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Dragons from the and the World

Name: Dragon's World - A Fantasy Made Real
Production: Sony Pictures
Director: Justin Hardy
Original Aired Date: March 20, 2005
DVD Release Date: April 5, 2005
Genre: Science Fiction / Documentary / Fantasy
Rated: PG
Running time: 100 min.
Budget Estimate: N/A

Dragon Contents:
This rating only indicates the dragon contents and importance they play in the movie/game/episodes reviewed.

R a t i n g :
This rating indicates how good or how bad was the movie/game/episodes reviewed. A rating of 5 stars on 10 is considered as the average which mean it is not good but not bad either.

Reviewed by Tempest
No alternate review available


What if dragons actually existed?

Dragon's World - A Fantasy Made Real depicts what would have happen if dragons actually existed and if this would be the first documented discovery of their existence. It basically takes the concepts of Walking with Dinosaurs (1999) (and to some extand When Dinosaurs Ruled (2000)) and use it for dragons; actors posing as scientists are trying to solve a mysterious crime scene involving a creature that isn't suppose to exist. It is a brilliant piece of fiction with realistic recreations and where nothing is too unbelievable to be out of reach of a scientific explanation.


Story line:
Several corpses dating from the 15 century are found in a Romanian frozen cave, along with a strange creature. The London Museum of Natural History send a team to investigate the astonishing discovery. Dr. Tanner (Paul Hilton) with the help of two other colleagues (played by Katrine Bach and Aidan Woodward) soon realize that they have to deal with what look like a real dragon carcass. The story is split into two parts, the first in which we follow the scientific team in their quest to explain how dragons could fly and breath. We also follow the logical steps they take to reach their perspectives on the dragons' evolutionary path and how the the humans have died in this mysterious cave. While the other part is a collection of small stories about dragons through the ages. For example it start with a female wyvern and her hatchling during prehistoric time (battling T-Rex and such), then fast forward to the oriental type of dragon with six limb but under-developed wings to finally end with the story of a full-fledged female dragon trying to survive during the Middle Ages (by raiding on livestock and dealing with the humans attacks on her lair). There isn't any mention of damsel in distress or knight in plate armor charging the dragon with only his courage, his shield and his faithful horse; the movie rather depict a more simple and definitively more realistic tale of what would human encounters with a dragon could have looked like at that time.

On the technical side, it isn't very hard to spot flaw in the explanations of some of the dragon physical prowess. For example, marine ecosystems were also decimated at the K-T boundary while in the show, they hint that water dragon survive because some of them were marine creatures. Another example is the need to ingest platinum to breath fire, it's a bit hard to believe as platinum is extremely rare in Earth crust and using a dragon's breath to cook food or keep egg warm seems a bit far stretched... Things like this that will raise some eyebrows, but if we just sit back and enjoy the show, it is easy to set aside these not-so-great explanations.

Also, it's is worth mentioning the similarity between how this movie explain how large creatures can fly and the explanation given in The Flight of Dragons (1982).


Images:
In the real part of the movie with real actors and physical dragons, it is clear that many efforts have been made to make everything look real. They have built their own puppet dragons so the actors could manipulate and dissect it, which looked real enough to be believable.

On the computer generated side, the animation are okay, they could have created more variety and diverse scenes during the show as sometime they use the same scene more than once, but we have to take in consideration that this isn't a +100 million dollar movie and while the animations aren't the most realistic around, but they look believable.


Sound & Music
The soundtrack isn't exceptional, the show after all try to look and sound like a documentary. However, they always used the right music for the right scene with slightly more rhythmic music during the "let investigate this" and more slow and peaceful music when the movie switch to the serene scenes in the dragon stories.


Acting
As mentioned before, a large part of the show is computer generated, creatures in this part of the movie interact in a realistic way but something they seem to fly or move a bit too slowly. As for the real actors, their acting isn't very impressive, sometime they just sound like they are following a script by asking questions like if they already knew the answer / next line. Setting this aside, the show really follows the descriptive narration of Walking with Dinosaurs (1999).


R a t i n g
Images:(7.0/10) - Good
Sound & Music:(7.5/10) - Good
Story line:(6.5/10) - Average
Acting:(5.5/10) - Fair
Innovation:(8.0/10) - Very Good
Educational Value or
Level of Wisdom:
(7.0/10) - Good
Overall:(7.0/10) - Good
Note: the overall is not an average, but more a general appreciation of the movie as a whole.
A rating of 5/10 should be considered as something not good but not bad either (# bad points = # good points).