Replay – Dragonslayer

The sixteenth episode of The Reel Fantasy Podcast featured 1981’s Dragonslayer, directed by Matthew Robbins and written by Robbins and Hal Barwood. Matt and Drew both enjoyed this film quite a bit, particularly the incredible dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative.

Dragonslayer starred Peter MacNicol as Galen, the wizard’s apprentice; Caitlin Clarke as Valerian; and Ralph Richardson as Ulrich.

This film was a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions. It’s tone, much darker than standard Disney fare, created a bit of controversy when it was released. Soon after, Disney created Touchstone Pictures in order to release more adult-oriented projects.

The astonishing dragon, as well as the film’s other special effects, can be attributed to Industrial Light & Magic. The entirely practical creature was accomplished through the use of 16 individual puppets, each for a different type of movement. This included a hydraulic 40-foot model. Go-motion, a variation on stop motion animation, was developed for this film by ILM’s Phil Tippett, in an attempt to reduce or eliminate traditional stop-motion’s inherent jerkiness.

Agree with our thoughts on Dragonslayer? Disagree? Let us know in this episode’s comments, or you can find us on Facebook or Twitter, @reelfantasycast.

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