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The Color of Magic

Updated on February 23, 2015

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 Film Poster
The Color of Magic Film Poster | Source

The Color of Magic

The Movie

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

Rincewind Quotes

"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'."

Twoflower, the Tourist in The Color of Magic
Twoflower, the Tourist in The Color of Magic

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 Hand Drawn in Ink
The Luggage Hand Drawn in Ink

The Luggage

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

Rincewind, Twoflowers Cohen Riding in Woods on Horses
Rincewind, Twoflowers Cohen Riding in Woods on Horses

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

Riding the Dragon with Death Hovering
Riding the Dragon with Death Hovering


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 Quote

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.

Trymon: Why?

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.

Fantasy Film Poll

What Type of Fantasy Films Do You Like Best?

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The Actors Make the Movie

Sir David Jason - As Rincewind the Banished Wizard Tour Guide

Sean Austin - As Twoflower the Tourist

Tim Curry - As Evil Arch-chancellor

David Bradley - As Cohen the Barbarian

The Color of Magic - Episode 1

Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic Part 2

Terry Pratchett Discworld The Colour of Magic Full Audiobook

What is Your Favorite Fantasy Film? - Please Leave a Comment in the Guestbook

Please Leave a Comment in the Guestbook
Please Leave a Comment in the Guestbook


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm always looking for a good movie to watch, so thank you for the review. I will watch it next weekend and thank you silently while I'm watching it. :)

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      Magician movies are fun! I find that they can really spark a child's imagination.

    • Tiggered profile image


      6 years ago

      A very, very pleasantly presented movie review. I love everything by Terry Pratchett, and I quite liked the movies, but still prefer books. And I feel comparing The Colour of Magic to Harry Potter is rather an insult towards the first, but it's only a logical consequence of my extreme dislike of HP :)

    • Tiggered profile image


      6 years ago

      A very, very pleasantly presented movie review. I love everything by Terry Pratchett, and I quite liked the movies, but still prefer books. And I feel comparing The Colour of Magic to Harry Potter is rather an insult towards the first, but it's only a logical consequence of my extreme dislike of HP :)

    • punkgrinder profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the book the Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett is brilliant and I must check out the movie. Great Lens, thumbs up!


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