Once again I have to apologize for my absence from this blog. On top of the usual distractions, I’ve been working on a big new project that goes hand-in-hand with this blog. I cannot wait to show it off, but until it’s ready, I’m afraid it’ll have to remain Top Secret. Just be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss the big debut. 😉
In the meantime, I have exciting news to share! I’ve just learned that “The Flight of Dragons” will soon be a live action movie! Yep, that’s right, I’m talking about the 1982 Rankin/Bass animated film.
All mankind is facing an epic choice:
A world of magic, or a world of science.
Which will it be?
Good luck getting that theme song out of your head now. “Flight of draaaagons…..”
The original Rankin/Bass “The Flight of Dragons” combined Peter Dickinson’s speculative natural history book of the same name with the novel “The Dragon and the George” by Gordon R. Dickson, creating a poignant and delightful tale about a world where the opposing forces of science and magic must work together to defeat an evil wizard.
Apparently, according to Director Jesse Stipek, Warner Brothers no longer holds the rights to the Rankin/Bass movie, so the new filmmakers are free to negotiate a new deal. Yesterday, the team posted a production update to their official Facebook page, saying that Imageworx Atrocity is currently in negotiations with the Peter Dickinson and Gordon R. Dickson estates to acquire the rights.
“Once all legalities and talks are complete and successful with the authors, we are going to announce something pretty cool; we just have to be official before doing so!” they wrote.
The initial shoot date of May 11 has been pushed back into June, when they hope production will be in full swing.
At this stage, details about the actual film are few and far between. What we do know is that Andrew Tribolini will be playing Carolinus the Green Wizard. Preliminary concept art by artist Jennifer Miller, which you can check out on the project’s defunct Kickstarter page, suggests that the live action film is very much visually inspired by the Rankin/Bass animation.
The film’s official website has been taken down temporarily, presumably in preparation for whatever big announcement they have planned, but here’s a summary of the film’s plot from the Facebook page:
“The Flight of Dragons” unfolds in an age when magic and science coexist uneasily, and humans still walk the earth alongside wizards, unicorns, and dragons.
One of the four most powerful mages on the planet, Carolinus the Green Wizard realizes that magic’s power is slipping in favor of the logic of science — a potential detriment to men, who need such magic to provide regular inspiration for themselves. Carolinus thus summons his three brothers for an emergency gathering, and suggests that they create a separate magical realm for themselves, via which they can send man the magic he needs on a regular basis.
Two of the brothers agree, but the third — the evil wizard Ommadon — not only refuses to be shuttled off to this removed existence but vows to wage full-scale war on humankind with evil feelings and ideas. Because the rules of the universe forbid Carolinus and his other two siblings from going head-to-head with Ommadon, they must seek out a human hero with the power to stop him. Carolinus sends this request to the Fates. They, in turn, select Peter, who is, of all things, a man of science.
I would love to see what Jesse Stipek and his crew make this happen. “The Flight of Dragons,” along with nearly every other Rankin/Bass film, represents some of my fondest memories of childhood. More importantly, though, a tale about whether science and magic can co-exist in the world has never been more apropos than in today’s technological age.
Do you remember watching “The Flight of Dragons” as a kid? Share your favorite animated classics in the comments below!