Dragonheart: A New Beginning

Dragonheart: A New Beginning (2000)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Chris Masterson, Harry Van Gorkum, Rona Figueroa, Matt Hickey
Extras: “Making Of” Documentary, Featurettes, Trailer, Production Notes

After the success of the original ’Dragonheart, ’ Universal decided to create a sequel to the movie in which a young stable boy discovers Drake, a baby-dragon, and the last of its kind, hatchet from an egg that was rescued by Bowen. The film tells the exciting adventures of Geoff and the dragon as they go out to conquer the world for themselves.

This direct to video release from Universal Home Video is presented in a full frame presentation on this disc. Surprisingly, the image quality of the film varies quite a bit between shots. While some shots show significant signs of film grain, others are absolutely stable and beautifully clean. The color reproduction of the film is good, creating a very faithfully looking picture. Blacks are very deep and solid, giving the image good visual depth. Highlights appear slightly under-exposed, creating a somewhat dull looking image that lacks solid white. Fleshtones show some signs of red over-emphasis, but it is never distracting from the actual presentation. The compression has been carefully done and the presentation is free of compression artifacts such as pixelation or other anomalies.

’Dragonheart: A New Beginning’ features a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track in English as well as a Dolby Surround track in French. The tracks are clean and free of any distortion. Surround usage is good and rather active, giving the movie a good, lively feel. The bass extension of the tracks is also good and especially the 5.1 mix with its dedicated LFE channel offers some good low ends. In the high end of the spectrum, the tracks have good clarity and fidelity, making them valuable for the overall experience.

The DVD features a documentary and featurettes covering behind-the-scenes aspects as well as the technical aspects of the production. Fans of the original movie will be pleased to hear that ’A New Beginning’ is a good extension of the story, although it seems clearly targeted at a younger audience with the whimsical baby dragon and young actor in the lead. While the technical achievements are not nearly as staggering as in the original I found this sequel entertaining and fun.