Dragonslayer (1981)

When Princess Elspeth (Chloe Salaman) is scheduled to be the next sacrificial virgin to a deadly dragon, it is up to an aged wizard, Ulrich (Ralph Richardson) and his young, headstrong apprentice, Galen (Peter MacNicol), to defeat the… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: June 26, 1981
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An atypically dark Disney adventure, Dragonslayer puts a realistic spin -- and some impressive special effects -- on a familiar tale.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

This movie has two big things going for it -- the dragon and the man who masterminds its slaying.

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Paul Taylor
Time Out

Verges on the nasty for the nippers; sails close to déjà vu for fantasy fans; fated, probably, to damnation by faint praise.

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Ralph Novak
People Magazine

An innocent adventure that's technically slick and lacking in pretense, this film should provide a nice scare for kids, and maybe a few of the grown-ups too.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The film excels as a visual exercise, as a study in adolescent psychology, and even as astute political analysis.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The scenes involving the dragon are first-rate. The beast is one of the meanest, ugliest, most reprehensible creatures I've ever seen in a film, and when it breathes flames it looks like it's really breathing flames.

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John Ferguson
Radio Times

It doesn't take itself too seriously and benefits from a good cast that includes Ralph Richardson and John Hallam. The effects aren't bad either.

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Variety Staff

A well intentioned fantasy with some wonderful special effects, Dragonslayer falls somewhat short on continuously intriguing adventure.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Mr. Robbins's overall accomplishment is one of creating a mood, and he does this well enough to make up for the film's occasional cumbersomeness.

Ian Nathan
Empire Magazine

An unknown treasure of a fantasy film and well worth a look for fans of the genre.

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More reviews for Dragonslayer

Flixster Audience Score: 62% Flixster User Reviews
Phil Hubbs
Yep back in 1981 Disney were in cahoots with Paramount and the result was this quite dark film. I mean how much more badass could this idea be?! a sorcerers… More
Aj V
A predictable, old story about having to slay a dragon, nothing new. It is exciting, though, and somewhat humorous. Overall, it's okay.
Jens S.
This is one of the earliest fantasy films that dared to present a dragon and actually managed to pull it off. The story of the mage apprentice who has to step… More
Alexis Nomm
Lord Of The Rings + Star Wars + Legend + Willow = this pretty good for '81 but mostly annoying movie.
Tim Salmons
This is not as terrible a film as I originally believed it to be. Actually I never really thought it was that terrible at all, but I may have been being a bit… More
Conner Rainwater
It's no masterpiece, but it is essentially the only good dragon movie around. The sets and overall look of the movie is flawless and really sells it as a… More