DVD Reviews · Events · Film · Norwich

DVD Review: Dragons on DVD

Next stop on Jess’ flying tour of the Info Store is the DVD LOBBY, to meet some of the creatures that have appeared on the silver screen.

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A dragon with a serious crush on a donkey….Shrek is not your typical fairy tale. 

Shrek is a classical fantasy tale that goes wrong in every single way that you can imagine. The Princess is rescued from her tower by an Ogre hired to do the work of the not-so-handsome Prince. The princess could have saved herself, but chose to wait- and the dragon is, surprisingly, a girl! She really doesn’t want to eat the intruders, she just wants a bit of company.

Although the plot might be a little predictable (it is a quest to save a princess from a tower, there’s only so much variation that goes with that) the strength of the film lies in its comedy. There is humour in there for both children and adults, verbal and visual, from each of the characters, although Donkey quite often steals the scene (and the dragon’s heart!)

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Puppeteers bring Dragon to life on stage in Shrek: The Musical 

Find Shrek in our collection (DVD LOBBY 791.433) or watch the film brought to life on stage at the Norwich Theatre Royal from 9th-28th June.

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Smaug the dragon smells an intruder 

As well the atypical friendly dragon, we also have the typical dragons of legend. Fierce, fire breathing, greedy, gold loving, human hating: Smaug is the epitome of the selfish dragon. In part two of The Hobbit trilogy The Desolation of Smaug (BOOK ZONE 823.91 JAC) the displaced dwarves attempt to take their mountain back. Bilbo Baggins has to retrieve the Arkenstone, a jewel that will unite the dwarven clans. However, the dragon Smaug knows every inch of his horde, and even if he can’t see the sneaky thief, he can smell him.

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Benedict Cumberbatch doing his best dragon roar in the motion capture suit

Due to the clever way the animator used Benedict Cumberbatch’s motions to bring the dragon to life, critics have called Smaug one of the greatest dragons to ever appear on film. Estimated to be sitting on $8.6 Billion worth of gold (roughly £5.5 Billion) he is a prime example of a dragon filled with rage and greed. He wants the gold all to himself, and he will not suffer humans or dwarves to interfere with his plan to sleep in it for centuries.

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Heading back into traditional animation: Spirited Away (DVD LOBBY 791.433) is possibly the most famous film from the Japanese Studio Ghibli and its famous director Hayao Miyazaki. You can choose to watch the original Japanese with English subtitles or the English dub, but either way it’s an enthralling tale set in an uncanny spirit world. Heroine Chihiro has to use all her courage and determination to find a way to send her parents back to their own world.

You’ll fall in love with the large cast of intricate and interesting characters, including Haku, a boy Chihiro befriends in the spirit world. She is sure they’ve met before, and even manages to recognise him in his dragon form, but still she cannot remember where they might have met.

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Chihiro proves her bravery by comforting an injured Haku 

Though the number of dragons that feature is limited, we have to recommend the other Studio Ghibli films in our collection. Read our review of My Neighbour Totoro here.

As GoGo Dragons! continues over the summer, we’ll have more dragon related posts for you. In the meantime, why not head to the Start-Up Lounge and meet the mini dragons while they wait to be let loose around the city. This is your opportunity to see them before everyone else!

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