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Dragon Hunters


Sometimes the mood calls for a no-nonsense movie that allows you to turn your brain off and drift into a fictional world. Dragon Hunters fits this category perfectly.

Grade:

This moderately fun French animated adventure film tries to rival the works of Pixar and Dreamworks, but largely falls flat in its goal. The noble Lian Chu (Forest Whitaker, English version) and his money-hungry pal Gwizdo (Rob Paulsen a.k.a. Yakko and Pinky) are commissioned by a decrepit, blind Lord to keep going west to the end of the world and destroy the infamous world gobbler (a giant dragon). His thrill-seeking, knight-admiring niece, Zoe wants to escape the confines of her uncle’s castle, so she tags along with our heroes. Along the same lines as Kung Fu Panda and others whose plot contains more intricate details, the overview is all that is necessary.

Relegating Hunters to the lower echelon of animated films (with the likes of Space Chimps) are a multitude of problems. First, the animation is nothing that will leave you in awe. To clarify, it is by no means bad. There is simply no sense of attempt to push animators’ limits. Next, there are structural aspects of the world created that are completely ignored by the characters and the plot. For instance, gravity means next to nothing in this world. Some things/creatures are affected (mainly the humans) and some are not (most rocks, land bits, bunnies, etc.).

At this point you may be thinking, “Well it is obviously a kid’s movie, so why bother analyzing it so deeply?” A valid point, no doubt, except the occasional inappropriate elements filtered in. Since Hunters is clearly meant for, we’ll say, twelve or below, having a main character urinate fireballs, another groped in a fashion only acceptable for doctors requesting a cough, and boar-like creature achieving flight due to flames shooting out of their behinds makes me skeptical of the writers’ intent.

In any case, for anyone high school age or above, Hunters is a chance to escape reality for just over an hour. The film keeps moving from fight to fight with relative ease and a steady pace. The beasts Lian Chu fights are creative and unique. If all else fails, Hunters is great to occupy time doing menial tasks around the room (folding laundry in my case).

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