A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lucky Dragon is a 2009 Chinese anime that is cursed, at least for English-speaking audiences, with truly horrendous voice acting. The listless, emotionless voices make this movie pretty much unwatchable, if not outright impossible to figure out. In terms of content, there is frequent battle violence, as animals and humans do battle with swords and bows and arrows, and in two scenes a character is placed over fire to be roasted alive. Regardless, for parents and kids, this movie is, quite literally, lost in translation.
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What's the story?
A mischievous dragon gets into trouble and is banished to Earth. On Earth he takes the form of a young boy, and he befriends and joins the Order of Swords, who do battle with the evil Stretch for control of Earth as each tries to possess the Bantam Sword. The Bantam Sword is atop a mountain, and, as the forces of good and evil battle to claim it, the mischievous dragon must find a way to assist in the Order of Swords' quest as he tries to find happiness in his new surroundings.
Is it any good?
The difficulties of the already confusing plot are magnified by the listless, emotionless voices employed to translate this movie from Chinese to English. The female characters, in particular, sound like the absolute worst of B-movie actors. Given the current English version, it's impossible to imagine English-speaking families sitting through the movie without getting bored, confused, and annoyed.
In the opening credits, THE LUCKY DRAGON is titled, in English, "Unusually Lucky Person." This mistranslation of the title tells you everything you need to know about the next 90 minutes. The incredibly bad voice acting and the confusing translations of the script make this film practically unwatchable, in spite of the decent (if not great) animation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about anime. How does this movie compare to other anime?
What are some of the difficulties in translating a movie from another language and culture?
How might bad voice acting in an animated movie ruin what could be a decent movie filmed in another language?
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