DVD REVIEW: Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Series – Animated, Saturday Morning Mayhem!

Dungeons & Dragons

The premise was simple: a bunch of kids who play Dungeons & Dragons suddenly find themselves in a world where the roles they’ve played become real – and they gain the abilities of those characters for real.

There were six kids, a wizard, a villain and a cute little unicorn in the regular cast: Hank, the Ranger [voiced by Willie Aames], Eric the Cavalier [Donny Most], Sheila the thief [Katie Leigh], Presto the Magician [Adam Rich], Diana the Acrobat [Tonia Gayle Smith], Bobby the Barbarian [Teddy Field III], Dungeon Master [Sidney Miller], Venger [Peter Cullen] and Uni [Frank Welker].

The opening credits related how the kids came to be in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, but even in the first episode, The Night of No Tomorrow, they talk as if they’ve been there a while – when Dungeon Master first pills his disappearing act, for instance, the response is less “WOW” and more, “I hate it when he does that!”

That said, over the course of the series, the kids encounter beings and situations that are taken directly from the game – the second episode features a beholder [a floating, tentacled, one-eyed creature that is colored purple here, though I don’t remember that from the Monster Manual – I played AD&D… deal with it].

This set consists of the twenty-seven broadcast episodes but does not include the unaired [and perhaps uncompleted] Requiem, in which the kids apparently were able to return home.

The quality of the series is pretty good, but it is a bit weird hearing music stings/cues and sound effects that are recycled without any changes from Star Trek: The Animated Series [seriously, hearing the transporter sound as Presto attempts a spell is a whole ‘nother level of entertainment].

Overall, the series is fun, but it’s not one of those shows that I find myself loving as much as when I first saw it. Still, when an ep keys on Merlin and his white hare, or creatures I never encountered in gameplay – like the fairy dragons – there’s still a level of fun that’s hard to ignore.

As with other Mill Creek titles, the packaging is very basic [a case and three black paper & cellophane envelopes].

There are no bonus features.

Final Grade: B-