Where's My D&D Animated Series?


Television

Scarab Sages

With the currently popularity of fantasy in films and television, and the increasing ease of animation through CG, I feel the time is ripe for a D&D-inspired animated tv series.

If Disney can do Star Wars that way, why can't we have a series influenced by fantasy RPGs?

And no, I don't want anyone to 'reboot' the '80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. It had very little relationship with actual D&D.

I want a series that has what fantasy RPGs have: wizards, warriors, paladins, rogues, clerics, races and monsters that look like creatures from the Bestiaries/Monster Manuals, spellcasting that resembles spells from the rulebooks. I want it to have some maturity, not pander to little kids, but appeal to all ages similar to what Star Wars Rebels does.

I think it could work in a weekly episodic format, alternating standalone episodes with an overarching story. I wish I knew how to animate, or knew someone who does, so I could push for a web series at least.

Or am I alone out here? Is the fantasy currently on tv enough?


No, not nearly enough, and what there is can be sort of...not good. I second your proposal Dire.

Sovereign Court

Oh please no.


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Gnolls, your all the same, always wanting raunchy comedy ;)

(I get the reaction though, failure of such a project, which is at least 50% likely, means we get a pile of whale crap instead of a cohesive and engaging story, the lowest sort of crap that I know of. But hey, nothing can be worse than the D&D movies right? Please let that be true)


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oddly you will find more luck with that sort of show with the Japanese cartoons than the american ones.

They actually have a lot of really good European fantasy, sword and sorcery shows. Far more than we've had made in north america


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To my mind, the reason that there's no D&D animated series is that, in the West, we tend to associate animated programs with comedy.

...which is a shame considering that in the last few decades, we've had plenty of successful instances of animated shows that have flown in the face of that, such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, the DC animated universe, etc. So hopefully that presumption is breaking down.

I think there's also a perception that series set in fantasy worlds are inherently more difficult to relate to than ones set (or at least starting out) on Earth.


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There ary many good anime shows with fantasy themes and setting. They might not be "official" D&D, but they share its spirit.


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May I humble suggest the anime Record of Lodoss War? It is quite literately based on the events of a D&D campaign.


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T'Ranchule wrote:
May I humble suggest the anime Record of Lodoss War? It is quite literately based on the events of a D&D campaign.

Agreed, if you want to see what can be done with that theme, Record of Lodoss War is the closest I've seen. And when I say close, it sticks to it.


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GM_Beernorg wrote:

Gnolls, your all the same, always wanting raunchy comedy ;)

(I get the reaction though, failure of such a project, which is at least 50% likely, means we get a pile of whale crap instead of a cohesive and engaging story, the lowest sort of crap that I know of. But hey, nothing can be worse than the D&D movies right? Please let that be true)

Have you seen the Dragonlance movie?

And I actually liked the Book of Vile Darkness movie...


Actually I own the Dragonlance animated movie :)


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I love Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin in that, who knew Raistlin had smoker's cough. :-)

Sovereign Court

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Dragonlance movie is horrible. Couldn't finish it, which is rare for me.

Scarab Sages

T'Ranchule wrote:
May I humble suggest the anime Record of Lodoss War? It is quite literately based on the events of a D&D campaign.

I've seen Record of Lodoss War (I own the DVD box set, in fact) but - it's old, and it actually doesn't feel very "D&D" to me. It feels more like a fantasy *inspired* by D&D than one *based* on D&D.

I think it's perfectly possible to use the familiar elements of D&D and tell a good story that will appeal to a broader audience. Enough people in the animation and entertainment industries are now people who grew up playing D&D that there's less fear of having it produced by someone who just doesn't 'get' what it's all about.

And yes, I have seen the D&D movie, and I know the director was a D&D player. That's no reason to assume that any D&D-based entertainment project is going to be awful.


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I would love either a series set in Golarion or Ebberon

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I think it would be kind of neat to have a D&D show where the players are live action and act as a kind of framing device, and the characters are animated and go on quests and stuff.


