In the midst of all of this Lucas-generated Star Wars hype, why not release an animated film on DVD whose storyline seems to eerily mirror Episode IV’s A New Hope? The story is about a boy named Orin, who works in an underground mine that’s guarded by silver stormtrooper-looking robots. I’m just saying. One day, he finds a sword that has magical powers, and with the help of his friends, he goes on an intergalactic adventure to free his friends from an evil warlord named Zygon. With he…p from the magic sword, of course.
On a whole, it doesn’t sound too bad, but the more you get into the story, the parallels are too hard to ignore. There’s even a cigar chomping pilot that closely mirrors Han Solo. After awhile it gets a little comical, and easy to understand how writer Jeffrey Scott has written over 600 animated stories, according to one claim.
On the plus side though, the animation, for it’s time, looks good and almost groundbreaking in a way. There are some fluid motions that, for hand-drawn art, would seem to have been innovative back in the mid ’80s and before any widespread PC use emerged. Full credit goes to the animators for their jobs, but otherwise, the story is very hollow and not very entertaining.
Dolby Digital 2.0 for this film, and it employs quite a few surround effects as part of a lively soundtrack, and there’s good use of ambient sounds here.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen that the feature sports on disc looks pretty good, but there’s an overall dark/muddy feel the picture has. Now granted, you’re watching a film set mostly in space or underground, but the picture just doesn’t look as vibrant as it should. The images are reproduced with a good deal of clarity, but this can’t be how it looked naturally.
No extras, not even a trailer.
Some decent animation sequences don’t make up for a bad story, and Starchaser seems to be more along the lines of movies that they copy (Star Wars) rather than movies that wish to idolize or pay tribute to (Heavy Metal). I’d wait to see this on cable before you decided on renting or buying.