Next Club Meeting: July 20, 2019, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Live-action 1980's Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons and... Renault?
[Source: Syfy] Live-action remake fever has truly reached an all-time high. Everyone seems to be getting in on it, even car manufacturers. The 1980s cartoon Dungeons and Dragons may be gone, but it is a pop-culture icon in Brazil, where the series remains incredibly popular. So much so that the French car manufacturer Renault made a Hollywood-production-level live-action commercial that brought the cartoon characters to life.

The nearly two-minute-long commercial is complete with explosions, a magical bow shooting glowing arrows of energy, and, of course, dragons. It's a seriously faithful adaptation of the CBS TV series that ran for 27 episodes from 1983 to 1985. The animated series revolves around a group of friends who find themselves transported to the land of dungeons and dragons after an amusement park ride whisks them to another dimension.

It wouldn't be Dungeons and Dragons without, you know, dragons, and the commercial does not disappoint. The children's archnemesis and evil wizard Venger, along with his five-headed dragon Tiamat, chase the children all over the realm. Thankfully, the Dungeon Master shows up in the nick of time, in a Kwid Outsider no less. The children use the car to return themselves to the real world, though something else may have unknowingly hitched along for the ride.

The cartoon focuses on the friendship between the children and how they work together to find their way back home. Of course, they couldn't do it without their friend and mentor the Dungeon Master. The DM helps the children learn their new classes and weapons as they battle the forces of evil who wish to use their weapons to gain more power in the realm. The children frequently come to the aid of others on their quest to find a way home.

Dungeons and Dragons was a joint venture between the game's manufacturers, TSR, and Marvel Productions. The animated series was wildly popular and led its timeslot for two years. The series sadly met its demise before a final episode could be produced. The Emmy award-winning writer Michael Reaves, who wrote for the series, blogged about the final episode, entitled "Requiem." The episode would have tied up some loose narrative threads, like revealing the evil wizard Venger was actually the Dungeon Master's son. Yikes, talk about a complicated family relationship!

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