, a distant descendant of Peter, the dragon tamer is summoned from his time, our modern day, to join in the quest.
But after a tragedy and spell gone wrong, Peter (from modern day, also writer of the book, which is also a real book, I own it) end up inside Gorebash. Essentially Gorebash himself isn't in the film much as Peter takes over his body. So along the way the science of how dragons work is explained as Peter learns to live as a dragon. Science + Fantasy = a brilliant film from childhood.
I remember loving the dragons and actually being scared by the evil Ommadon and due the animation and how the characters are drawn, to a young audience I'm not surprised.
Filled with mythical, magical elements, the film plays out as a classic fantasy. There are duel, deaths and drama and a valuable lesson. Learn about science kids! I usually dislike movies with messages, but this is an exception, along with The Phantom Tollbooth, but that story is for another post.