For a ICM poll on the best films of 1987,I decided to check what British animation studio Cosgrove Hall had made that year. With my dad having gotten me a DVD of this with their take on The pied piper of Hamelin,I was pleased to find one of them listed under '87,which led to me meeting the reluctant dragon.
Note: Some spoilers in review.
View on the film:
Following their magnificent adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, Willis Hall (related to Mark Hall?) brings another Kenneth Grahame adaptation to Cosgrove Hall studios, with Hall merrily playing on the image of the fearsome dragon,here being one who recites his own poetry and is a pacifist. Lighting up a message about not judging people (or a dragon) by their cover, Hall brings with the arrival of St George to slay the dragon, folk tale comedy,from the locals treating the day when the dragon is to be killed,like a funfair, and George/dragon being guided by a boy on how to stage a fight.
Reciting poems to anyone who goes near his cave, the animators give the dragon a wonderful, colourful appearance, whose friendly, flamboyant manner goes against the image created by the locals. Looming large over the locals, the animators impressively use forced perspective on the rustic, detailed designed locals looking up in fear at the dragon. Joined by the welcomed sounds of Cosgrove Hall regulars Brian Trueman/ Jimmy Hibbert,and smooth narration from Martin Jarvis, Simon Callow brings the fire breathing dragon to life, with a wonderful, soothing calm for a reluctant dragon.
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