Picks and Pans Review: Dragonslayer
Mickey Mouse may have thought he had it rough as a sorcerer's apprentice when he had to cope with all of those ill-tempered brooms in Fantasia. But in this new Disney production, would-be wizard Peter MacNicol faces a more fearsome foe: an 800-year-old dragon who has a taste for medieval virgins and is given to arsonous rampages when his advances are unrequited. MacNicol inherits the magical mantle when his master, Sir Ralph Richardson, croaks. Then he challenges the dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, who steals nearly every scene he's (she's?) in. The dragon is easily the best creation of mechanical malevolence Hollywood has come up with since Jaws. (Effects are by Brian Johnson, progenitor of Alien's creature.) Romance also blossoms between the young hero and Caitlin Clarke, a beauty he tries especially hard to keep from becoming dragon fodder. An innocent adventure that's technically slick and lacking in pretense, this film should provide a nice scare for kids, and maybe a few of the grown-ups too. (PG)
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