Paramount has announced that the beloved cult classic Dragonslayer will be making its debut on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever next month! The HD release of the 1980s film will be available in 4K Ultra HD, as well as a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD SteelBook, and Blu-ray. It will include over an hour of new bonus content. The new home video release will arrive on March 21st, 2023. You can pre-order from Amazon by clicking here!
After more than 40 years since its initial release in 1981, Dragonslayer continues to win over fans, including Guillermo del Toro who joins director and longtime collaborator Matthew Robbins for some illuminating and entertaining commentary. The release also includes over an hour of additional new content and special features:
The Slayer of All Dragons
With director/co-writer Matthew Robbins, dragon supervisor Phil Tippett, and ILM's maestro of visual effects Dennis Muren, take a trip down memory lane with Dragonslayer, as they describe the difficult process of going from concept to screen, their tales and memories transport listeners right inside the dragon's scorching lair.
Welcome to Cragganmore
A look back at Dragonslayer's genesis, the storyline, and the casting of the movie, as well as the influence of Star Wars and its visual effects on Hollywood.
A Long Way to Urland
In England, pre-production is under way as the movie takes shape. The set design, cinematography, and costumes are all attempts by the young filmmakers to achieve a grimy medieval realism.
With the use of cutting-edge practical animatronics, cutting-edge visual effects, compositing, and Phil Tippett's ground-breaking go-motion animation, the filmmakers take on the difficult task of bringing a dragon to life like never before.
Into the Lake of Fire
The filmmakers are plagued by production difficulties at every turn, including the challenge of creating terrifying newborn dragons, and the difficulty of establishing Vermithrax's iconic lair. A mini-masterclass in creating dramatic creature performances through meticulous animation is provided by Phil Tippett.
The Final Battle
The team must overcome the difficulties of the movie's stage-bound climax, which was shot entirely against a blue screen. Director Matthew Robbins reflects on the amazing work completed during the film's final editing stages, the gorgeously rich sound design, and Alex North's magnificent soundtrack, which included elements from his renowned but unfinished 2001: A Space Odyssey score.
The Dragonslayer 4K Ultra HD Limited-Edition SteelBook features collectible packaging with a removable O-sleeve featuring an image of the theatrical poster, which, when removed, reveals original artwork of the final battle with Vermithrax Pejorative. It also includes the movie in 4K Ultra HD and the bonus content mentioned above. Access to a digital copy of the movie is also included as well.
The 4K Ultra HD release includes the film on 4K Ultra HD, the bonus content, and access to a Digital copy of the film. The Blu-ray includes the film in high definition, along with the bonus content and access to a Digital copy of the film.
The original theatrical trailer and screen tests are also included in all three editions.
About Dragonslayer (1981)
Dragonslayer is an American dark fantasy film that was released in 1981. It was directed by Matthew Robbins. The screenplay for the movie was written by Matthew Robbins and Hal Barwood. Actors that appear in the film include Peter MacNicol, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, and Caitlin Clarke. It was a co-production between Walt Disney Productions and Paramount Pictures, with Paramount Pictures being in charge of the distribution in North America and Disney's Buena Vista International being in charge of the distribution in other countries.
Dragonslayer was the second joint production between Paramount and Disney, the first being Popeye (1980), and it is more mature than most contemporary Disney films. Because the audience expected the Disney name to be exclusively associated with children's entertainment, the film's violence, adult themes, and brief nudity were somewhat controversial, despite the fact that Disney did not hold the US distribution rights. In the United States, the movie received a PG rating.
Industrial Light and Magic was utilized for the very first time on a production that was not associated with Lucasfilm in order to generate the special effects. An adaptation of stop motion, the animation method known as "go motion" was one of the contributions that Phil Tippett made to the production of the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back. This resulted in the picture being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects; however, it was ultimately defeated by Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was the only other film nominated for Visual Effects that year and whose special effects were also supplied by ILM. There are sixteen puppets that make up the dragon Vermithrax, not counting the hydraulic model that is forty feet tall and twelve meters long. These puppets are either crawling, flying, or breathing fire.
The movie was up for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, but Chariots of Fire ended up taking home the trophy instead. It was put in for consideration for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, which ultimately went to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The DVD version of Dragonslayer was made available for the first time in the United States by Paramount Home Entertainment on October 21, 2003.
A foul-tempered, fire-breathing creature ominously known as Vermithrax Pejorative terrorizes the residents of sixth-century England until a young sorcerer's apprentice named Galen (played by Peter MacNicol) is grudgingly charged with facing the beast. To bring down the dragon will require more than just magic if Galen is going to be successful.