Dragon Hunters (Chasseurs de Dragons)

  • Review Date: June 17, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Old tale told with stunning but scary animation.
  • Review Date: June 17, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 80 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Good triumphs over evil; opportunists learn that doing the right thing is always the better motivation; and bravery and belief in oneself wins the day. Even the orphaned "damsel-in-distress" has the heart of a lion and the brains with which to save herself... most of the time. Her guardian, however, has much to learn about being a compassionate, reasonable surrogate parent.


Fantasy violence throughout.  All manner of monsters, creatures, and dragons on the attack, including flying bats, lizard-like animals with jagged teeth, a giant caterpillar, speeding blobs of massive needles, swarms of fire-spitting flying insects, and an enormously powerful dragon with fiery eyes and sharp claws. The heroes are under siege again and again. Nightmares, scary music, and explosions heighten the danger to a little girl and three "knights" who continually come to her rescue.

Not applicable

Mild potty language: "barf," "doo-doo," "fart," "butt," "butt-wipe," "boogers," "piss," "s--t."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this is an animated adventure story, many of the images are scary and our heroes face great danger in scene after scene. The hunted "dragons" are ugly and vicious, and include a giant skeletal monster with blazing eyes, sinister creatures made of sharp needles, and fire-spitting, swarming insects on the attack. Eerie music combined with visual images of dark caverns, a teeming jungle, and crushed cities to indicate the end of the world create what might be a terrifying experience for the tender-hearted. Some mild "bad words" that kids usually find funny are sprinkled throughout, as well.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It's a fearful time in the kingdom governed by Lord Arnold. The World Gobbler, a terrifying dragon who wreaks destruction wherever he ventures, is set to attack. There are no noble knights left to challenge him. Only Zoe (voiced by Mary Mouser), Lord Arnold's young niece, seems to have the courage and desire to save her homeland. Escaping from her uncle's castle against his wishes, Zoe enlists two wannabe dragon hunters to slay the World Gobbler. Gwizdo (Rob Paulsen), a cunning scam artist, initially agrees to the task motivated only by gold; Lian-Chu (Forest Whitaker) is a soft-centered warrior who questions the motives of his partner. The three set off together and, after a series of battles with other fierce monsters and creatures, make their way to meet their nemesis.

Is it any good?


In the style of the Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke), French animators Arthur Qwak and Guillaume Ivernel have created a stunning visual experience with DRAGON HUNTERS, which began as a French television series. Dazzling images of cities made of floating islands, dense jungles, and wild, dangerous beasts deadly in their quest for power, combine to bring an original look, sensibility, and form to the quickly evolving world of computer animation.

The story is thin, familiar, and predictable. The characters are sketchy and prototypical rather than living, breathing originals. Still, with the playful, imaginative, and brave Zoe; the kindly gentle giant Liu-Shan; and the shady practices of the film's most humorous character, Gwizdo, there's enough to hold the film together as it weaves its visual magic and carries its audiences to places never seen before.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the animation in this French film is different from the family-friendly animated movies usually seen in the U.S. How does the music add to the feelings that the visual pictures create?

  • What methods did the filmmakers use to show that the brave, strong warrior Lian-Chu is also a sensitive, caring man?

  • What did Gwizdo learn about "doing the right thing?"

  • How did Zoe's presence help the Dragon Hunters?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 23, 2009
Cast:Forest Whitaker, Mary Matilyn Mouser, Rob Paulsen
Directors:Arthur Qwak, Guillaume Ivernel
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:for some scary images, fantasy action and language

This review of Dragon Hunters (Chasseurs de Dragons) was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written bymatthewsdaniels March 1, 2013

A great example of how direct to DVD movies are HORRIBLE ... storyline is VERY poor...

WOW... I don't think I've suffered through a movie this bad since Jay Jay the Jetplane ... I just hope that it doesn't have a song that ends up getting stuck in my head..... 0 stars
Parent Written bysepmom November 18, 2011

Exciting for KIds 9 and Older

My 9 year old and I watched this film together and both enjoyed it. Yes, it was intense, and the dragons were a bit frightening, but the messages were positive. Characters grew emotionally and demonstrated many virtuous traits - compassion, courage, and loyalty. I could have done without the crass language, but overall it was refreshing to watch a non-Hollywood production.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 7 years old February 6, 2011


It was very violent, but I liked the ending when Zoe was very generous. It would be great for anyone who likes Futuristic+Ancient japan+Ancient china stuff.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models


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