Once upon a time there was a man named Spielberg. After the ridiculous success of Jaws, Close Encounters, and . . . some movie about raiders and a guy named “Idaho”. . . or maybe it was “Indiana”. . . not important . . . Steven Spielberg’s signature jam was to slap his producer cred on just about every movie he didn’t helm from the comfort of his diamond studded director’s chair.
Steven Spielberg presents: Goonies, Gremlins, Back to the Future, An American Tail, Batteries Not Included, the list goes on and on and probably would have included Police Academy and an Earnest movie had he figured out how to clone himself and launch a full scale invasion of Hollywood like ants at a picnic.
One film that failed to see the light of day (or darkness of cinemas nationwide) was an animated film based on the Parker Brothers board game Don’t Wake the Dragon!, released in 1986. This tale of four penguins on an adventure to rescue magic crystal eggs from a sleeping dragon in order to save their home world was quite simple in premise and a no brainer for Parker Brothers executives who, at the time, were licensing just about every Clue character and Monopoly token available in hopes of dipping their toes into the bubbly waters of the 1980’s action figure overload.
It should also be noted that the above paragraph is completely made up and there were never plans to adapt Don’t Wake the Dragon! into any property beyond the fun little save-the-egg board game adventure it was. If I had you going, then pat my back. If not, then pat your own.
Here’s the commercial to get everyone up to speed on what this game actually was:
Having hunted down and purchased said game on Ebay a few years back in anticipation that I would someday be a father, I was overjoyed to discover my two and a half-year old entertaining herself for a solid hour or so after digging it out of storage a week ago. I watched with a proud papa smile as she cried “oh no!” whenever a penguin fell off an iceberg, and stroked my non-existent beard curiously when she started taking the dragon’s side, not letting the penguins steal his eggs.
It was just the inspiration I needed to create the art at the top. I went the route of the rare, lost poster to a movie that almost was because in the 1980’s, they made cartoons out of just about everything. Chuck Norris. Rambo. Mr. T. Wrestling Superstars. Pac Man. Fido Dido. Even John Candy had his own Saturday morning adventures.
Anyhoo, I hope you like it. Perhaps I’ll do a whole line of art based on things I loved as a kid.
Be excellent to each other!