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The Dungeons & Dragons 2023 Movie Has A Huge Nod To The 80s Cartoon Series

The Dungeons & Dragons movie is out now, and it’s a far cry from the 2000s POS adaptation. It’s a hearty recommendation from us at Kakuchopurei as the film is full of action, witty banter, some heartfelt moments, and all-around homages to the source material.

In fact, there’s one particular homage that will resonate with some fans who were in tuned with the franchise in the late 80s, or more specifically its animated TV series adaptation. However, the tribute appears in the second half of the film. So here are your spoiler warnings since we have to bring up some late movie plot details.

In the second half of the show, Ed’s party (Ed the bard, Holga the fighter, Simon the wizard, Doric the tiefling druid) gets captured after a failed heist in Neverwinter and are tossed in as forced participants in an arena-style gladiatorial contest. Said contest is lethal and has a makeshift maze alongside some terrifying monsters like the Displacer Beast, the Gelatinous Cube, and the Mimic.

When the games start, we have Ed’s party and two other adventure parties. The second party features characters dressed up like the D&D characters from the 80s cartoon of the same name. The camera is off-focus in this portion since it’s Ed and his party talking strategy, but you make out the character outfits and equipment: the Cavalier’s yellow garb and shield, the Barbarian’s helmet, Presto’s green outfit, and so forth.

During the games, we get close-ups of “Bobby the Barbarian” (now a 40-year old man) scoring a weapon from a chest alongside “Sheila the Thief” (who has dark hair) and “Eric the Cavalier” (who is Indian). We also get to see a short bit where the 80s D&D heroes win the first round of the games as they wait in the caged elevator to ascend to the next portion of the games: all six of them as the camera circles within the same room.

Since the show is recently out in cinemas and there’s no digital copy on sale yet, we can’t show you the on-screen comparisons just yet. But it’s good to know that the makers pay tribute to the classic cartoon series.

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