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Directed by Don Bluth, DRAGON'S LAIR was the first video game to use regular cell animation and the first to offer a gamer a series of options during game play. Bluth was a famed animator that had gotten tired of politics at Disney and had split with the company to start his own animation company. The company had some success with THE SECRET OF NIMH, but was still struggling. In hopes of reaping financial rewards to booster their animation offerings, Bluth and company took a gamble and entered the relatively new and somewhat-unprofitable world of video games. Despite the financial jeopardy, Bluth knew what he was doing because DRAGON'S LAIR was a mega-success. I remember when DRAGON'S LAIR was first released. At the time it cost double what a normal video game cost (instead of a quarter, it cost fifty cents or in some places instead of fifty cents it cost a whole dollar), but everyone wanted to play it because of the graphics and the non-standard game format. It was like being able to actually play a movie instead of just watching one. Video games have come a long, long way since then, but DRAGON'S LAIR remains as the father of modern day video games.

This box set includes all three of the major animated games that were produced by Don Bluth's animation company. There's DRAGON'S LAIR, DRAGON'S LAIR II: TIME WARP, and the unrelated title of the set SPACE AGE. The animation remains constant throughout the games, but the difficulty in play increases between each of the games. A person can play each of the games if they wish using the DVD remote, or they can skip the play and just watch the story that the games tell. Included in the set are several extra features including interviews with Bluth and Co. about DRAGON'S LAIR as the prepare to release DRAGON'S LAIR 3-D, a featurette about the making of DRAGON'S LAIR (Daphne was modeled after Marilyn Monroe using Playboy magazine pictures as inspiration) archival interviews with Bluth and other co-creators, press releases, previews for other games released by Bluth's company (these weren't near as entertaining or prosperous as the animated ventures because they incorporated live actors in really, really, really cheesy plots), an episode of the television game show STARCADE in which DRAGON'S LAIR was the featured video game; and a few other random items. I found the featurette quite interesting and the STARCADE episode was a serious blast from the past (it even includes some national commercials, such as one for a Disney record--records were cheap). This is a great item for any fan of the original game to own, as well as collectors of pop culture history, and video game enthusiasts.

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