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Teala's Wickedly Cool Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

DragonLance the Movie - Dragons of Autumn Twilight - and other thoughts.

Posted by Teala Wednesday July 9 2008 at 1:29PM
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 Well I watched the movie based on the beloved books by Margeret Weiss and Tracy Hickman and I was a little disappointed.   ::sigh::  I was hoping it would have been done better.   I mean it was OK for the most part and did sorta stay true to the story (still kinda missed it in my opinion) but you cannot do the story justice in 90 minutes.   The voices actors like Kiefer Sutherland, Lucy Lawless, and Michael Rosenbaum really saved this movie.   Some of the art was well done, but it should have been done better.   The whole thing should have been CGI instead of a mix between 2D and 3D.

For some of us MMORPG players this book, like Lord of the Rings, is one of the books that we read as children and fell in love with.   We grew up reading about Goldmoon, Tika, Tanis, Caramon, and Raistlin.  This in turn got us involved with the whole world of AD&D and gaming.   I remember my brothers buying the SSI Goldbox AD&D games and us playing them until the wee hours of the morning.   Remember Champions of Krynn?  

This book and many others like it influenced us greatly.  Enough so that we hungered for more.  Our appetites for gaming grew from AD&D, Rifts, G.U.R.P.S and other such titles.  So books like the DragonLance Chronicles, Lord of the Rings, and Wheel of Time mean a lot to us and have  special place in our hearts.   I remember the first time I picked up the book Dragons of Autumn Twilight.   

What a magical time that was for me.   I was really getting into pen and paper gaming then and this book helped feed my hunger for all things fantasy.   Following the tales of the characters within and seeing it play out in my minds eye.    It just so happened that  I read this first book in the fall and the area I lived in at the time was a blaze with all the fall colors.   ::sigh::  

I would get off the bus, race home and jump up on my bed and pull out the books.    Through the window, next to my bed, that overlooked the woods  the trees with their fall foliage really helped set the mood.   The magic that poured from the words on the pages took me away to Krynn and to the land filled with heroes, heroines and dragons.

I fell in love with reading and writing during that time in my life and of course...gaming.   I remember going online back then.  We had AOL at the time and I use to go to this chat room known as the Red Dragon Inn.   It was a chat room for free-form role playing.   Nothing but text was used to describe the actions of our characters.   I remember going on adventures based off this novel and my love for the stories and gaming grew.

It was here that we sometimes would take a break from gaming and just discuss the books, the characters, the stories and what the future might hold.   I use to say, "Someday, someday in the future, we'll see our characters in a virtual worlds and be able to control them.  Everything will be in 3D and it will allow us to really be a part of these fantastic worlds we read about in the books we love."   I was amazed at some of the responses I use to get.   "Sure...sure...keep dreaming...computers will never be so powerful to allow is to do that."   Of course the people that use to say that are eating their words now, because we do have those 3D virtual worlds and we can play in them and be a part of them and have our own wondrous adventures - just like the characters we loved in those novels.

So what am I rambling on about and how does this tie in with the movie based on one of the books I fell in love with?   It's about love.   Love of words and art.   The books we read the art we see and how it molds us and makes us part of who we are.   When we see a book we love so much come to life in the form of a movie we expect it to be as we envisioned it.   Sometimes it doesn't always play out how we remember it.   So when we finally get to see the characters come to life on the screen and they are not as we thought they might be we get a little disappointed.   This movie had that effect on me.   It should have been given the love the authors gave the story.   Dragons of Autumn Twilight the movie version lacks real love.    It's as if the people who put it together never read the story or know what the story means to so many people.   It deserved to be done better so that the magic that we found in the books could be seen in the movie.   It is not there however.   It is missing love.

The picture to the left is from the movie.  It is of Goldmoon breaking her staff against the hand of Onyx.   A dragon sent to retrieve the blue crystal staff.  Though the characters pretty much look as they are described in the books.  They are missing something.   The film seems rushed and reminds me of some of the old style cartoons we saw back in the day.   This movie, as I have said earlier, does not do the book justice.  Yes it pretty much follows the storyline as told in the book, but it misses some key parts that should have been in it.  It is hard to get a feel for the characters due to this lack of character building we find in the novels.   The switching of scenes and following the heroes as they progress through the story is broken by the parts that are missing and the parts that were rewritten to fit within the 90 minutes.

Without the love that is given the characters, settings, and the world we found in the novels, the movie looses it's looses its magic.   When we saw Lord of the Rings come to life on the big wow.  I was like...that is Frodo!  That is Gandalf!  They look as they should!  The movies have magic....just as the novels did.  Peter Jackson put a lot of love into the making of the movies and it shows, because he loved the books.

So if by some of chance Tracy Hickman or Margeret Wiess ever read this, I hope they take my suggestion to heart.    Do not let people who do not love your story produce the next movies.  In fact...just start over and redo the first one all over again...but this time...this it justice.    Bring the world of Krynn to life as it should have been done.   If you must hire Peter Jackson to do the movie I do not care.   Dragonlance is an epic story that deserves its place alongside such great novels as Lord of the Rings and should you decide to redo it into the movie it should have been - do it right. 

Suggestion.   Hire one of these game companies, like Blizzard, or NCSoft that know how to make CGI movies.    Have them make the movies full CGI and bring the world of Krynn to life as it should have been done.

An example of what I am talking about can be viewed here.

Lineage II - CGI Movie 2003

This maybe only a 3 minute movie...but there is more emotion, more story telling in that three minute clip than there is in almost the whole DragonLance movie I watched.    Dragonlance is a story that was written with love and if it must be made into a movie it should be made with the same kind of love that was put into it when the words were penned and the story was told.   Otherwise...leave it alone.  Let our minds eye continue to be the instrument in which the world of Krynn comes to life...because a poorly done movie spoils it and takes away the magic of the tale your words wove into a tapestry of images that only our minds can do justice.

Special Note Edit:  Here is a link to a Youtube clip of the movie if you are interested in seeing this poorly made movie.   Draqonlance on Youtube  <<< click here!

Locklain writes:

I agree with everything that you have written.  Some of it has even brought back some long forgotten memories of my P&P days.

Great movie adaptations of a book are far and few in between.  Look at the Lord of the Rings movies.  Though they are very good movies they are slim in comparison to the actual books.

One of the major problems of making a adaptation of a book, its impossible to add in everything that the book has.  The movies would be incredibly long.

Wed Jul 09 2008 2:01PM Report
ThalosVipav writes:

I have thought that Dragonlance should be brought to life in the same way LoTR was. We have seen it done now, there are people who can do it and make it look ~real~. If it can be done with Gimli and Legolas then it can be done with Flint and Tanis and I would love to see it.

Wed Jul 09 2008 4:59PM Report
Tiller writes:


Wed Jul 09 2008 5:53PM Report
Death1942 writes:

wasn't this movie made in the 80's?  (i may be getting confused with something else)

if it was then it would not have been possible to make it in CGI

Wed Jul 09 2008 6:13PM Report
Death1942 writes:

wasn't this movie made in the 80's?  (i may be getting confused with something else)

if it was then it would not have been possible to make it in CGI

Wed Jul 09 2008 6:21PM Report
Teala writes:

This movie was just released this year.

Wed Jul 09 2008 6:51PM Report
Mysk writes:

Ya know, I was thinking of how to respond and the best that comes to mind is, "It hits home".  I don't simply agree; I think that I would have written a nearly identical post after watching that movie.  Sans the great setting of reading your book, of course, because I didn't have the magical fall colors to enjoy it in. :)

Also, I used to hang out in The Red Dragon Inn all the time.  I wonder if we ever talked there?  Hah, talk about going full circle if so...

I used to dream of the online 3D RPG as well, and that's one of the reasons why I fell so hard for EQ before and after it launched.  I followed that in newsgroups and anywhere else I could.

It's also one of the reasons why I'm so jaded over today's offerings of jobs to slay a certain number of creatures or to fetch 25 mushrooms.  What I imagined was much closer to what is experienced in those books, and it had little to do with loots.

Anyhow, rather than turning this into something of a post of my own I'll just close this and say that I suspect that I know exactly how you felt while writing this.

Oh, and the quality of the movie reminded me of Thundercats. :-\

Wed Jul 09 2008 7:39PM Report
Pisnaz writes:

    Oddly enough I just pulled the books off my shelves and reread them, my last time being over 10 years ago.  I watched the movie a bit ago and while caught up in seeing a movie of Dragonlance and enjoying that fact, you are correct in a fair number of comments. 

