Starring David Jason, Sean Astin, Tim Curry, Christopher Lee, Jeremy Irons, David Bradley, Laura Haddock, James Cosmo, Nicolas Tennant, Karen David, Liz May Brice, Nigel Planer, Richard Da Costa, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Miles Richardson, James Perry, Stephen Marcus
Directed by Vadim Jean
Expectations: Low. Loved the books, but it’s gonna be one hard adaptation.
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are known for their wonderful sense of humor and ridiculously madcap storytelling. This is a hard thing to bring to the screen but the BBC seems to have done it mostly right. Taking the first two Discworld books as its basis, The Color of Magic is a delightful romp through fantastic settings and situations.
Fans of the books will enjoy seeing Rincewind and Twoflowers come to life, but will be disappointed that certain key scenes have been written out for time and/or budgetary constraints. Overall, it is very well-written though so these omissions don’t hinder the story at all, and a first time traveler to the Disc will never be the wiser. The casting is excellent all around and the filmmakers did a wonderful job of taking what could easily be called an unfilmable book and making it into a very watchable 2-part TV film. Unfortunately, a lot of the humor doesn’t come through (or comes through differently) but the film still succeeds despite this.
Worth watching for fans and non-fans alike, The Color of Magic is a fun addition to the rather small lineup of genuine fantasy films.