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Dragon's Lair creators turn to Kickstarter to raise money for Dragon's Lair: The Movie

scene from the cartoon-animated Dragon’s Lair. Dirk is hiding behind a pillar from a menacing green dragon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Dragon's Lair, the seminal laserdisc-based arcade game from 1983, might make its way to the big screen, thanks to a new crowdfunding project from the game's original creators. Director Don Bluth and producer Gary Goldman have turned to Kickstarter in an effort to raise money to make an animated feature based on Dirk the Daring's adventures.

Bluth and Goldman, who collaborated on animated features like The Secret of Nimh, An American Tail and The Land Before Time, hope to raise $550,000 on Kickstarter to produce a 10-minute animated Dragon's Lair teaser. That short film would then be presented to investors to secure funding for the film's estimated budget of $70 million.

The creators of Dragon's Lair say the film's total budget could be even bigger, thanks to marketing. Even if the Kickstarter campaign is successful in reaching its goal, there's no guarantee Dragon's Lair: The Movie will be made, the creators say:

Animated motion pictures cost loads of money and time. If you have followed the latest publicity on animated films or checked out you would know that these films, traditional hand-drawn or computer generated can cost anywhere from $55 million to $240 Million, some even more - just on the production. Promoting an animated film could cost an additional $100 Million to market the film worldwide. In order to finance the production, promotion and distribution, independent companies like Don Bluth Films must approach major film studios, private investors, or investment banks for loans and/or equity investment to finance their films. Though those entities may fulfill an important role in the process, their involvement also comes with serious strings attached, which can often push and/or pull the story and its design elements, in the wrong direction or even decide to cancel the production all together.

Dragon's Lair's creators say the animated teaser project will take about 21 weeks to complete, a process that will be documented for backers who pledge $25 or more.

The original Dragon's Lair was released in 1983 and has been ported to dozens of platforms. A sequel, Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp, finally hit arcades in 1991. A third game, Dragon's Lair 3: The Curse of Mordread, hit personal computers in 1993, and a 3D sequel hit PC and console in the early 2000s.

You can watch Dragon's Lair: The Movie's Kickstarter pitch video below.

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