Get ready to blast into hyperspace with Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, an exhilarating, animated sci-fi saga hailed as "an excellent special treat for families" (Screen International) that brings interplanetary excitement... more » and adventure to an all-time high! Deep within a subterranean Mine-World, a tribe of humans forced into a grim life of servitude by the malevolent overlord Zygon knows nothing of the surface world or of hope until a brave young boy named Orin discovers a sword with mysterious powers that only he can unlock! After escaping the Mine-World with his weapon, Orin teams with rogue smuggler Dagg, a beautiful princess and some trusty robots on an intergalactic mission to free his enslaved people and defeat the evil Zygon!« less
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 07/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Starchaser is a space opera along the same lines as Star Wars. You have the evil villain in a cape, spaceships blowing up each other, lasers flashing with neat noises, robots cracking jokes, heroes saving the day. You have it all. What ties it all together is a rather simple story that has been executed well. While some may find Starchaser too derivative I see a lot of charm in it.
The movie's biggest claim to fame is how they rotoscoped cell animation over computer animation to make various elements of the movie have a very fluid effect. This is especially true for the spaceships, which are pretty awesome for a movie made in the mid-80's. The rotoscoping technique gives a level of freedom of movement in the spaceship scenes that really stand out from anything else in this era. It's really a treat to watch the Starchaser weave around gun turrets and blasting away the bad guys.
The rest of the animation is close to what you saw on movies like Rock and Rule and to a lesser extent Heavy Metal. Solid cel drawings with decent to good animation, but not Disney quality. The original film was in 3D, but there is no 3D here. Probably a good thing considering 3D DVD's aren't exactly popular. The movie more than makes up for the lack of 3D and non-Disney quality with a clever script and excellent voice cast. You'll find yourself loving one or more of the characters because of the voice talents and what they say.
Now it's been said that Starchaser is just a Star Wars rip-off, and if you look for it you will probably say that too. You have a young "out of touch with the modern world" hero with a sword that cuts through about anything, a wisecracking smuggler who is also captain of a starship (the Starchaser), a prissy comic foil in the ship's computer, and a villian with all the stereotypical profiles for a space opera villain (just like Darth Vader had). In all fairness Star Wars was a rip-off of the classic space operas from the old Saturday morning matinees so keep that in mind when passing judgement. Also most who make this judgement tend to not see the things that make this movie different from Star Wars, and there is enough to do so. It's not like comparing Fisful of Dollars with Yojimbo (which are practically identical movies). More like comparing Rocky with The Karate Kid (same themes, but different approach and story path).
Now that the DVD version is finally here you can get this movie in it's original widescreen format. The only copies you could have gotten in the past were full frame and were either on VHS tape or transferred from VHS tape. Now this DVD is a no frills deal. There is no remastering to clean up the picture so you will see a fair amount of dirt, which is to be expected for a long neglected title. The sound is actually pretty good and in true stereo, but it's not Dolby Digital. There are no special features that I have found. Not even a trailer. Oh well. At least we finally have it on DVD. And the price definitely makes it worth a look.
The movie is PG for violence and mild language (very mild by today's standards). I suppose the movie can be a tad too violent for the youngest of viewers, but if they can handle Star Wars there shouldn't be a problem. If you enjoy space opera this movie should suite you just fine. If you're into animated science fiction that's on the lighter side you should get a kick out this too. Personally I love it in spite of any shortcomings others might find."
A most underrated animated treasure!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Somewhere underground of a planet where a race of humans are enslaved to dig for a evil baron named "Zygon", a slave named "Orin" discovers a special magic bladeless sword that has the power to create an invisible magic blade to kill enemies as he is the master of the sword, his quest is to dig up to the upper world to find the blade that he must seek. During his mission, he joins up with a smuggler named "Dagg", two robots "Arthur" & fembot " Silica" and a beautiful princess to save his home planet, defeat Zygon and free the people of the mine-world.
Often refered to as a "Star Wars" rip-off, but i think this is a wonderfully animated and nicely made animated Korean/US produced Sci-fi fantasy romp for adults ( not really for kids). For it's time, it contained some early CGI and was originally in 3-D, But still i think it's a wonderful animated movie that i recommend for fans of "Star Wars", Sci-fi, fantasy and animation alike.
Also recommended: Heavy Metal, Rock and Rule, Star Wars saga, Titan A.E., Treasure Planet, Flash Gordon, Spaceballs, Transformers The Movie, Fire and Ice, Wizards, Princess Mononoke, Nauiscca: Valley of the Wind, Star Trek movie series, Krull, The Dark Crystal, Project A-Ko."
A Super Classic Originally 3-D In The Theaters
P Floyd QueensRush | Rock Star USA | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just to let all know who already don't, Starchaser - The Legend Of Orin was originally released as a 3-D animated movie spectacular (poster read "The Best 3-D Movie Ever Made!") in movie theaters back in 1985. It would be fantastic if it was 3-D on DVD, but from what is stated above, thankfully presented in the original widescreen format we all enjoy...this movie is TRULY an animated classic with definite rereleased "Star Wars" characters, though it has a completely different story and entertainment value - the animation is at times old-fashioned, but all spacecraft and building interiors are in incredibly illustrated 3-dimensional artwork enhanced with CG technology. The motion is beautiful and exciting to watch and all the characters play such great parts in the film, and the whole picture changes from place to place every few minutes showing off completely different alien lands and creatures. The beginning takes place somewhere the rest of the movie doesn't, which always makes a great thrill for a space adventure about to happen...it's got creepy alien creatures, plenty of excellent action, classic super villians and anything else you'd ever want in both a space fantasy and an animated motion picture. Best replay value ever due to the extremely worn-out copy I personally have on old school VHS - a 5-star family adventure film for sure (even the rest of my own family loved it!) in 3-D or not!"
Enjoyable for adults as well as kids.
Slippy | Sealy, TX USA | 08/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is enjoyable for older children as well as adults who remember both the Dragon's Lair and Space Ace Video games. Younger children may have trouble with the concepts of the movie and the undertones may not be approriate for small children. Over all, very interesting plot remiscent of Star Wars and other movies that have a "chosen one" in it."
witch dragon | West Virginia | 06/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had first seen this movie on TV a long time ago. I was lucky enough to catch it again and tapd it on VHS. I was thrilled when I saw that it was now out on DVD and had to buy it. Wonderful cartoon type movie about a boy that was raised in the mines of a furture world. He finds a way out and discovers all about life above as well as his desire for revenge, to go back for his brother, and that not all things are as they seem. Very funny moments, action, some blood and death scenes are well. All in all, a great movie that you'll watch again and again."