Retro Review: The Flight Of Dragons (1982)

The Flight Of Dragons takes audiences back to a time long past when Magic was real and Dragons roamed the skies.

Synopsis: The Flight Of Dragons takes audiences back to a time long past when Magic was real and Dragons roamed the skies.


The Story

When The Green Wizard Carolinus recognizes that Magic is losing its power because humans are embracing logic. He calls an emergency meeting of the Wizards council and proposes that they build a new contained world where Magic is allowed to thrive. Unfortunately, The Red Wizard Ommadon has other ideas and proceeds to enchant all of the dragons of the world and takes over the skies. With the help of his Dragon Bryagh and Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe and a colourful group of characters. Carolinus journeys forward through time to recruit writer and dragon enthusiast Peter Dickenson to help defeat Ommadon and his evil schemes. 


The Voice Acting

Harry Morgan who is likely best known for his role of Col. Sherman T. Potter from the hit sitcom M*A*S*H is brilliantly cast as the somewhat scatterbrained Wizard Carolinus. The actor pretty much owns this role from the first moment that you see him onscreen as he sets the table for the sweeping story that this film depicts. 

John Ritter is fantastic as geeky writer Peter Dickenson and does a brilliant job of selling this character’s enthusiasm, bemusement, and fascination as he is transported from Boston in the early 1980s to a time when Dragons and humans co-existed alongside other magical creatures. We get lots of fun scenes with Peter, but its the finale of the film where Peter uses his knowledge of science to defeat Ommadon (James Earl Jones) that is particularly memorable.



Created by Rankin/Bass animated studios who did a bunch of brilliant animation work throughout the 1970s and 80s. The Flight of the Dragons is a somewhat overlooked fantasy film from the 80s and of course, is very much overshadowed by The Last Unicorn, which was released in the same year and was also produced by Rankin/Bass.

The film offers up an interesting premise in which Logic and Science were slowly becoming a new force on the earth to a point where the belief in magic was starting to fade and magic was starting to lose its power. This premise allowed Carolinus to recruit an unlikely hero in the form of geeky writer Peter Dickenson. Ultimately, the film resolves the conflict by having Magic and Science through the character of Peter work together to overthrow Ommadon and his stranglehold on the world.

While somewhat primitive by today’s standards. The animation in this film is excellent and offers up a wonderful collection of colourful characters and fantastic landscapes and of course Dragon’s. Lots and lots of Dragons who are all very different. The star of the show is Carolinus’s Dragon Smrgol who becomes somewhat of a mentor to Peter when he gets merged with Smargol’s nephew  Gorbash.

Overall Rankin/Bass did a pretty good job with this movie adaptation of the Peter Dickenson books of the same name. The film has a pretty good music score. Parts of which are still playing in my head.

The Flight Of Dragons (1982)
  • Story
  • Voice Acting
  • Animation
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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