Are we talking about an actual DND show? The answer to why that show doesn't exist would be that all of Hasbro's television and movie making has to do with toy sales, and there is no established line of toys to cross market with. Sales of Transformers toys go up 50% in years when one of the movies come out.


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Hey, if Hasbro wants to put out a good quality animated something D&Dish, I will buy some merch as long as it is good stuff.

I would love to see the cast of Weasel's Luck and the later book of that series as quality animated characters. Stories about his knightly....errr, brave, err, umm, trying adventures. :)

What? Being a knight of Solamnia is hard, and we can't all be Sturm.


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GM_Beernorg wrote:
Actually I own the Dragonlance animated movie :)

I'm so sorry.

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The NPC wrote:
GM_Beernorg wrote:
Actually I own the Dragonlance animated movie :)
I'm so sorry.

Owning copies of the Dragonlance movie so others cannot view it is a service to society that is greatly appreciated and honored. You are a big damn hero.

;-)


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To be honest, there are so many issues with that piece of animation that Flint is rolling over in his grave. Also, ummm, what the hell happened to the entire middle 1/3 of the story of the Chronicles, someone forget to tell the producers there were three books, and ALL of the plot is important.

Well, in the words of Mal "Aint we just!"


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SmiloDan wrote:
The NPC wrote:
GM_Beernorg wrote:
Actually I own the Dragonlance animated movie :)
I'm so sorry.

Owning copies of the Dragonlance movie so others cannot view it is a service to society that is greatly appreciated and honored. You are a big damn hero.

;-)

Burning is better than owning.


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GM_Beernorg wrote:
Also, ummm, what the hell happened to the entire middle 1/3 of the story of the Chronicles, someone forget to tell the producers there were three books, and ALL of the plot is important.

The funny thing is that the Chronicles Trilogy itself overlooks a fair amount of the original material from DL1-14.


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I can only guess that not all of the campaign material could be fictionalized smoothly.


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But we do have the actual gaming sessions of Weise and Hickman and Co. to thank for Tas and the wicker dragon. :)

Sovereign Court

Still Dragonlance is painful most of the time.


What? No Mention of Records of Lodoss War?


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I thought that was already mentioned, everyone got sidetracked on the awfulness of animated chronicles.

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Also, technically most of Lodoss and it's associated works (the world of Forcelia) aren't D&D, they're Sword World 1.

Sovereign Court

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It was mentioned. But it is old. Although it has one of the most badass dwarf characters ever.


Dire Elf wrote:


And no, I don't want anyone to 'reboot' the '80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. It had very little relationship with actual D&D.

Wrong. It was nearly identical to D&D. It had monsters and character classes from both basic and 1st edition.

Quote:


I want a series that has what fantasy RPGs have: wizards, warriors, paladins, rogues, clerics, races and monsters that look like creatures from the Bestiaries/Monster Manuals, spellcasting that resembles spells from the rulebooks. I want it to have some maturity, not pander to little kids, but appeal to all ages similar to what Star Wars Rebels does.

Yes, just like the 80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. Please don't use computer animation. Get Genndy Tartakovsky to draw it.

Quote:


I think it could work in a weekly episodic format, alternating standalone episodes with an overarching story. I wish I knew how to animate, or knew someone who does, so I could push for a web series at least.

I think there is a market for it. Getting it started would be the hard part. Why isn't Paizo doing this?

Quote:


Or am I alone out here? Is the fantasy currently on tv enough?

Well, there's Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and . . . that's it as far as I know. We could use another fantasy series.

Liberty's Edge

Galavant and Shannara.

Then there's Grimm and Sleepy Hollow and I Zombie and Shadow hunters and Magicians and Supernatural...


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darth_borehd wrote:
Dire Elf wrote:
And no, I don't want anyone to 'reboot' the '80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. It had very little relationship with actual D&D.
Wrong. It was nearly identical to D&D. It had monsters and character classes from both basic and 1st edition.
Quote:


I want a series that has what fantasy RPGs have: wizards, warriors, paladins, rogues, clerics, races and monsters that look like creatures from the Bestiaries/Monster Manuals, spellcasting that resembles spells from the rulebooks. I want it to have some maturity, not pander to little kids, but appeal to all ages similar to what Star Wars Rebels does.

Yes, just like the 80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. Please don't use computer animation. Get Genndy Tartakovsky to draw it.

While it used a lot of things from D&D it wasn't at all like any D&D game I've ever seen. Kids from the real world given uber magic items that let them do sort of class related things but not actually be those classes. An actual "Dungeon Master" character. No actual killing anything violence (understandable for a cartoon of the time, but not like any D&D I've ever seen.)

I've got a nostalgic soft spot for that series, though I haven't seen it since it aired, but even back then I knew it was, at best, "inspired by" D&D.


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I own the cartoon series (it was a gift from my wife).

Hopefully it inspired some kids to try TTRPGs, otherwise, I shall remain silent on it's quality...it is better that way.


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I'd like to see what CW could do with a Drizz't hour long drama.

So emotional, so sparkly...


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I said it before in one of the D&D movie threads: I think an actual serious high-fantasy D&D series could work. Animated or even live-action, though the live one would be more expensive and much riskier - potentially higher returns though.

Run it like a campaign, with season long main plot arcs, but mostly self-contained adventures for the episodes. Start with low-level, grittier stuff, with hints at the high level craziness going on in the background, then ramp up the power levels as you go through the seasons leading into the serious world-beating threat for the final season.

All depends on the writers and the show runner. As will as the (voice) actors. And the studios to not make them do stupid things.
Which means it's likely a failure.


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I wouldn't want it to be violent or gory myself. Something like the Discworld cartoons where they focus on plot and social interactions.


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darth_borehd wrote:

I wouldn't want it to be violent or gory myself. Something like the Discworld cartoons where they focus on plot and social interactions.

Not gory, but without fighting it wouldn't be much like D&D.


I enjoyed the D&D cartoon. I always thought they should have given the Cavalier a sword though. If all I had was a shield, I'd be running most of the time as well. He along with the thief were the only ones without a way to go on the offensive really, and for a cavalier, that is half the shtick right there.

Of course, that was supposed to be the humor of that, a cavalier that wasn't so cavalier in how they acted I suppose.

Still, Hank (I think that was his name) made a kick arse Ranger, and Bobby had the brains of what we thought a Barbarian probably should have.

Loved the cartoon, 10X better than any D&D movie that's ever come out.

It took the idea of an actual RPG group in the game (and tried to have that 4th wall of how people act in the group...without actually breaking the 4th wall), and put it into cartoon format.

Shannara or Game of Thrones is probably the closest to D&D you'd get these days.

Lodoss War is Sword World, but probably the closest we ever have had to a Great D&D cartoon. Lodoss was actually based on a D&D campaign...but the creator who played D&D, if I recall, had their own RPG come out in Japan known as Sword World. Sword World is directly related to D&D in that light...but one could say it's how the Japanese would reimagine it.

They should have a US translation someday...not sure if they ever will though, it may be that they think WotC/TSR would consider some of it copyright infringement or something...which is a shame.


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Oddly some of the best sword and sorcery cartoons I've seen have mostly been from Japan. Going as far back as Lodoss they have put forward a lot of top quality D&Desc shows.

Grimgar fantasy and ash is one of the ones airing now and it's pretty damn good repisentation of a low level band of adventurers protecting a little border town from Goblins.

flip side you have Konosuba, God's blessing on this wonderful world which feels like a a table of gamers. Not very serious filled with genre awareness and some very quirky characters (Like the Mage who rufuses to cast anything except the most powerful destructive spell she knows. But it drains her so much she can only cast it once per day and after that the party has to carry her)


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It's my job to make things like this. :) I produce for feature and TV productions.

There are some things being talked about, several of which I am trying to get picked up myself. I specifically know of an awesome one being developed intended for Netflix...animated, gritty but not overly violent. We're hoping they decide to order a season, but we'll see. :)

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