Dragon’s Lair

Animation enters the gaming arena.

Animation history is about to have another “first.” The videogame phenomenon, which recently invaded the animation world via Saturday morning and computer animation graphics, is about to feel the wrath of the animated drawing, itself, as DRAGON’S LAIR premieres summer 1983.

Not just another attempt to imitate movement via a dot pattern on a computer screen, DRAGON’S LAIR is an actual animated short that may not only revolutionize the video arcade, but could give animation one of its most needed boosts in decades. Just as sound, features, and television opened new markets, DRAGON’S LAIR marks the first of the truly animated videogames.

Don Bluth.

It is generally conceded that one of animation’s major setbacks was the end of the animated short during the 1950s. Disney, Warner Brothers, MGM and others closed their shorts departments, leaving their talent to find work elsewhere. More than just the loss of a source of animation, this event actually eliminated a basic training ground for young talent. Those desiring animation experience or training were forced to start either directly on features (an almost make or break proposition) or on Saturday morning (which taught a different style of animation not usually seen in features). Now comes DRAGON’S LAIR, and the start of a new era in shorts.

Dragon’s Lair

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