Posted: 06/29/2009


Dragon Hunters

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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In Dragon Hunters, every 30 years the mythical dragon World Gobbler returns to town to raise all kinds of hell upon the lands owned by Lord Arnold. Everyone, naturally, has abandoned him in fear, but he won’t give his zealous niece, Zoe, much attention as she pines to become a dragon hunter herself.

Everything seems to float around in the land of Lord Arnold, and this fantasy from France keeps all swept up in visual imagery.

Even though she lives in a big castle with Lord Arnold, Zoe is a fairy-tale believing young girl who thinks that she can help conquer the mean, troublesome dragon, even though she’s not a boy. But she needs some heroes and enlists the help of Gwizdo and Lian-Chu, two worthless dragon hunters. But Zoe is so caught up in the mission, and she’s devoted to helping her uncle Lord Arnold, that she goes along for the ride, even though it’s not as smooth as she would prefer.

The cast of characters is loveable, and Lian-Chu is a huge, harmless looking creature, who loves to knit. Before they meet Zoe in one early scene, as Gwizdo is trying to convince Lian-Chu that he needs to toughen up in order to hunt dragons, Lian-Chu questions how hitting a client is credible. But Lian-Chu is reflective as he’s insulted about his knitting, because he says his mother taught him how to knit.
He later ponders life by sitting on the edge of a ledge, nearly losing his balance because he’s so huge, and watching the floating city around him.

Zoe meets Lian-Chu after he saves her from two slimy creatures, and Gwizdo sets upon the job of pawning the pair off as certified dragon hunters.
The pair fake their way into Zoe’s world, but it’s too late as they become greedy and hope to fetch the huge reward that’s been offered for the worrisome World Gobbler. They hope to retire after this one, last job and purchase a farm, where they can bicker with each other in peace.

Academy-award winning actor Forest Whitaker provides the voice of one of the frumpy dragon hunters, Lian-Chu, and Rob Paulsen voices Gwizdo.

“Dragon Hunters has the perfect blend of superior animation and rich storytelling that will entertain kids and adults alike,” said Berry Meyerowitz, President, Peach Arch Home Entertainment, Inc.

Dragon Hunters is a charming, delightful rump into magical, adventurous childhood for those—both young and old—who believe against all that even precarious beginnings can end up triumphant! It’s out on DVD and Blu-Ray from Phase 4 Films.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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