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Parents' Guide to

The Dwarvenaut

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Fantasy game docu has positive messages, drunken behavior.

Movie NR 2016 80 minutes
The Dwarvenaut Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

While the overall themes make this something that can still be enjoyed by those who aren't hard-core fanatics of D&D and Dwarven Forge (Pokorny's company), it's still best for those who already are. One of the toughest challenges in making a documentary focused on a specific subculture is making it interesting for those not invested in the subculture. For the most part, The Dwarvenaut -- a documentary about a D&D-obsessed man who started a company that makes highly regarded and finely detailed buildings, figurines, and terrain to enhance the D&D role-playing experience -- finds the universal messages that go way beyond slaying dragons while rolling 12-sided die. The documentary is at its most interesting when Pokorny discusses how he found redemption and a sense of purpose through both art and D&D and how he found a way to combine the two and turn it into a company with a devoted fan base.

Where the documentary falls short is in the pacing. While Pokorny no doubt sees life as a grand adventure both in and out of D&D, it doesn't mean the viewer necessarily cares to see him cook pasta or nurse a hangover or sit in a coffee shop. And while it's interesting to see Pokorny go to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the birthplace of Dungeons & Dragons, or ride the gondolas of Venice as he talks of artistic inspiration, the time spent in and around the gamers conventions wears thin, doesn't reveal much, and starts to feel like, well, an insurance seminar in Conference Room B of the O'Hare Doubletree.

Movie Details

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