- Entertainment and Media
The Color of Magic
Do You Love Fantasy Movies that Make You Laugh? "The Color Magic"
If you love Harry Potter type fantasy movies you will love "The Color of Magic"!
There are two parts to the movie and they were first shown on British television in England on Easter Sunday, 23 March and 24 March 2008.
I hadn't heard of them before, as they weren't really publicized in the US and were only shown in the US on 30 January 2009 as a very limited release in theaters. They didn't get much publicity for the showings either.
I watched them for the first time on Netflix just the other night. I am a Harry Potter fan and have always loved theses types of fantasy books and films. After all, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and the Dragon Lance Series, were my favorite books way before Harry Potter was created, and the legends of Merlin, King Arthur and Avalon have been with me since childhood.
I had never heard of Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" book series before seeing "The Color of Magic" movie. Apparently, the first book of the series that was made into a film is the "Hogfather", which was released in 2006, however, from what I understand it is the 20th book in the series of 33 books.
I have been told, by many authorities on the subject, to never read the books in the order they were written.
The Color of Magic - And the Missing 8th Spell
The Color of Magic
The Color of Magic" was adapted for film from the two best selling books,"The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" of the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett.
The screen plays were filmed and produced as a two-part television series for Sky One by The Mob, a small British studio.
The film stars Sir David Jason as Rincewind the bumbling wizard who failed wizardry school at the Unseen University and was banished after 40 years of trying; Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee of The Lord of the Rings fame) as the tourist Twoflower, who arrives at Ankh-Morpork with a magical guidebook and luggage that follows him around on its own feet; Tim Curry, the over-ambitious and evil Arch-chancellor wizard, Ymper Trymon.
David Bradley, as the most famous barbarian hero of the Discworld, Cohen the Barbarian, (later to play Argus Filch in Harry Potter), and Jeremy Irons as Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. Christopher Lee (of the old horror vampire films fame) is also on board as the voice of Death, with some of the funniest speaking parts.
Vadim Jean adapted the screenplay from Terry Pratchett's original novels, and served as the director of the films.
Rincewind the Hapless Wizard Guide
"What is your name, barbarian?"
"Who are you calling a barbarian?"
"That is what I want to know.
When Twoflowers wants to know why Rincewind is so absent-minded he is told:
"All wizards get like that ... it's the quicksilver fumes. Rots their brains. Mushrooms, too."
Rincewind Discussing Twoflower
"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
Why I Loved The Color of Magic
When I first began watching the movie, I thought to myself, "How fun. This is along the same lines as Harry Potter."
I was wrong. There are the similarities of the school for wizards, and all of the usual fantasy fare of magic including magical creatures such as dragons, trolls, etc.but the plot is quite different and the movie is full of dry, subtle humor. I settled back in my comfy chair to watch the movie and to be spellbound.
It didn't take very long before I was chuckling, then laughing out loud at some of the antics in this film. The film is hilarious and yet it is full of parodies to life on our own planet that are definitely food for thought..
Being from Hawaii and having to deal with service to tourist for most of my life, I especially liked the tourist, that is played by Sean Austin.
Metaphorically speaking, the Color of Magic encourages people to travel to other lands to get a broader view of the different cultures from the world around them, while getting a better understanding of the struggles between cultures because of the differences in religion, politics and science.
In the world of Ankh-Morpork, they had never seen a tourist before. No one had ever ventured to their land just to "see and learn" about their kingdom.
So many of the comments that came from "the Tourist" when he was explaining to the wizard just what a tourist is, had me rolling. Twoflowers, the tourist, had a piece of luggage that was actually a magical trunk full of gold coins that never seemed to empty.
This was one piece of luggage that was not going to ever get lost as the luggage would follow Twoflower every where he went, running on multiple feet. Every time I would see that chest running after Twoflower on those little feet coming out of the bottom of the chest, I couldn't help but laugh.
The luggage is a chest that is supposed to be constructed of sapient pearwood.
Sapient pearwood is a tree that only grows in a very few places outside the Agatean Empire, and usually only on sites of very old magic.
The tree is described as a magical, intelligent plant which is nearly extinct. It is unaffected and impenetrable by magic.
The chest is able to produces a multitude of little legs and feet protruding from its underside and can move very fast if the need arises. It has been described as "half suitcase, half homicidal maniac".
Then There is Cohen the Barbarian - The Hero
Twoflower: Do you think there's anything to eat in this forest?'
Rincewind: "Yes," said the wizard bitterly, "Us."
Then there is Cohen the Barbarian. Cohen is the most famous "hero" (retired) of the Discworld.
He is a tall, skinny, toothless old character of 87 years who wears an eye patch and animal skins.
In his younger days he was a thief, a fighter and known as quite the ladies man. He is often underestimated by their enemies, due to his advance age, and surprises many of his opponents with his wit and cunning.
In The Color of Magic, English sub-titles are often used to understand what he is saying. Without the sub-titles it sounds like he's speaking with a mouthful of mush. Hysterical!
Twoflower does eventually convince Cohen to get himself some dentures made out of troll teeth, which are actually diamonds, and sparkle brightly every time he smiles.
Hot water. Good dentishtry. Shoft lavatory paper.— Cohen the Barbarian's Three Favorite Things
Rincewind & Twoflower Meet Cohen in the Woods
Lastly, I loved Death. Death, played by Christopher Lee is another character in this film to pay attention to.
He comes up with some very subtle British humor that are an asset to this film. They can easily slide right by if you are not paying attention. There were a couple of times that I had to rewind to hear what he said over again just to be sure I heard it right.
Between the wonderful special effects of the magical world of wizards and the hilarious dialogue, anyone that enjoys fantasy fiction and loves to laugh will enjoy this light heart fantasy movie!
Death: I was at a party, you know.
Trymon: I hope it's a good party!
Death: I think it might go downhill at midnight.
Death: That's when they'll be taking my mask off.
The Color Magic DVD
If you don't have a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime, you may want to order the DVD to watch this movie.
It is very reasonably priced and one I am sure you will enjoy. Once you see it you will want to read all of Terry Pratchett's novels and see the rest of the Discworld movies based on his novels.