A Dragon’s Adventure review – a confusion of happy-clappy colour

Rendered in supersaturated shades of mind-melting magenta, burnt-retina orange and eye-ache azure, this computer animated kids’ story (adapted from a German TV series called Der kleine Drache Kokosnuss) revolves around a somewhat socially divided community of dragons. In the strange taxonomy of this universe, there are flying Fire Dragons who can breathe fire, aquatic region-dwelling Water Dragons who speak a different language but know some pidgin English and, unaccountably, spiny-backed Gourmet Dragons who like to cook. There are also Fur Dragons and various other sorts, but for the purpose of this film the main characters are drawn from the ranks of the Fire and the Gourmet Dragons. They mostly peacefully co-exist in one seaside, although there are occasionally snarky comments about each other’s habits, suggesting that the respective groupings could be read as cultural or racial differences.

Nevertheless, an effort to foster better inter-dragon harmony results in the organisation of a summer camp, so Fire Dragon hero Coconut and his best friend Oscar, a Gourmet Dragon, sail forth with chaperones for an island where Coconut’s grandfather remembers once meeting the exotic Water Dragons. They smuggle their friend Mathilda, a porcupine, in a box which just completely confuses things zoologically. In any event, there is a shipwreck, the Water Dragons seem none too friendly when first met, there are dragon-eating plants about and, worst of all, Oscar and Coconut have a disagreement. No one seems particularly worried about the fact that they’re all stranded on a desert island with no means of communicating with dragonkind across the water, but the ability to sing catchy little tunes about friendship sorts out everything.

Altogether, this is a bit dull and baffling for anyone over the age of seven; but it’s largely inoffensive, maybe even laudable, with its relentlessly pro-tolerance happy-clappy message of love. I am still wondering why so many of the Fire Dragon characters are named after fruits while the Gourmet Dragons just have regular German names. And why is it called A Dragon’s Adventure (note the singular), instead of Dragons’ Adventure, since they all go on holiday, not just one dragon?

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