A good wizard finds his magical powers diminishing as this Rankin/Bass production based on the Peter Dickinson novel opens. His nemesis, the evil Ommadon (voiced by James Earl Jones at his deepest and scariest), swiftly takes advantage of the situation. Who will save the world? Why, none other than a young scientist-novelist-game inventor, named Peter Dickenson (mildly voiced by John Ritter), who is zapped from the future back into the time of dragons. Populating this Japanese-animation fantasy film are the titular fire-breathing dragons, the wizards, a knight, a maiden, some elves, and--in a feminist departure from tradition--a heroic bowwoman. The battles are fairly mild and most of the virtuous characters recover, making this a good choice for family viewing, as well as a staple for the fantasy fanatic's video library. --Kimberly Heinrichs
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