Dungeons & Dragons review by The Grim Ringler

I am not young, that's to be certain, but old though I may be getting, I do still remember quite fondly the cartoons of my youth. I mean, who doesn't miss cartoons based on Mr. T, and Snorks, and on any of the other action figures or toys that spawned animated offspring. Of the cartoons that I remember, D&D is one of those that really stuck with me. Its world of monsters, dragons and, yes, whiny unicorns, was one that really spurred my imagination. As you can imagine, I was pretty curious as to whether the old show held up after all those years – the 1980's were not kind to many television programs and don't lend themselves to reruns often – or if it was yet another case of the memories being better than the thing itself.

Six young people get on a Dungeons & Dragons ride at their local amusement park, hoping for a thrill and are transported to a world of sorcery and magic. In this world they are transformed into heroes that are told by their guide, the Dungeon Master, that they can find their way home, the catch being that in order to find home they'll have to help out the inhabitants of this new world in their struggle against the many evil forces. Along the way the kids will fight themselves and their own demons as well as the ones of this world, and through this journey they'll all discover things about themselves and one another that they'd never known before.

I was not just shocked but awed by how well this show holds up after all these years. The first episode is pretty rough and feels as if things are rushed, but from that second episode onward, the show hits its stride and keeps it up until the end. The characters are well realized, the animation is very good, and the stories all have some sort of moral lesson to them. The real pity with the show is that there was no firm ending, as things kind of ended with a season break. Luckily for fans, this is remedied with an extra in the form of a radio play version of the last script that puts a wonderful cap on the series.

The beauty of this boxed set is that it was made with the fans in mind and pulls together commentaries, character bios, a game, the radio play, a documentary, and a fan film, so that there is little left to want. The presentation is clean, the set attractive, and the extras fantastic. Truly, if you were a fan of this sword and sorcery cartoon, or are a fan of that genre, this is a show that deserves to be re-discovered after all these years.


8 out of 10 Jackasses

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