This past weekend was a flurry of incredible nerdy awesomeness at the 2015 Phoenix Fanfest. But one of the best events that occurred wasn’t even listed in the official program and that was a rare and special appearance by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Don Bluth is a legendary animator who is responsible for many classic animations during the 1980’s through the 1990’s. His work includes such films as All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Secret of NIMH, Rock-A-Doodle, and The Land Before Time. For many adults who grew up in the early 90’s, these films were VHS tapes that were watched over and over again and his legacy continues to influence modern animation.
Last Sunday Don Bluth made a special appearance at Fanfest to promote his latest project and Indiegogo campaign to create the feature film “Dragon’s Lair.” In 1983, Don Bluth worked with the video game publisher Cinematronics to create a one of a kind style of arcade game that fused Bluth’s animation with the game play. while the game was innovative and the animation graphics were incredible for the time, the game play was extremely difficult which turned away many quarters at the arcade. With the rise in nostalgia for classic games many people have returned to this gem and have wondered: why wasn’t this ever made into a movie?
Now, over 30 years later Don Bluth and Gary Goldman aim to do just that. Their Indiegogo campaign, found here, aims to raise enough funding to create a pitch presentation that will detail their plans for turning Dragon’s lair the video game into Dragon’s Lair the Movie. Their goal is generate enough funding and interest for this film to be made and screened worldwide and this is just the first step in their process.
With support from celebrity Youtube stars such as Doug Walker of the Nostalgia Critic and a loyal fan base all around the globe, this Indiegogo campaign has already reached close to 80% of its goal but its been through vigilant campaigning with online videos from Don Bluth himself detailing why they want to see this film get made. And apparently their campaign doesn’t stop there as I was one of the few that discovered on Friday at Fanfest that Don Bluth and Gary Goldman would be officially stopping by to make an appearance.
I was one of the lucky fans that managed to get in line for their signings and photo and I have to say, meeting Don Bluth was one of the greatest moments of any convention I’ve been to. He and Gary Goldman were just so pleasant and happy that I was a huge fan and enjoyed their work. For those of you who don’t know, Gary Goldman is the producer and director for many of Don Bluth’s iconic films and his partner in crime on this endeavour. When I stepped up to the table to meet them I was thoroughly unprepared but thankfully they had fliers that they would sign for us while we talked. It’s not every day you get to meet someone who was such a huge influence on your childhood and on Sunday I was vibrating with nervousness and excitement.
The Indiegogo campaign for Dragon’s Lair has just over 30 days remaining on it and I encourage anyone who is a fan of this classic arcade game to check it out and donate. Even if you’re not into gaming this campaign is a tribute to the work of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman and for anyone who grew up watching his films, it’s a great way to say thank you to an animation icon who has inspired so many with his storytelling and visuals and will continue to inspire for generations to come.
For more information visit their website: http://dragonslairthemovie.com/ or http://www.donbluth.com/. Also check out their Facebook or Twitter to get the inside scoop and make your contribution. Thank you to Phoenix Fanfest for this amazing opportunity to meet a legend and truly have one of the best experiences for myself and other fans.
Laurel Way is a writer for film, television, websites, and blogs. She is based in Phoenix, Arizona in the U.S., and has two fat cats and a loving husband. Laurel is a geek to her core and loves all things within horror, sci-fi/fantasy, and more. When she is not writing films, she is watching them, and her go-to movie snack is popcorn and Milkduds.