Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
  Dragon Hunters It's Midnight Cowboy - for kids!Buy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Guillaume Ivernel, Arthur Qwak
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Mary Matilyn Mouser, Rob Paulsen, Dave Wittenberg, Nick Jameson, Jess Harnell
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A faraway fantasy realm has fragmented into hundreds of flying islands of various shapes and sizes, terrorized by dragons including the most terrifying of them all: the World Gobbler. Lian-Chu (voiced by Forest Whitaker), a stout but simple-minded hero with a heart of gold, and his childhood friend, cynical scam artist Gwizdo (Rob Paulsen) eke out a living as dragon hunters alongside Hector (Dave Wittenberg), a scruffy little rabbit that thinks it’s a dog but may in fact be something altogether more fantastical. Unfortunately, the dragon hunters’ low success rate has made them a laughing stock among the peasants. Elsewhere, a little princess named Zoe (Mary Matilyn Mouser) is plagued by nightmares about the impending end of the world. She convinces her uncle, Lord Arnold (Nick Jameson), to send the dragon hunters to slay the World Gobbler in the hope that its death will cure his curse of blindness and save the universe.

Dragon Hunters is a feature length spin-off from the French animated series of the same name which was created by co-director Arthur Qwak and notable for featuring a theme song performed by goth rockers The Cure. Both film and series are tonally and stylistically quite different from mainstream Pixar and Dreamworks CGI fare, depicting a vividly eccentric pseudo-medieval realm of colourful creatures and offbeat characters, but also including a cynical edge, though not excessively so. The world of Dragon Hunters is one of scoundrels, despots and surly self-serving peasants, a world where heroes do not always receive their just reward and goodness is often undervalued. Rather than make for a disheartening experience for young viewers, the seemingly harsh backdrop highlights those instances where love, friendship and bravery are most valued.

While the film’s vision of a fantasy world gradually disintegrating without the nurturing influence of an idealistic child instantly recalls The Never Ending Story (1984), but the touchingly co-dependent relationship between hulking manchild Lian-Chu and weaselly pipsqueak Gwizdo weirdly recalls Midnight Cowboy (1969) as both cling to a futile dream of earning enough money to buy a small patch of land and start a farm. The quest itself is rather pedestrian and fails to match the complexity of the production design by co-director Guillaume Ivernel, but the ongoing tension between Gwizdo’s relentlessly pragmatic worldview and Zoe’s unwavering belief in the idealism of fairytales holds our interest. Forest Whitaker (replacing original French voice artist Vincent Lindon) is somewhat muted, but then this befits the character he is playing. Veteran voice artist Rob Paulsen does an exuberant job as Gwizdo and a handful of other characters while young newcomer Mary Matilyn Mouser brings spark and sass to wee Zoe.

The visuals are impeccably crafted with inventive sight gags and some pretty spectacular set-pieces, notably a chase sequence involving the Red Cloud - hundreds of flapping, bat-like beings that join together to form an enormous crimson beast - and the climactic battle against the World Gobbler with its towering skeletal frame, eyes like molten lava and a genuinely bone-rattling roar. The transcendentally trippy finale is also unique, plus how many other animated films end with characters singing for someone to stick their money where the sun don’t shine?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 1329 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: