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  • Full Frame
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  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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    French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
  Extras
  • 2 Theatrical trailer - Dragonheart, Dragonheart: A New Beginning

Dragonheart: A New Beginning

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 81 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The original Dragonheart was a fantastic film, with a marvellous cast, a heart-rending storyline (pun intended) and digital effects that stretched the bounds of technology at the time - Draco had more polygons than the entire digital cast of Jurasic Park! With such a successful film (Dragonheart more than recouped it's budget in gross worldwide theatrical takings) why wouldn't a sequel be made?

Well, how about the simple fact that there are no dragons left at the end of Dragonheart? (My apologies for the spoiler to those who haven't seen the original, but you are reading a review for a sequel.)

Never let it be said that film producers can't find a way around seemingly insurmountable problems. The solution to our dilemma? Why, Draco was guarding an egg of course, and entrusted it to Bowen before he died! Now that we have that little point out of the way, we can proceed with the story.

This young dragon (imaginatively named Drake) has been kept cooped up in the caverns beneath the monastery founded by Brother Gilbert. There he is safely away from a world where prophecy states that a dragon's heart may be corrupted by evil until the two-tailed comet has passed by the moon - an event due to take place in only a few days.

Of course, things couldn't be so simple. Geoffrey (Christopher Masterson), stable boy of the monastery who dreams of knighthood, sneaks into the caverns and befriends Drake, encouraging him to explore the world outside.

In the mean time, the King seems to be suffering from a debilitating illness, and his new royal advisor, Osric (Harry van Gorkum), has his own plans for how the kingdom should be run...

  Video
Contract

Presented in full frame, Dragonheart: ANB was made for the home video market, and unfortunately the low budget shows through. The actual transfer to DVD looks good, but the same cannot be said about the source material. DVD has the distinct disadvantage of showing up any defects that may be present, as is the case here with some graininess and dirt evident at times.

Sometimes these problems can work for the film. In this case, the CG work on the young dragon looks better when the image is not at its best, as the alternative is a dragon that seems a little too two-dimensional.

  Audio
Contract

Not only did Dragonheart hit us front on with the amazing CG work on Draco, but it proceeded to hit us from all other directions with it's clever use of surround channels. If you don't know what I'm talking about, grab the original and check out the conversation between Bowen and Draco, as Draco flies around the room - great demo material for those who aren't sure of the benefits of surround.

Dragonheart: ANB can not hope to live up to its predecessor, but does a good job with what it has to offer. Dialogue is clear, dragonbreath and dragon flight are given a small kick with the use of the LFE channel, and the score fills out the soundstage nicely.

  Extras
Contract

Extras are thin on the ground, with only theatrical trailers of the two Dragonheart films being provided.

  Overall  
Contract

OK, so it's not on the same level as the original film, but Dragonheart: ANB is pitched at a younger audience (hence the PG rating) and as such tells a good tale. While the image quality isn't brilliant, again it's not something a child will notice, being too caught up in the sense of adventure of a young boy and his dragon friend. Watch this one with your heart and you'll be more likely to enjoy it.

One for the kids - both young and old.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=477
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      And I quote...
    "Watch with your heart and not your eyes - you'll probably enjoy it more."
    - Andrew MacLennan
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-515
    • TV:
          Philips 29PT6361
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-2700
    • Speakers:
          Aaron ATS-5
    • Centre Speaker:
          Aaron CC-240
    • Surrounds:
          Aaron SS-120
    • Subwoofer:
          Aaron SUB-240
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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