     Considering what the next two books hold in store, I am not sure if the events will have the same impact.  I am desperately trying to avoid spoilers here for the younger audience who I feel this movie was released to.  Like a massive amount of movies nowadays it seems they rehash our old favourites and treasures and feed them to us watered down, in hopes we will bring our children as we relive these moments from our youth. 

     Hopefully they will rethink, though it is doubtful, for the next two books.  My belief is they are already in stages of development and will be watered down versions of what we read.  For now I am off to reread the Legends and Heros books.  I also believed I graced the Red Dragon Inn a few times.

     Seeing the reference to Thundercats I have to agree, I will have to watch it again but from what I recall it has similar, what I call off sharp animation, and a no gore style.  Thanks by the way now I have Thundercat Hooooooo stuck in my head. 


Wed Jul 09 2008 8:27PM Report
Emeraq writes:

I actually wasted money on the movie, yes in my opinion isn't wasn't worth even the 9.99 I paid because I could read the books that I already have and enjoy the visuals in my mind, more than the 'story' I saw on the screen..... As for the question about it being from the 80's I'd say you are probably thinking of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series from then, and even that was better than this garbage-flick.

And I agree whole heartedly with the OP, I think Dragonlance is an epic almost on par with LOTR and deserves justice done to it in movie form.

Wed Jul 09 2008 9:37PM Report
dgagley writes:

I havn't found any movie made from the D&D stories that great. Its hard when you are dealing with a small, specific and picky group.

I Still have allot of the SSI D&D Gold Box games on a book shelf, trying to get an old enough machine to play with them.

Thu Jul 10 2008 12:20AM Report
Arcken writes:

Fantasy books in my experience just dont translate well, that being said Im dying to see how George RR Martins works translate into an HBO mini series

Thu Jul 10 2008 2:12AM Report
xaldraxius writes:

I haven't watched the movie. When I saw it on the shelf I was at first excited, then I flipped it over and looked at the He-Man like art and decided I would rather leave the characters the way there were in my mind. You can't get the depth of feeling for these intricate characters in animation. Riverwind and Goldmoon's dedication. Tanis's love triangle with Laurana and Kitiara, and Kit's betrayal of her friends. Caramon's love for Raistlin, and the jealousy Raistlin secretly feels for his brother. Sturm's self sacrificing bravery, Tas's indominable spirit, and Flint's stout devotion to them all.

This story has always had more going on than Lord of the Rings, which may be why the movie companies feel it would be too difficult to produce.

The only book series I would like to see made into, quality, movies would be the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.

Mon Aug 04 2008 3:37PM Report
xaldraxius writes:

Only other that is.

Mon Aug 04 2008 3:38PM Report
Smokeysong writes:

Yah I disagree overall; while Blizzard did a great job with all those things, they didn't do a better job imo than anyone else, except make a game that was easy to play with little 'fooling around with'. No weight to consider, 1-click crafting with few ingredients, that kind of thing. This is exactly what Morgan and Adam from Xplay said about it - it was fun without the RP tedium.

Also, they started with a universe based on a GAME that was already a huge success, had a huge following. That's what gave it it's kick-off. Games based on other forms of fiction - AoC and LotRO for example - might be good games, but they were disappointing to many of us who were fans of the fiction they came from. Developing a game for a world created for gaming to begin with has little such problems.

Warhammer is a good game, but frankly doesn't bring enough new to the table to make people switch.

Blizzard HAS done a supreme job, and continues to maintain quality in WoW and it's service of WoW, but the main reason WoW is so successful is that Blizzard got the mix just right, and that was partially due to high skill in there fields but was just as much due to luck.

I'm looking forward to their next MMO, but frankly doubt it will have near the success, whatever it is. It will be good, it will make money, but will it have 10+ million subscribers? I don't think so.

Mon Jul 13 2009 1:52PM Report
firesnake77 writes:

Yeah, I loved the Dragonlance books back in the day.  That original Chronicles trilogy was so amazing.  The movie, though, was laughably bad.  I was so disappointed by it.  The voice acting was mostly good, but the whole thing really failed to capture the magic and essence of the stories.  Too bad, too, because it could have been awesome.

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